Slender West Lake, Yangzhou – Ticket Price, Opening Hours, Transportation and Highlights

slender west lake yangzhou

Nestled in the northern suburbs of Yangzhou, China, Slender West Lake, also known as “Shouxi Lake (瘦西湖),” is a captivating destination boasting a rich history and stunning natural scenery. With an area of approximately 33.66 square kilometers, this picturesque lake is renowned for its serpentine shape and has been a source of inspiration for generations.

Slender West Lake is not just a lake; it’s a testament to the enduring beauty of nature and culture that has evolved over the centuries. Its original name was “Baoyang Lake,” a relatively wide river channel located outside the city of Yangzhou. The name “Slender West Lake” did not become widely recognized until the Qing Dynasty during the reign of Emperor Qianlong. This period was marked by repeated visits from two Qing emperors, Kangxi and Qianlong, both of whom were enchanted by the lake’s exquisite beauty.

During the Qing Dynasty, the lake transformed from a mere watercourse into a magnificent hub connecting various gardens and scenic spots. This transformation marked the beginning of Slender West Lake’s journey toward becoming a cultural and natural treasure.

Table of Contents

Basic Information

Estimated Length of TourHalf a day
Ticket PriceDaytime: 100 RMB
Nighttime: 120 RMB
Combined Ticket for both day and night: 180 RMB
Opening HoursDaytime: 6.00 – 18.00
Nighttime: 18.30 – 22.00
Telephone Number0086-0514-87357803

Location and Transportation

Slender West Lake Scenic Area is situated in the northern suburbs of Yangzhou, a picturesque city in Jiangsu Province, China. The specific address for this captivating destination is 28 Dahongqiao Road, Hanjiang District.

To get there, tourists can take bus 5, 11, 39, 40, 50, or 107 and get off at Twenty-Four Bridge Stop (二十四桥站), or take Tourist Line 1, Tourist Line 2, or Tourist Line 3 and get off at Five Pavilion Stop (五亭桥站).

Highlights of Slender West Lake

The Grand Rainbow Bridge

the greand rainbow bridge in slender west lake yangzhou

Among the numerous attractions surrounding Slender West Lake, the Grand Rainbow Bridge stands as one of Yangzhou’s “Twenty-Four Scenic Spots.” Originally constructed during the Ming Dynasty’s Chongzhen era, this bridge stretches gracefully over the waters of Baoyang Lake. The bridge was initially built with red wooden railings, earning it the name “Red Bridge.” However, in the first year of Emperor Qianlong’s reign during the Qing Dynasty, the bridge underwent significant reconstruction, and its name was changed to “Rainbow Bridge,” which reflects the bridge’s resemblance to a colorful rainbow. Today, the Rainbow Bridge stands as a 7.6-meter-wide three-arch stone bridge, showcasing both its historical significance and architectural grandeur.

The Five Pavilion Bridge

five pavilion bridge in slender west lake yangzhou

The Five Pavilion Bridge, a structure with a history spanning over two centuries, was constructed during the 22nd year of Emperor Qianlong’s reign in the Qing Dynasty. This iconic bridge features five distinct pavilions, each perched atop the bridge’s unique decorative posts. The pavilions are adorned with intricate carvings, celestial murals inside, and delicate wind chimes outside. Below the bridge, the foundation consists of 12 massive stone blocks, forming a robust “工” shaped base. The bridge itself is composed of a series of varying-sized arched openings. As one passes beneath the bridge on a boat, they can count a total of 15 openings, connected in a harmonious sequence.

Xiaojinshan (Little Golden Mountain)

xiaojinshan in slender west lake in yangzhou

Xiaojinshan is the largest island within Slender West Lake, and it is home to some of the most densely concentrated architectural marvels in the region. On this island, you’ll discover enchanting structures such as Wind Pavilion, Blowing Terrace, Qin Chamber, Muxi Library, Chess Room, and Moon Overlook. The name “Xiaojinshan” has an intriguing origin. Legend has it that two monks, one from Yangzhou and the other from Zhenjiang, were engaged in a friendly debate. The Zhenjiang monk asserted, “The green mountains disdain Yangzhou’s commonness. There is not even one peak across the river.” Naturally, the Yangzhou monk disagreed, sparking a bet. Eventually, Yangzhou’s monk outplayed his opponent, leading to the naming of “Xiaojinshan,” meaning “Little Golden Mountain.”

