Jiaxing South Lake

South Lake, originally named Mandarin Duck Lake, is situated in the south of Jiaxing City, Zhejiang Province. It is one of the three most famous lakes in Zhejiang, together with West Lake in Hangzhou and East Lake in Shaoxing. Nowadays, it has been developed as a scenic area with amazing lake scenery, traditional Chinese architecture, and Chinese art works of calligraphies and stone steles. Also, there are some perfect places to study the history of the Communist Party of China if you are interested.

Huijing Park

Huijing here means there is a gathering of many attractive scenes. This park is the main entrance to South Lake. It has an area of about 8.3 acres (3.36 hectares), and in a traditional southern China style. The garden seems like a mysterious labyrinth, as the rockeries, pavilions, and the winding paths appear to lead you up a blind alley until suddenly you see a way out. Visitors can get a general view of South Lake from the Observatory Pavilion, go fishing on the Fishing Platform, or watch the wind blowing over the water in the Waterside Hall. Furthermore, there are some entertainments and reception halls in this area where you can take a rest or have something to eat before continuing your visit.

Mid-Lake Island

Looking from the Huijing Park, the first feature to catch your eye is the Mid-Lake Island. Visitors can go there by boat. The first building you come across on the island is the Morning Sunshine Hall, which implies the greatest wish of the Qing Dynasty (1644~1911). The name means this is the first place that the sun shines on while wishing that the Qing Dynasty's dominion lasts for eternity.

The main building of the Mid-Lake Island, the Pavilion of Mist and Rain, is actually a traditional park nowadays, with the winding roads and a scattering of Chinese style houses. Every year in summer and autumn, many damp mists rise above the water. That's the reason why the pavilion got the name. Standing at the pavilion, looking at the mist and drizzle, people feel they are standing in a wonderland. One of the most attractive things is the ginkgo trees in front of the pavilion. They are already more than 450 years old. When the fall comes, the leaves become yellow and fall down, looking like cute butterflies dancing with the wind.

Also, in front of the Pavilion of Mist and Rain is anchored the Red Boat, a replica of the boat in which the Chinese Communist Party was founded and held their first convention.

Furthermore, the Good Luck Bridge on the island is worth visiting and there are some interesting rules to follow when passing over it:
 You should touch the stone lion from its head to its feet as it will bring you good luck and protection;
 Men should step on the bridge left foot first and women right foot first;
 You can stomp on the steps, because it is said that the more heavily you tread, the more luck you will receive;
 Whatever happens, you should not look back when crossing the bridge, otherwise your good luck will be left behind;
 You can make wishes when you are passing the bridge, for there is a great possibility it will come true.

Small Islet

Opposite to the Pavilion of Mist and Rain, the islet is located in the northeast of South Lake. It was formed in the Qing Dynasty when the governor of Jiaxing at that time dredged the city river and dumped the sludge here. There is a statue of Cangjie, who is said to be the creator of Chinese characters on it.

Lanxiu Park

This park is in the west of South Lake, being 2.8 acres (1.1 hectares). There are many stone steles and Chinese calligraphies preserved from ancient times. If you are attracted by Chinese calligraphy, this park will be of great interest to you as the artwork here will give you a more complete and distinct impression of the Chinese characters.

 

Fishing Village

The Fishing Village, in the northwest of South Lake, is a Chinese water town built over the water. It has a variety of bridges, pavilions and white walled, black roofed folk houses.

The Wuxiang Ancestral Temple is one of the sites worth visiting in the village. Constructed in Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644), it is in typical Chinese temple style. The main pagoda in the temple is 6,460 square feet (600 square meters) large, and is 207.87 feet (63.67 meters) high, with 7 floors. The four corners of each layer have a figure of a Buddha and a wind-bell. When there is a puff of wind, the wind-bell rings, bringing people peaceful music. The top of the pagoda is made of copper, gilded with 6.6 pounds (3 kg) gold. You can see the roof shining when the weather is good. The most important thing is that this pagoda is the only one in Jiaxing city where visitors are allowed to climb to the top. There are 179 wooden stairs inside. The climb is not only good exercise and break from day to day stress but it also offers a unique sightseeing opportunity.

In the village, there are also many saloon bars, luxury hotels, specialty restaurants and other places for visitors to rest.

Plum Blossom Bay Street

In the south of the lake, Plum Blossom Bay Street is the largest traditional Chinese culture experience area in Jiaxing. It has shadow puppet shows for you to enjoy, the museum of marriage customs for you to get to know Chinese marriage traditions since ancient times, the root carving museum and other folk arts to learn Chinese folk arts. There are also many sites such as the Former Residence of Shen Junru (the first president of the supreme people’s court after the People’s Republic of China was founded in 1949), the Former Site of the Korean Provisional Government Officials’ Refuge, and so on. Besides, if you need to buy some souvenirs, you may go to the stores for the silk, the antiques, and the handicrafts.

Revolutionary Memorial Hall

The Revolutionary Memorial Hall was originally constructed in 1959 on the Mid-lake Island. In 1990, the Jiaxing Government and citizens raised funds and constructed a new hall on the east shore of the lake. The New Revolutionary Memorial Hall was finished in 1991, shaped as the emblem of Chinese Communist Party if viewed from above. It is about 62 feet (19 meters) high, consisting of 2 floors, showing the party leaders' photographs and their inscriptions for the South Lake when they came to visit, and the detailed history of the foundation of the Chinese Communist Party respectively. If you are interested in the Chinese Communist Party's history, you can gain a complete understanding of it here.  

Transportation Take bus line outer ring 1, 8, 36, 90, and get off at Huijing Park of South Lake Station.
Admission Fee Visiting the lake is free of charge. But some sites around the lake have an admission fee.
CNY 60, including Huijing Park, Mid-lake Island, Wuxiang Ancestral Temple, and Lanxiu Park, Revolutionary Memorial Hall, and boat ride to Mid-lake Island.
Red Boat by Pavilion of Mist and Rain: CNY 20
 Children of 3.9 to 4.9 feet (1.2 to 1.5 meters) enjoy half price tickets.
Opening Hours April-October: 08:00-17:00
November-next March: 08:00-16:30
- Last modified on Nov. 30, 2017 -
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