AFTER eight months of voting by more than 100,000 people, the Hangzhou Tourism Commission has announced the top 10 night attractions in the city.
Residents also sent in 10,072 photographs. The 10 best photos will be released as commemorative stamps on June 24 to mark the 6th anniversary of West Lake’s addition to the UNESCO’s List of World Heritages.
The top 10 popular scenic spots are the West Lake music fountain near Hubin Road, Hefang Street, light show at Qianjiang New Town, Xixi Wetland, Xiang Lake, Chenghuang Pavilion at Wushan, Qiantang River, Changqiao Bridge, “Most Memorable is Hangzhou” performance, and Grand Canal.
Shanghai Daily takes a look at the list and explores five night views today. The rest will be listed next week.
City Balcony at Qianjiang New Town
Qianjiang New Town stages a light show every evening from 6:30pm on buildings along the Qiantang River. The show aims to beautify the area.
The heart of the town is the “sun-moon” structure formed by the International Conference Center’s 18-story golden ball and the crescent-shaped Hangzhou Grand Theater.
The dancing fountain in front of the Hangzhou Grand Theater comes alive with music, water and light at night. People take a walk along the waterfront promenade to get a view of the picturesque light show.
Leifeng Pagoda is one of the “Ten Views of West Lake.” The best spot to view it is the Changqiao Bridge. When night falls, the bridge is studded with glittering lights, which add more romantic vibe to this legendary location.
According to the romance made popular in “The Butterfly Lovers,” Zhu Yingtai and Liang Shanbo say goodbye to each other at this bridge. Zhu disguises herself as a young man in school, where she meets Liang. They study together for three years. When Liang discovers that Zhu is a girl they fall in love.
However, Zhu’s parents had already arranged her marriage with a rich man. Liang is heartbroken and dies, and Zhu kills herself at Liang’s tomb. Legend has it that they were transformed into beautiful butterflies, never to be separated again.
This tragic story brings many visitors to the bridge. Now, it is one of the most popular spots at West Lake, and the splendid lights make it more attractive at nights.
‘Most Memorable is Hangzhou’
Produced by famous film and stage director Zhang Yimou, “Most Memorable is Hangzhou” is a musical performance on West Lake. It was first performed at the G20 Summit last year and caused a sensation across the country.
An upgraded version of “Impressions of West Lake,” the show has been performed regularly on West Lake from May 1. Over 70 percent of the elements related to G20 Summit have been retained.
In the musical, colorful lights swirl across the water as dancers, dressed in traditional costumes, step on to a stage that is immersed 3 centimeters below the lake surface. Traditional Chinese opera and music is integrated with Western music and performance, presenting the audience with a 45-minute visual extravaganza.
Fountain at Hubin
Spectacular light shows along the West Lake area that was created for G20 leaders will become a regular sight for local residents and tourists. A musical fountain in the West Lake near Hubin Road comes alive at 7pm and 8pm for a 15-minute display.
In addition to fountain, night cruises on West Lake are available from May to October. People can take a night cruise at five ferries around the lake.
At Hubin No. 5 Park, visitors can choose the impressive dragon boat or a small bar boat for a 50-minute sightseeing cruise on the lake. At Hubin No. 1 and No. 2 parks, visitors can take a round-the-lake cruise.
The Grand Canal from Beijing to Hangzhou is the longest river in the world, stretching 1,776 kilometers. Locals use the canal for leisure and recreation, as well as transportation. The 20-kilometer Hangzhou section features beautiful scenery, historic architecture, places to bike and stroll as well as teahouses and restaurants.
Every evening, 10 kilometers along the canal are illuminated in the heart of the city and many people go for strolls. Canal landscape of promenades, historic buildings, pavilions and bridges glitter under lights.
Aqua-hued LEDs run along both banks of the entire canal. At night, green and blue LED projectors illuminate the mist that rises from the water. Early in the evening the light moves like waves through the mist, then becomes still before it is turned off at midnight.