Crossed by rivers and dotted by lakes, Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces on the south of the Yangtze River have been famed as a paradise on earth since ancient times. Towns, bridges, village cottages and crop fields create a picture of beauty. The winding corridors and unique bamboo groves of classical gardens located in these two provinces are enthralling.
Occupying an area of 6.3 square kilometers with a water area of 5.66 square kilometers,West Lake derives its name simply from its location among the mountains west of Hangzhou. It is divided into five parts: Outer Lake, North-Inner Lake, Yue Lake, West-Inner Lake, and Small-South Lake with the Outer Lake as main body of the West Lake in which the "Three Pools Mirroring the Moon", the "Mid- Lake Pavilion" andMr. Yuan's Mound" shining like three pearls on the vast ripples of the lake water.Distributed in the scenic area with the West Lake as its center are more than40 scenic spots and over 30 places of historic interest, and the ten scenic spots on the West Lake are the most outstanding. The decorations and renovations during the successive dynasties have made the landscapes on and around the West Lake very lovely and charming that the natural sceneries of lakes, rivers, brooks,springs, hills,caves, etc. and the artificial sceneries of temples, pavilions, gardens and others are beautifully and harmoniously incorporated and integrated. Many ancient poets wrote poems to eulogize the beauty of the place and Great Poet Su Dongpo was one of them.
Jianhu West Lake
Jianhu Lake, located south of the Shaoxing city, is also known as Mirror Lake for its clear water, crystal like a mirror. As early as in the 5th year (140 AD) of the reign of Emperor Yonghe of the Eastern Han Dynasty there was a vast lake here until sometime in the Northern Song Dynasty When dykes were built to turn the lake into fields the lake greatly shrank. The existant Hutang Pool,Rongshan Lake, Dingshi Lake,and Baita Lake are all its remains. The lake, enclosed by green hills and with bridges and fishing boats on its mirror-like water, is typical of a region of rivers and lakes south of the Yangtze River. What's more is that the water in Jianhu Lake is clear like dew, and it is from this water that the world-famous Shaoxing Wine is made.
Qin Huai Scenic spot
Qin Huai Scenic spot in Nanjing, extending from Dongshuiguan to Xishuiguan, is a place where used to host all kinds of entertainment in ancient times. Beautiful houses and places for entertainment lined both side of the river. Even now, many well known buildings still exist for tourists to visit.
Yancheng City in Wujin County of Changzhou
Located bout 7 kilometers from Changzhou proper, Yancheng City was built more than two thousand years ago. It is the best preserved remains of ancient city. The remains has three city walls: the inner wall, outer wall and a wall in between, each wall surrounded by a moat.
Zhuozhengyuan Garden (Humble Administrator's Garden)
Zhuozhenyuan Garden dates back to the Ming Dynasty, some 400 years ago, and was done in the Ming style. Like other Suzhou gardens, it has mainly hills and water, in this instance treated so artistically as to make it a worthy representative of south China's ancient garden.
The garden is the largest of Suzhou's old gardens, covering four hectares. Water is its chief feature, with ponds occupying three-fifths of the garden area. It is a copy of a small island named Water Reed Hill Island in the Taihu Lake.