Taking a boat to the middle of the West Lake, I was going to see one of the 10 imperial sights that was dictated by Emperor Qian Long – (三潭印月) ” Three Pools Mirroring the Moon”. This particular scene is on the Lesser Yingzhou Isle which is the largest island in the middle of the lake.
On the island with beautiful reflective waters, you can see the dragon stone and the 3 hollow stone pagodas rising from the water, each with five openings. These stone pagodas were first built in Yuanyou in the fourth year of the Song Dynasty (1089).
When the moon is high and full in the sky, usually on mid-autumn’s festival, they would place candles in the hollows of the 3 stone pagodas. The light would then be reflected clearly in the different man made ponds on the island creating a view of one moon in the sky and 3 refections in the ponds.
The whole landscape idea of the Lesser Yingzhou Isle is to have the feel of an island in the middle of the lake and the contradiction of a lake in and island feel. There are also a lot of zig-zag bridges in the isle as the Chinese believe that evil spirits can only walk in a straight line so these bridges prevent them from roaming the isle.
The West lake is also known as Xizi Lake or Lady Xi’s lake. This is because it is widely believed in Chinese history that the West Lake is the reincarnation of Xi Shi, one of China’s four great beauties (si da mei ren). Famous poet, Su Dong Po compares the beauty of West Lake to Xi Shi in his renown song poetry, Drinks at West Lake through Sunshine and Rain (飲湖上初睛居雨).
In the video below, I complied the sightseeing venues of Lei Feng Pagoda, West Lake and Lesser Yingzhou Ise. (If you are view via mobile or fb, you won’t be able to see the video but you can view it at www.renzze.com )