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Slender West Lake

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Covering an area of 100 hectares, Slender West Lake is located in the west of Yangzhou City, Jiangsu province. As an important part of the Beijing-Hangzhou Great Canal, it is a national park with important historical and cultural value. It was listed as Yangzhou™s first national AAAAA level scenic spots in 2010 and a world heritage site in 2014.

Providing most of Yangzhou™s tourist draw, Slender West Lake can be unbearably crowded on weekends yet outside of the peak hours it provides a marvelous window into Yangzhou™s fabled charms. Modeled after the much larger and more famous West Lake in Hangzhou, the Slender West Lake makes up in charm what it lacks in size. Winding through a stretch of park area, it™s filled with water scenes and weeping willows.Whimsical structures, meticulously crafted bridges and replicas of historic sites will keep your hands full for at least a few hours. There™s a white dagoba modeled after the one in Beijing™s Beihai Park.

Better known are the park™s bridges, the most famous of which is the Five Pavilion Bridge built 1757. Its imposing triple arches and yellow tiled roofs are one of the most often photographed sites in the park. A short stroll along the north bank of the lake leads you to the dazzling, though relatively new, Twenty-Four Bridges, named after the 24 posts used in the bridge™s design. These arches culminate in an apex so high that they nearly create a circle for boats to pass under. Though most of the ancient bridges are now replaced by new concrete ones, the bridge and canal atmosphere remain.

A favorite spot for photo-ops is a replica of Emperor Qianlong™s old fishing platform, which is located nearby. Local tales hold that Qianlong™s servants would dive into the canal and hook fish on his line so that he, thinking Yangzhou had brought him luck, would allocate more funding to the town. Close by is the Happiness Terrace, with three moon gates each framing different scenes.

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