Best Places to View the Autumn Moon in Hangzhou

No people have ever given the moon higher status than the Chinese. Since ancient times, the moon has been the eternal theme of Chinese literature and the inspiration for countless poets, which can be seen in numerous descriptions of the moon in Chinese poems. In China, the full moon has a long association with family reunion. Hence, viewing the full moon with friends and family has become a traditional custom. In Hangzhou, there are several wonderful places to do it. Different places offer different experiences.

Where to go:
Autumn Moon Over the Calm Lake (平湖秋月)
When it comes to the best place to view the autumn moon, none can beat "Autumn Moon over the Calm Lake".“Autumn Moon Over the Calm Lake” is a lakeside scenic spot situated at the west end of the Bai Causeway (白堤). It faces the West Lake in three sides and affords the broadest view of West Lake. On autumn nights, the view here is quite poetic. You can stand on water-hemmed terrace or sit in the platform stretching into the lake to watch the moon rising slowly over the calm lake. Beside you, the moon is reflected on the mirror-like lake and a subtle breeze blows some shimmering ripples. Around you, there are delicate pavilions, zigzag little bridges, odd-shaped rockeries which make you lose track of time and feel like living in a traditional Chinese painting. It’s this poetic view that has earned the scenic spot the title —— one of “Top Ten Scenes of West Lake”.

Also, there is an annual evening show in the park from 14th August to 16th August on the Chinese Lunar Calendar. Good opportunity to make intimate contact with the Chinese on their traditional Festival.

Address: No.1, Gushan Houshan Road, Hangzhou (杭州市孤山后山路1号)
Tel: 86-571-87996663

Three pools Mirroring the Moon (三潭印月)
This islet is well-known for its unique view of thirty-two “moons”. The scenic spot is also called Lesser Yingzhou (小瀛洲) and renowned as the “Three Islets of the West Lake” along with Mid-lake Pavilion (湖心岛) and Ruan Gong Islet (阮公墩). It is connected by the zigzag bridge from south to north, and the dike from east to west, which forms a big Chinese character "田". Featuring "an islet inside a lake, and a lake inside an islet", “Three Pools Mirroring the Moon” is considered to be the classic example of Jiangnan Garden Design.

In the south of the islet, there are three elegant pagodas standing in the water. The three pagodas are arranged in a triangle, with each side 62 meters long. They rise two meters above the water. In their hollow bodies, there are five round holes into which candles can be placed. On middle-autumn nights, people cover these holes with sheets of thin paper. With the candle lit, seen from the distance, these pagodas create a splendid scene of fifteen “moons” hanging in the air. In addition, candle light casts round reflections on the lake, and there on the water appears another fifteen “moons”. The candle light, the moon light and their reflections on the water compose a rather extraordinary view of thirty-two “moons”. However, the splendid view is not an everyday thing. The Mid-autumn Day when the moon shines bright and full is the best time to view the thirty-two moons.

Address: West Lake, Hangzhou (杭州西湖)
Tel: 86-571-87065684