West Lake - Overview


Xī Hú
Location Hangzhou, Zhejiang
Coordinates 30°14′15″N 120°08′27″E / 30.2375°N 120.14083°E / 30.2375; 120.14083Coordinates: 30°14′15″N 120°08′27″E / 30.2375°N 120.14083°E / 30.2375; 120.14083
Basin countries People's Republic of China
Surface area 6.5 km2 (2.5 sq mi)
Average depth 2.27 m (7.4 ft)
Islands 4
Settlements Hangzhou

There are dozens of lakes called West Lake worldwide, but "West Lake" usually refers to the Hangzhou West Lake, which is located in the western area of Hangzhou City. It is surrounded by mountains on three sides. The average depth of West Lake is 3 meters, and the capacity is about 14,290,000 cubic meters. The lake is divided by Gu Shan, Bai, Su and Yanggong Causeways into five areas. Ordered by their areas, they are Outer West Lake (外西湖), West Inner Lake (西里湖, or 后西湖, or 后湖), North Inner Lake (北里湖 or 里西湖), Little South Lake (小南湖 or 南湖) and Yue Lake (岳湖). "Outer West Lake" is the largest. "Gu Shan" or Gu Hill is the largest natural island in the lake. Su & Bai Causeways run across the lake. Three small man-made islands, "Xiao Ying Zhou" (小瀛洲), "Hu Xin Ting" (湖心亭), and "Ruan Gong Dun" (阮公墩) lie in the center of Outer West Lake. Thus, the basic layout is "one hill, two causeways, three islands, and five lakes"

West Lake is not only famous for its picturesque landscape, it is also associated with many scholars, national heroes and revolutionary martyrs, thus embracing many aspects of Chinese culture. In addition, many ancient buildings, stone caves and engraved tablets in surrounding areas are among the most cherished national treasures of China, with significant artistic value.

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