West Lake (Xi Hu)
Another natural spectacle to be found here is the tidal bore of the Qiantang River that has enthralled people for centuries. Overlooking the river estuary stands the 13 storey high Six Harmonies Pagoda. Dating from 970 and built on the site of an earlier pagoda that served as a lighthouse, the name refers to the six codes of Buddhism i.e. harmony of the body, speech and thought and the renunciation of personal pleasure, opinions and wealth. A climb to the top of the pagoda carries the reward of an impressive view over the river.
Crossing the river is the Qiantang River Bridge. This is the first two-tier bridge to have been designed and built by Chinese engineers in modern times. The other great feat of much earlier engineering is the Grand Canal. Linking Hangzhou in the south with Beijing in the north, this is the longest man-made waterway in China and surpasses both the Suez and Panama canals.
We hope that this introduction to the delights of the area surrounding the West Lake will tempt you to visit them for yourself. You can be assured that the splendid and diverse landscape will remain long in your memory as you call to mind tour sites to be found south of the Yangtze River.