Leifeng Pagoda

This pagoda was first built in 977AD, by the King of the WuYue Kingdom to celebrate the birth of his son, and it became a famous site of West Lake. Unfortunately, the tower collapsed in 1924. Not to worry though, because it was rebuilt in 2002 in ultra-modern style complete with an elevator inside the pagoda and an escalator leading up to the pagoda. This Disney-fied version of the old historic sight is so atrocious that it’s fascinating and is very popular with Chinese tourists. If you do choose to go in, highlights include a good view of the lake from the top of the 72 meter tower, the ruins of the old tower underneath, and some displays which tell an old Chinese folk story (the Legend of the White Snake) that took place here. Really, though, Leifeng Pagoda is best enjoyed from afar. From other points around West Lake, it looks quite pretty, standing proudly on its small peak with no hint of elevator inside.

Admission: ¥40. Open: 7:30-21 (15/03-15/11); 8-17:30 (16/11-14/03).

Directions: Located at 15 Nanshan Lu, Leifeng Pagoda is the dominant feature on the south shore of West Lake. Show the Chinese above to a taxi driver, or take Tourist Bus Y1 from Nanshan Lu or Beishan Lu.

Show the taxi driver: 请带我去雷峰塔,谢谢。 (Please take me to Leifeng Pagoda. Thank you.)