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West Lake

Photos and description

In the Central part of Hangzhou lies the largest lake Xihu, or West lake, is known throughout China due to its picturesque views and numerous recreational areas around. Unique water body gradually formed more than 2,000 years, originating from the lagoon of the Qiantang river, and at different periods of the history of China perform a variety of functions, providing the local population with drinking water and irrigating paddy fields in the vicinity of Hangzhou.

During the reign of the Tang and Qing dynasties in Xihu district is practically not carried out any reclamation work, thus allowing the lake to naturally increase in size during the rains. The total area of dry land at that time was about 10 square kilometers, which is almost twice less than at present. At the end of the eighth century the Governor of Hangzhou decided to use the water of the lake for agricultural purposes, then the amount of water in the West lake decreased significantly.

Today, the lake is the main attraction of Zhejiang province and is included in the world heritage list of UNESCO. At West lake you can see the Islands such as Guchang, Hosington, Seonjo and Goingunder, is considered the favorite places of recreation visitors. The flora and fauna of the lake has about 3000 rare species of flora and fauna. Among them: Lotus, plum, plum blossom, osmanthus, kingfishers, mallards and large red carp.

Since 2002 on the South coast of West lake was built four parks that are open to the public all year round. Every year in Hangzhou is coming to more than 800 thousand tourists with the aim to enjoy the beautiful lake and relax in the lap of nature away from the bustle of the city.