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Ancient trees in a youthful form

West Lake in winter

Pagoda of Six Harmonies

  The West Lake became a famed scenic place in China only after it was repeatedly dredged and developed by sagacious people of various dynasties, especially after it was protected, developed and eulogized by Bai Juyi and Su Dongpo.

  However, it was not accidental for the West lake to become a scenic lake with superb tourist value. First, this is because of the fact that the lake is prodigally endowed with a picturesque landscape. Skirted on three sides by verdant mountains, and opening on the fourth side to a flatland, the lake has all the makings of a superb landscape. The green mountains on three sides serve to gather all the auspicious potents from heaven, while the flatland offers ample space for ventilation. The entire layout of the lake is both closely knit yet leave much leeway for further landscaping. The mountains are not high yet are full of depth, the water surface is not really vast yet it changes in a most rhythmic way. The place is made all the more graceful by curves that form the contours of the place,and verdant greeness that provides the basic colour tune. The West Lake also has a lot to thank the sagacious people of bygone days for , who made resourceful decisions in developing the lake, piling up the mud dug from the lake to construct dykes and isles and beautify them with pagodas, bridges, pavilions and terraces and trees, flowers and plants. These man-made scenes and sights are set in such harmony with the environment that the West Lake becomes richer in both tourist resources and cultural connotations. The three isles on the lake look more like the Penglai Islands, the fabled abode for immortals. The scenery of the West Lake has such a soothing effect that an angry man is bound to come to his senses if he cares to pay a visit to the lake, whose tranquil environs are imbued with philosophic meanings. That is why no foreign visitor would leave the West Lake without feeling captivated by its poetic charms-a visit to the lake is tantamount to having a class in traditional Chinese culture.

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