Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Boating around West Lake in Hangzhou

Despite the intermittent rains, visiting West Lake was a must. Situated at the heart of Hangzhou, it is considered to be one of the scenic wonders of China. Covering an area of around three square miles (8 sq km), West Lake is a popular place for boating and walking around its willow-shaded causeways & shores. 
I would love to revisit the city praised by Marco Polo and see the West Lake during better weather and different seasons. West Lake is on the UNESCO World Heritage list, noted for its natural beauty and cultural value which has influenced artists, poets, and architects.   
Boats of varying sizes plied the rather tranquil waters. Sails were seen in the distance. Due to the rains and some pollution, the green hills looked more like a hazy blue. 
Some parts had lotus plants which must look absolutely beautiful later in summer when blooming.

 Sculptures such as Zuang Shun and the distant golden water buffalo added some extra interest. In the distance is the "broken bridge" - one of many picturesque bridges along West Lake. I didn't have time to walk along the lake's two causeways. 
 We took a 40-minute boat ride. Fixed prices posted along the shores made it much more tourist-friendly.

Strolling along the well-maintained walkways along the shore is a favorite activity. Some places had caf├ęs, restaurants, and shops, but the area I walked along didn't feel over-commercialized.
Pavilions, gates, and temples could be seen.

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