A 7-story tower that looks deceivingly taller, the Six Harmonies Pagoda (Liuhe Pagoda) was constructed in 970 to ward off evil spirits believed to be responsible for the Qiantang River’s tidal bore. The pagoda is a masterpiece of ancient Chinese architecture and an enduring symbol of the city of Hangzhou.
This ancient lighthouse is easily recognizable from anywhere along the river and is renowned for its harmonious blend of light and shadows. Modern day visitors to the pagoda can ascend the spiral staircase to the top of the seventh story for a view of the surrounding area and the twice-daily tidal bore.
A small park located next to the pagoda features exhibitions detailing the history and culture associated with the Chinese pagoda, as well as mini-replicas of some of the world’s most famous ancient Chinese pagodas. Many sightseeing tours of Hangzhou, including day trips from Shanghai, include a visit to the eye-catching landmark.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Six Harmonies Pagoda is a must-see for first-time visitors in Hangzhou.
- You’ll have to pay an entrance fee for the pagoda grounds, as well as a smaller charge to climb the pagoda itself.
- Wear comfortable shoes, especially if you plan to climb to the top of the pagoda.
- The pagoda doesn’t have an elevator and is not wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
To get to the pagoda by public transportation, take one of several public buses to either Liuhe Ta Station or Zhijianglu Liuheta Station. Or, book a tour that stops at the pagoda.
When to Get There
The pagoda is open daily from quite early in the morning to early evening. The bore tide is at its most dramatic around the Mid-Autumn Festival, but this is also when the pagoda is at its most crowded.
An Ingenious Optical Illusion
When standing outside the octagonal pagoda, the exterior walls appear to have 13 stories with 104 iron bells hung from the eaves at each corner. Once you step inside, however, you’ll find the spiral staircase only leads to seven floors, each with a small chamber enshrining a figure of the Buddha.