Located on the southern bank of scenic West Lake, the 5-story, 8-sided Leifeng Pagoda offers stunning panoramic views over West Lake, and features spectacular statues and carvings on different levels. One of the top attractions in Hangzhou, “Leifeng Pagoda at Sunset” is also one of the classic Ten Scenes of West Lake. The Basics
The original pagoda was built in AD 975 out of wood and brick, but it collapsed in 1924. The pagoda was rebuilt in 2002 with steel and copper, and the new structure includes modern amenities such as elevators, air conditioning, and speakers. Take the elevator to the top level to admire the view, then make your way down. Each floor features different sculptures, carvings, murals depicting the Ten Scenes of West Lake, and poems and essays about Leifeng Pagoda. Don’t miss the basement, where bricks from the original pagoda can be viewed through glass.
Leifeng Pagoda can be visited independently, but many visitors appreciate the extra insight offered on a guided tour. Many tours of Hangzhou include Leifeng Pagoda along with other top attractions, such as West Lake, the China National Silk Museum, and Qinghefang Ancient Street. Things to Know Before You Go
- Leifeng Pagoda is a must-visit for first-time visitors to Hangzhou.
- Don’t forget your camera to capture panoramic views over West Lake from the pagoda.
- An escalator takes visitors from the entrance to the base of the pagoda.
How to Get There
Leifeng Pagoda is located on the southern bank of West Lake. A number of buses stop nearby, including bus Nos. Y1, Y2, Y3, K4, J5, Y6, Y7, Y9, K504, K808, and K822.
When to Get There
Leifeng Pagoda is open daily, year-round, with more limited hours between mid-November and mid-March. As a popular attraction, the pagoda can get very busy on weekends and public holidays. Visit during the week for smaller crowds. It’s best to look toward Leifeng Pagoda from across the lake around sunset to experience “Leifeng Pagoda at Sunset.” The Legend of the White Snake
Leifeng Pagoda became famous because of a popular folk tale: A white snake took the form of a girl and fell in love with a young scholar. They married and had a son, but a monk with magical powers imprisoned the girl under Leifeng Pagoda. She was finally rescued by her son years later, and he caused the pagoda to collapse.