Why is Slender West Lake special?
The Slender West Lake, located in the northern suburbs of Yangzhou, is on the State Council's list of key historical and cultural sites in China. It is a beautiful Chinese water-based garden with a perfect blend of strength and elegance.
The Slender West Lake is 4.3 kilometers in total length and covers an area of 30 hectares. Narrow in shape, the lake is like a tall and slender beauty with its charm lies in the meandering lake and characteristic constructions.
There are 24 scenic attractions at the Slender West Lake, including the Five-Pavilion Bridge, the White Pagoda, Xiaojin Hill, and many others.
Slender West Lake Highlights
The Five-Pavilion Bridge
Built in 1757 and like a belt worn on the narrow waist of Slender West Lake, the Five-Pavilion Bridge bears five pavilions on its 55-metre-long floor. The middle pavilion is higher than the other four, which are spaced two on each side in perfect symmetry. All pavilions have their four corners upturned, with rows of tiles gathered up in the middle. The pavilions, lined up with short covered corridors, have yellow glazed tiles on the roofs but green ones for the curving ridges, forming a splendid contrast of color.
The White Pagoda
According to the legend, Emperor Qianlong traveled to Yangzhou by boat and enjoyed the scenery of the Five-Pavilion Bridge from above the water. He said regretfully that this place would have been the same as Beihai (a famous park in Beijing) but for a white pagoda. His casual remark was picked up by the wealthy salt merchants of Yangzhou who made a white pagoda come into being overnight with salt bags piled upon each other. Afterwards, the salt merchants spent one hundred thousand taels of silver to build a real pagoda in case of the truth being discovered, hence the White Pagoda now. Unlike the massiveness of the White Pagoda in Beijing, the White Pagoda in Yangzhou is slim and graceful, casting beautiful reflections with the Five-Pavilion Bridge.
The Xiaojin Hill (Little Golden Hill)
As the highest scenic spot in the lake, Xiaojin Hill offers a breathtaking panorama of the lake from the Wind Pavilion on top of the hill. Most of the architectures and rockeries on the hill are remains of the Qing Dynasty.