West Lake Cruise Boats

activities / Other

Lonely Planet review

Wooden cruise boats ( 游船; yóu chuán; 1½hr; adult/child incl entry to Three Pools Y45/22.5; 7am-4.45pm) shuttle every 20 minutes from a number of points around West Lake (including Gushan Island, Yue Fei Temple, Red Carp Pond and the south end of Hubin Lu) to the Mid-Lake Pavilion ( 湖心亭; Húxīn Tíng) and Xiaoying Island ( 小瀛洲; Xiǎoyíng Zhōu), which has a fine central pavilion and ‘nine-turn’ causeway. From the island you can look over at the Three Pools Mirroring the Moon (Sāntán Yìnyuè), a string of three small towers in the water, each of which has five holes that release shafts of candlelight on the night of the Mooncake Festival in midautumn. If you want to contemplate the moon at a slower pace, hire one of the smaller six-person boats ( 小船; xiǎo chuán; about 1hr; per boat Y160) rowed by a boatman. Look for them across from the Overseas Chinese Hotel or along the causeways. You can also hire your own electric boat ( 电船; diàn chuán; per hr Y40, deposit Y200) at a number of points on the Bai Causeway.