Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang Province, is the provincial center in economy, culture, science and education. It is a famous city in history and culture and also an important national tourist city with the beautiful scenery. Located at the southern wing of the Yangtze River Delta, the west end of Hangzhou Bay, the lower reaches of Qiantang River and the southern end of the Grand Canal, it is one of the most important central cities in the southern wing of the Yangtze River Delta and a hub of transportation in southeast China. 

The most significant landmark in Hangzhou, the West Lake was named simply for its location - it was formed in the west of the city. Its history dates back to ancient times, when it was a water-logged bay formed by sediment deposits from the Qiantang River. Over the years, the lake was in danger of drying up and needed to be maintained by man-made methods. 

Bai Juyi and Su Dongpo, who were renowned for their outstanding literary work, were also governors of Hangzhou during two different periods of time, and they took on the mammoth task of reviving the lake. During the Ming Dynasty, the newly appointed Hangzhou governor, Yang Mengying, also contributed to the preservation of West Lake by continuing the efforts of his predecessors.

Yuhang is the cradle of Liangzhu Culture, the latter being renowned as the dawn of Chinese civilization and a tentative world cultural heritage. Owing to the Grand Canal which passes through this ancient town, Yuhang was, 1000 years ago, a flourishing trade centre and has ever since been the home of rice and fish, silk and satin as well as boasting a wealth of scenic spots and historic sites.

Leifeng Pagoda is a five story octagonal, wood and brick pagoda located on Sunset Hill south of the West Lake. Noted as one of the Top Ten Views of West Lake, Leifeng Pagoda is the historical and cultural landmark of Hangzhou and also has a deep connection with the Legend of the White Snake, a beautiful love story of Xu Xian and the White Snake.

The pagoda has led a very rocky life. The original was erected in 975 AD during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period but collapsed on 25 September 1924 but was rebuilt again in 2002 where its remains are preserved at its base. History believes that the temple collapsed because the locals were stealing bricks – a tall tale, but a historical one too.

A popular tourist attraction, Leifeng Pagoda may have fallen on hard times in the past, but today its stands proud in offering some of the most spectacular views around.


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