On the southern side of Hangzhou’s West Lake, the tall Lei Feng Pagoda overlooks the lake. Dating back as a far as a thousand years, the pagoda was recently remodeled and rebuilt and is now one of the main attractions surrounding the lake.

Hangzhou Leifang Pagoda 

Hangzhou Leifang Pagoda 

The pagoda plays a part in the famous “Legend of the White Snake” (summary quoted from here):

legend of the white snake : Hangzhou - Lei Feng Pagoda The story tells of a young scholar who falls in love with a beautiful woman, unaware that she is a white snake who has taken on human form. A monk intervenes in order to save the scholar’s soul and casts the white snake into a deep well at the Lei Feng Pagoda. Over centuries the story has evolved from horror story to romance with the scholar and the white snake-woman genuinely in love with one another, but such a relationship is forbidden by the laws of Heaven. The legend was existed as oral traditions long before any written compilation. It has since become a major subject of several Chinese opera, films and TV series.


The couple even made an appearance at the site …

Hangzhou Leifang Pagoda 


The remains from the old original pagoda are still there beneath the new one.

Hangzhou Leifang Pagoda 

Hangzhou Leifang Pagoda 


Sadly, the combination of bad weather and horrible pollution usually obstructs what could no doubt be a lovely view of West Lake. Still, I’ve heard mainlanders there referring to this view as “mystical” and “poetic”. You be the judge.

 Hangzhou Leifang Pagoda 

Hangzhou Leifang Pagoda 

Hangzhou Leifang Pagoda 

Hangzhou Leifang Pagoda 

Tags: Hangzhou; legend of white snake; lei feng pagoda; west lake;

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