The West Lake came from a shallow bay in ancient times where Qiantang River ran into the sea. It was formerly named as Wulin Waters, Golden Buffalo Lake, Qiantang Lake and Xizi Lake. As it lies in the west of Hangzhou, it was later named the West Lake. Covering an area of 6.38 square kilometres, the average depth being 2.27 meters and the deepest being 5 meters. It has mountains on three sides and the city on the remaining one side. The lake and mountain are magnificent.
Centered on the West Lake, the West Lake Scenic Area is a national scenic area with a total area of 59 square kilometres. There are over 60 cultural relic sites of state, provincial and municipal levels and over 100 attractions. Among them, the most classic is the Ten Scenes and the New Ten Scenes at the West Lake.