The White Pagoda

white pagoda in slender west lake yangzhou

The White Pagoda, rising to a height of 27.5 meters, stands with elegance and grace at the lakeside. Below the pagoda is a magnificent octagonal base adorned with three niches on each of its eight sides. Inside these niches, intricate carvings of the twelve zodiac animals can be admired. The story behind this splendid pagoda has roots in Emperor Qianlong’s sixth visit to Slender West Lake in 1784. As he gazed upon the scenery near the Five Pavilion Bridge from the water, he lamented, “It’s a pity that there’s no white pagoda; otherwise, this would resemble the Qiongdao Island in Beihai.” Unbeknownst to the emperor, a wealthy Yangzhou salt merchant took immediate action. That very night, he used white salt bags to craft a makeshift white pagoda, and the story of the “One-Night Pagoda” continues to be cherished to this day.

Xu Garden

xu garden in slender west lake in yangzhou

Xu Garden, located just north of the Spring Willow Promenade along Slender West Lake, has a history that dates back to the Qing Dynasty when it was known as Hanyuan Peach Blossom Lodge. In 1915, to honor the memory of General Xu Baoshan, a hero of the Xinhai Revolution, the garden was transformed into Xu Garden. Covering an area of 0.6 hectares, the garden is compact and exquisitely designed.

Within Xu Garden, the Tingli Pavilion (Listening to the Orioles), inspired by the poetic line “Two yellow orioles sing amid the emerald willows, while white egrets soar into the azure sky,” stands as a testament to its literary origins. The pavilion features intricately carved wooden screens, representing the pinnacle of Yangzhou’s architectural craftsmanship. The garden also includes a small pavilion, a charming gazebo, and a picturesque pond, along with carefully arranged flora, bamboo, and stones, which collectively epitomize the elegance of traditional Jiangnan gardens. Every autumn, Xu Garden hosts Yangzhou’s annual Chrysanthemum Exhibition, adding an extra layer of beauty and cultural significance to this enchanting location.

The Twenty-Four Bridges

the twenty-four bridges in slender west lake yangzhou

The “Twenty-Four Bridges” of Yangzhou are immortalized in the famous poem by Tang Dynasty poet Du Mu: “Amid the azure hills and waters so vast, autumn lingers, and southern grass still lush; on a moonlit night by the Twenty-Four Bridges, where is the lovely lady who plays her flute?” Slender West Lake boasts a complex of structures that collectively represent these bridges, including the Luofan Trestle, a single-arch stone bridge, the winding Nine-Curve Bridge, and the charming Chui Xiao Pavilion. The centerpiece of this ensemble is the Jade Ribbon Bridge, measuring 24 meters in length and 2.4 meters in width. The bridge features 24 steps on each side, and its elegant design is adorned with 24 white jade railings and 24 balusters.

Throughout history, there has been ongoing debate about which bridge the “Twenty-Four Bridges” refers to, and the question continues to captivate the imaginations of visitors to this day.

Hot Springs Retreat

hot springs retreat in slender west lake yangzhou

Adjacent to Slender West Lake lies the Slender West Lake Hot Springs Resort, a haven of relaxation and rejuvenation. This 13-hectare resort features 68 distinct hot spring pools, divided into public and private areas. The public areas encompass a diverse range of thematic spaces, including lakes, streams, rockeries, waterfalls, bridges, pavilions, and bamboo-lined pathways, each offering a unique and delightful experience.

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Useful Tips Summarized from Reviews

Daytime and Nighttime Tours: Slender West Lake offers both daytime and nighttime tours. During the day, the entire park is open, while the nighttime tour is limited to the southern section (where the key attractions are located).

Recommended Duration: It is suggested to allocate approximately 4 hours for exploring Slender West Lake. A complete visit can be a bit tiring. The recommended route is to enter from the southern gate and exit from the northern gate, which leads to the Daming Temple. The southern section to the western gate is considered the essence of the park.

Observation Car: If you have limited time or prefer a quick overview, consider taking the sightseeing car (20 yuan) for a brief tour. The starting point for the sightseeing car is at the eastern gate.

Boat Tours: Boat tickets can be purchased at the southern gate, where you’ll find the boat terminal. Boats departing from the southern gate offer one-way trips to the western gate, and vice versa. Options include rowing boats (800 yuan for the entire route, approximately 40 minutes, suitable for around 15 people) and electric boats with various capacities. There are large boats for about 20 people, and smaller, self-driven electric boats for families of four.

Dining Recommendation: Nearby the southern gate, you can find the Xiangyuan Tea House. It has a pleasant environment and good-tasting food, though it might be slightly expensive.

Attractions near Slender West Lake

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