Slender West Lake Park
Slender West Lake Park information
Stretching noodle-like northwards from Da Hongqiao Lu towards Dàmíng Temple, this park is decorated with pretty willow- and peach-tree-lined banks dotted with pavilions and gardens. It was a favourite vacationing spot of Emperor Qianlong in the 18th century and it's not hard to imagine why as it's particular moving and moody on a misty day, yet cheerful and colourful in good light.
A highlight is the exquisite triple-arched Five Pavilion Bridge (五亭桥; Wǔtíng Qiáo), built in 1757. Another interesting structure is the 24 Bridge (二十四桥; Èrshísì Qiáo), its back arched high enough to almost form a complete circle, allowing boats easy passage.
The combined ticket to Slender West Lake Park includes a river cruise along the Grand Canal (which looks like one huge drain) on the eastern length of the city. Board on the docks in the northeastern point of the city along Tàizhōlù (泰州路). The trip takes you under several bridges and past condominiums and city life. Boy, things sure have changed since the old days.