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Hangzhou is the capital of Zhejiang Province. It was first established as Qiantang County during the Qin Dynasty in the 3rd century B.C. By the Five Dynasties Period (10th century) it was the capital of Wu and Yue and later became the temporary capital of the Southern Song Dynasty (1127 - 1279). As a world famous city of tourism, its chief attraction is the West Lake and some 40 scenic spots scattered around this mountain and lake area of 49 square kilometers. Among the most important ones are the Monastery of Soul's Retreat, Yue Fei's Temple and the Pagoda of Six harmonies.
The West Lake
The West Lake is like a brilliant pearl embedded in the beautiful and fertile shores of the East China Sea near the mouth of the Hangzhou Bay.
Its name, the West Lake, originated during the Tang Dynasty from its lying to the west of Qiantang Country. The lake is also named after Xi Shi, a famous ancient beauty, because of the apt comparison made between the two by the poet Su Dongpo.
The Hupao Spring (Tiger - running Spring)
The legend goes that two tigers ran there and made a hole where a spring gushed out. The Longjing Tea and the Hupao Spring water are always reputed as the "Two wonders of the West Lake".
The Lingyin Monastery
The Lingyin Monastery, or the Monastery of Soul's Retreat, is a famous historical site of the West Lake. Here exists the Lingyin Monastery, a famous ancient temple in China, in front of which there are Feilai Peak, Cold Spring, Longhong Cave and precious rock cave arts and queer and varied natural caves and gullies.
The Moon Reflected in Three Pools
"There are islands in the lake and there are lakes on the islands. " The three stone towers were first built in Yuanyou 4th year (1089) of the Song Dynasty, With the wonderful scenery of "one moon in the sky having three reflections in the lake", it is one of the wonderful scenes of the West Lake.
The Qiantang River
The Qiantang River is 410 kilometers in length and therefore the longest river of Zhejiang Province. The Qiantang River spring tide is a marvelous spectacle under heaven and only the Amazon River surging tide can rival it in the world.
The Tomb of Yue Fei
General Yue Fei (1103 - 1142) was a national hero of the Southern Song Dynasty who distinguished himself in battles against northern invaders. He was sentenced to death on framed - up charges brought against him by the capitulation holding power at court. On the left of the tomb which was built in 1162 is a temple where the statue of the general is enshrined. This is very place where many people often come and pay respect to the heroic martyr.
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