Marco Polo was so smitten with Hangzhou and the lake that he said, “A voyage on this lake offers more refreshment and pleasure than any other experience on earth.”
Originally a lagoon connected to the Qiantang River, the lake was later made larger resulting in its present 3km-long size. Two causeways separate the lake into two parts, the Baidi Causeway in the north and the Su Di in the west. Sailing to the small islands on the lake is a pleasant way to spend the afternoon. The largest of the islands is Gu Shan, Solitary Hill, can be reached via the Baidi causeway.
Gu Shan is probably the most romantic and idyllic of the islands. Scattered with pagodas and small pavilions, blanketed with chrysanthemum trees, this island makes the perfect setting for romantic strolls. If you’re interested in Hangzhou’s history, pay a visit to the Zhejiang Museum, tucked away on the island. Housing more than 100,000 cultural relics, it offers visitors great insight into Hangzhou’s cultural past.