iReport: My favorite Hangzhou travel photo
Legend has it that when Marco Polo visited Hangzhou in the 13th century, the Venetian traveler described the lakeside town as “the City of Heaven" and "the most beautiful and magnificent in the world."
Most likely, it was views similar to these that drove the pioneering merchant to such heights of rapture.
iReporter Angela Corrias took this photo of Thousand Island Lake (千岛湖) during her two-day trip to Hangzhou in November, 2010.
“I was hopping on and off the islands of Qian Dao Hu (Thousand Island Lake) and was stunned by the landscape,” says the Italian traveler who has just returned to Sardinia after a yearlong Mandarin course in Shanghai.
“I find the picture has some kind of mysterious 'mood’ that adds to the charm of the place,” Corrias adds.
As a freelance journalist, she recommends any first-time travelers experience Qian Dao Hu, which is roughly three hours away from downtown Hangzhou by bus. See traffic directions and cost.
“The best way to enjoy the lake is to rent a boat and cruise around the islands,” notes Corrias.
She also suggests travelers hop off the boat and visit some of the big islands, where they can find a good range of museums and natural parks.
UK-based iReporter Adam Amir Smith was enthralled with the West Lake on his trip to Hangzhou in July 2011.
“I love the contrasting colors of this shot,” Smith says.
“[The photo was] taken on a smoggy day on the iconic West Lake. The gray water and sky help to bring the colors in the boat alive,” he adds.
Corrias also reckons West Lake is an absolute must-see, but recommends travelers wander down the small streets around the lake to appreciate Chinese-style architecture and the nearby pagodas.
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