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 - Lei Feng Pagoda

Hangzhou - Lei Feng Pagoda

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

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 - Lei Feng Pagoda

 

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

Hangzhou - Lei Feng Pagoda

Hangzhou - Lei Feng 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 - Lei Feng Pagoda

Hangzhou - Lei Feng Pagoda

Hangzhou - Lei Feng Pagoda

Hangzhou - Lei Feng Pagoda



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


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