West Lake

I have spent my weekend with the transoceanic guests from Coventry University. As a native, I have been an amateurish guide and lead them to visit and get acquainted with Hangzhou. Writes Sylvia Liang, photography by Jessica Cooper…

The first place is the famous West Lake. The West Lake is lying in Hangzhou City of Zhejiang Province, and is a world famous tourist spot. Embraced by green hills on three sides, the lake covers an area of 5.6 square kilometers and has a perimeter of 15 kilometers.The whole lake is divided into 5 sections, namely the Outer Lake, North Inner Lake, Yue Lake and Little South Lake. They are bordered by Gu Hill, Sudi Causeway, Baiti Causeway and Ruangong Mound. The name of West Lake was coined as early as the Tang Dynasty (618-907). Before the Tang Dynasty, the lake had various names such as Wulin Water, Mingsheng Lake, Jinzhong Lake, Longchuan, Qianyuan, Qiantang Lake, and Shang Lake, etc. In the Song Dynasty (960-1279), the Chinese renowned poet Su Dongpo wrote a poem to praise the West Lake and compared it to Xizi, a Chinese legendary beauty. Since then, the West Lake has another elegant name; Xizi Lake.

When the bus full of people with happiness and expectation stopped at the Bai Di, we had an hour of free time to go around the West Lake. Although it was rainy, everyone was excited when they looked over the West Lake and lots of photos were taken. The beauty of the West Lake lies in its lingering charm that survives all changes of seasons and all hours of a day. The most beautiful season at West Lake is spring. The breeze across the Liu Si brushes your cheek from time to time.

When we turned the corner, I heard a scream from a girl who is from Coventry University. I hurried to the corner to see what had happened – there is a Costa Coffee! She said she liked Costa very much and she asked me to take photos for her. Wandering on the Bai Di, we saw the most beautiful sights with the lake and the mountains. The plants are sprouting early shoots and Peach blossom smells amorous. After that, we went for a trip on a boat.

We had lunch at a Chinese restaurant; the food there is familiar to me, but for the Coventry University students it may have been a challenge. At first I was worried that they would not like the food, but actually the majority of them liked it very much.

In the afternoon, we went to The Tea Village. We visited the tea museum, and I realized Chinese people have a good knowledge about the history of tea. The Tea Village is surrounded by green peaks, so we had very fresh air here. British people are patient, and they love taking photographs – one student even literally laid down to get a good shot! He laid down for a long time; we perhaps lack this spirit.

On the way home I feel a little tired, but more importantly I feel happy from seeing our guests smile.

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