Located in the north of the city, the Slender West Lake scenic area spans about 100 hectares. It was named a national key scenic spot in 1988 and a national 5A-level tourist zone in 2010. It is the first 5A-level tourist zone in Yangzhou.
The Slender West Lake is dotted with Suzhou-style gardens and amazes visitors with its graceful natural beauty and architecture. The layout was formed during the emperors Kangxi and Qianlong's reigns in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).
It is also known nationwide for its narrow and meandering waterways that connect gardens, bridges and the area's numerous picturesque spots.
The scenic area's attractions include:
1. White Pagoda
The pagoda is modeled on the famous White Pagoda at the Beihai Imperial Garden in Beijing. Jiang Chun, then head of salt management in Jiangsu, funded the pagoda's construction.
2. Wuting Qiao (Five-Pavilion Bridge)
A landmark of the Slender West Lake and a symbol of Yangzhou city, the Five-Pavilion Bridge (Wuting Qiao) was built in 1757 and is like a belt worn on the narrow waist of the lake.
Mao Yisheng, a preeminent Chinese bridge engineer, gave a high appraisal of the bridge's artistic appeal.
3. Siqiao Yanyu (four bridges in misty rain)
Visitors on the Siqiao Yanyu building can see four bridges with various colors and shapes -– Chunbo Bridge, Dahong Bridge, Changchun Bridge, and Lianhua Bridge, in the drizzling rain.
The Emperor Qianlong in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) was very fond of the scenery there. He inscribed his autograph and named the scene the “Quyuan Garden”.
4. Diaoyu (Fishing) Pavilion
This is the only place where visitors have to retrace their steps in touring the Slender West Lake. It was once called “Chui Pavilion”, where ancient performers played musical instruments.
Address: No 28 Dahongqiao Road, Yangzhou
Tickets: 100 yuan ($14.4) during peak seasons: March to May, October to November;
60 yuan during off seasons: February, June to August
30 yuan in winter: December and January
Opening time: 7:45 am– 5:30 pm; 6:30 am– 10:00 pm (night tour)
Transportation: bus No 4, bus No 5, bus No 6, bus No 17; Sightseeing buses