East Lake is located on the south bank of the Yangtze River and in the east suburb of Wuchang, Wuhan city. It is the biggest scenery tourist attraction in Wuhan and also the largest lake within a city in China. The lake covers an area of 87 square kilometers (33 square kilometers of water area), that is five times greater than the area of the West Lake in Hangzhou. Because of its winding banks and crisscrossing ponds and brooks, it is called ‘a lake with 99 bays’.
It is the biggest scenery tourist attraction in Wuhan.
The East Lake scenic area was formed from many famous scenic spots along the bank. The six major ones are: Tingtao (Listening to Surging Waves), Mo Hill (Millstone Hill), Luoyan (Diving Wild Goose), Baima (White Horse), Chuidi (Playing Flutes), and Luohong Hills.
Among the six scenic areas, Tingtao and Mo Hill scenic areas are the most two notable and are open to visitors.
Pavilions over the Fish Viewing Pond
The gate of East Lake opens to the Tingtao scenic area, featuring the rare sequoia especially elegant in late autumn. The Listening-to-the-Waves Tower (Tingtao Xuan), with its classic elegance, is one of the famous buildings in this area, along with Land of Water and Cloud (Shuiyun Xiang), which serves as a teahouse, and the Tingtao Inn of Wine, a restaurant offering local fish dishes.
On the north, the center of this area, is the Poetry-Reciting Pavilion (Xingyinge), built for memorizing works of Qu Yuan, the great patriotic poet of the State of Chu (one of the seven warring states before Qin (221–206 BC) in China’s first feudal dynasty). Many exhibits about Qu Yuan are featured in this building including his great literary masterpieces. In addition, the first allegory sculpture park in China is here displaying wonderful sculpture and allegories.
Characterized by beautiful landscape, abundant plants, the customs of the State of Chu and unique gardens, the Mo Hill scenic area attracts many tourists. In this area, the Chu cultural theme park displays the Chu culture in China.
The State of Chu scenic spot inside the East Lake scenic area
The East Lake possesses rich botanical resources. There is a large stretch of metasequoia forest. Many people come here to enjoy orchid in spring, water lily in summer, sweet osmanthus in autumn and plum blossom in winter. The Botanical Viewing Garden where more than 360 kinds of plants are nursed in 13 special gardens with flowers blooming all the year round – orchids and cherry blossoms in spring, lotus in summer, osmanthus in autumn, and plum blossoms in winter – is also admirable. Two of the most famous are the Cherry Blossom Garden, said to be one of the world’s three cherry blossom capitals along with Hirosaki in Japan and Washington in America, and the Plum Blossom Garden, which is listed as the top plum garden.
The East Lake possesses rich botanical resources.
Other scenic areas include Luoyan (Diving Wild Goose), known for its serene environment, Baima (White Horse), with the white horse tombs, Chuidi (Playing Flutes), Zhu Zhen (the sixth son of Zhu Yuanzhang, the first emperor of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644)), and Luohong Hills, where the highly respected Wuhan University is situated.
Besides these, the Bird Forest with 200 kinds of birds, the mysterious East Lake Ocean Park, the biggest sand beach bathing area in inner China, the Friendship Forest where many other cities’ delegates together with Wuhan people have planted trees symbolizing friendship are all worth a visit.
What make the East Lake scenic area more incredible are its recreational facilities: the exciting slide way, the ropeway, the yachts, tandem bikes, the skating rink and the pleasure ground for children.