West Lake
in Hangzhou

page 2


West Lake
tips and insights

Lake creation

West Lake was an inlet until, centuries ago, silting blocked the inlet's entrance. Today, the enclosed body of water is 15 kilometers (9 miles) in circumference. The average depth is only about two meters (six feet).

Artistic inspiration

The lake has inspired writers and painters through the centuries, including the renowned 11th century poet Sun Dongpo who concluded that West Lake was "always alluring."


West Lake is surrounded by hills except on its east side, where stands the capital of Zhejiang province, Hangzhou.


West Lake's Chinese name is Xi Hu (pronounced she-who). China has dozens of West Lakes, but Hangzhou's is widely considered the nicest.

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