Located in Hangzhou, provincial seat of Zhejiang Province,
the West Lake is one of the most famed tourist attractions
in China. For centuries, the West Lake has been well known
both for its picturesque landscape and for cultural heritage
surviving yet illustrating the past dynasties.
landscape area of the West Lake includes the surrounding
hills and nearby historical sites as well as the lake itself. The
lake area covers around 60 square kilometers consisting of
5.68 square kilometers of water area.
The West Lake is the centerpiece of the natural
with bluish hills on three sides, serene and charming. Along
the Lake, there stand lines of willows with ancient bridges
leaping over them. Mist now veils the whole landscape, now
just perches lightly on the green and luxuriant hills in the
vicinity with tiny streams winding in deep valleys.
More than ninety theme parks and scenic spots are dotted
around the lake area such as the Ten Views of West Lake
and ten-odd newly named tourist attractions. Rain or shine,
the West Lake holds great attraction to tourists in all seasons.
Besides its impressive scenery, the West Lake boasts of
abundant cultural heritage and legends passed from generation
to generation, commingling natural features, past personages, history,
and art in the local area.
Thanks to its long history and historic importance, the West
Lake is also a cultural resort with 5 major historical monuments
and cultural relics under state protection, 35 under province protection,
25 under municipal protection as well as 39 theme museums and cultural
spots under a protection system.
In the whole landscape area, there are more
than one hundred scenic spots open to the tourists at present. Each
are 0.5 million of foreign guests and 12 million domestic visitors
coming to Hangzhou.
The tourism management and related concerns are in the
charge of Hangzhou Municipal Bureau of Landscape and
Cultural Relics (MBLCR for short), which is the administrative
and authoritative department of the municipal government.
The scope of the official duties of MBLCR are as follows: 1. MBLCR
draws up the overall development blueprint for the broad lake region
and carries it out. MBLCR figures out both the long term and short
term action courses and detailed plans for management, protection,
and development. MBLCR is responsible for the gardening, sanitation
work, forestry protection, security, designing and business arrangement
of the whole area which include all the parks, 57,000 mu of wooded
hills, and 8,000 mu of the water expanse.
MBLCR protects, manages and makes full use of all the relics within
the broad lake area, and advises and supervises the management of
the cultural relics in the seven counties under the jurisdiction
of the municipal government of Hangzhou.
3. MBLCR plans, executes, and oversees comprehensive
greening projects, and does the housekeeping chores on afforested
regions around the west lake and Hangzhou.
The MBLCR has made great accomplishments in
park construction and management, gardening projects, relic protections,
and afforestation projects for the past several decades, especial
since the establishment of the reform and open policy in 1978.
The MBLCR plays a leading role in China's landscape
designing and construction, and horticulture business. Quite a few
theme parks and scenic spots have won top prizes at various designing
contests at state and provincial levels such as Crown Prince Bay
Park and Guo's Estate.
In recent years, MBLCR has been awarded as the
Best Tourist Service Supplier by the National Tourism Administration,
Scenic Spot Management Model Unit and Urban Gardening Project Model
by the Ministry of Construction, Forest Fire Control Model Unit
by both the Ministry of Personnel and the Ministry of Forestry.
In 1999 the West Lake is ranked as the National
Model of the Ten Beauty Spots by the Publicity Department CCCPC,
Civic Virtues Office CCCPC, and National Tourism Administration.