Wednesday, May 21, 2014

2013 Kunshan Trip - Excursion to West Lake, Hangzhou (西湖游记) Part 4

Location: Hangzhou (杭州), Zhejiang Province (浙江省), China

Full experience of my visit to West Lake can be accessed through the list below.


Being a tourist spot most visited by locals and tourists alike, it wasn't easy to find a quiet spot in West Lake, but they do exist. There would be moments when a break appeared between the riot of crowds or a spot which was missed by the mass. It was at those times where I understood how this lake enthralled and inspired poets and artists of the past. The tranquillity was unmistakable.

Longing

I personally love this photo. I may not take the best of photos, but capturing the lady waiting for something while looking slightly forlorn across the lake was a powerful image.

There were two main paths to stroll around in West Lake, one which encircles it, the other across the lake. We took the circling part in the first half of our journey, walking among sky reaching trees and exploring the scenic site. Treading on the stone paved path, I stopped rather often to allow myself to be enthralled by the view of the lake. 

The sun hung high in the sky but the slight shade from the sparse trees coupled with cool breeze and low spring temperature made it much more bearable. Vegetations in the seasonal country sure differed a lot from the tropical jungles I was used to. Bushes were low and trees were sparser, allowing more sun to reach the ground.

Walking among giants

Reaching into the sky

The trees around West Lake sure were tall...

Motorboats occasionally broke the peaceful scene with their thrumming engines, the surface of the lake rippling with waves. Some captains seeking passengers would approach anyone standing near one of the simple piers dotted around the lakeside, trying to get some business by ferrying passengers. I wonder what the ancient poets would write about such modern contraption barging noisily over the lake.

Tranquillity

Piers like this were scattered around West Lake. These were nice spots for photos because the plants around them were cleared off, forming an unobstructed view of the lake.

Lone vessel

Shore ahoy!

Boats were motor powered and operated by a lone captain of the vessel, and they will approach anyone who stood at these piers whether they wanted a ride, for a price.

Window of the lake

Between land and water

Arching bridges connect parts of the lakeside as well as small islets in the lake. These spots were best for admiring the lake with motorboats breaking the smooth lake surface occasionally.








Environment:       A picturesque lakeside
Suitable for:          For a stroll around the lake and to admire one of China's beautiful lake that had inspired ages of poets and painters
Visit worthiness:   9.5/10 (take your time, immerse yourself in the scenery)
Historical value:        5.0/5.0 
Architectural value:  4.0/5.0
Photographic value:  5.0/5.0
Landmark value:       5.0/5.0

Entrance Fee:                 the lake itself and the general surrounding area is free, but certain sites and areas may require an entrance fee
Opening Hours:             essentially open at all hours
Best Moment to Visit:  Avoid weekends and Public Holidays, you would not want to experience the crowd and the traffic
Length of Visit:              6 - 8 hours or more




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