Gu Shan, situated at the northwestern corner of West Lake,
This 38-metre-high island between the Inner and Outer West Lake connects Baidi Causeway in the east to Xiling Bridge in the west. It is the largest island on the lake and an ideal place to wander and explore. Views over the lake from its banks are spectacular.
The island is 3.3 kilometres away from Hangzhou proper and is called 'Solitary' because it stands alone in the lake, surrounded as it is by water on all sides. There are a few places of historical interest scattered about the island itself. On the north side of the island is Wenlan Pavilion, the pristine and peaceful Zhongshan Park and the Zhejiang Provincial Museum. To the west of the island and at the top of the small hill is the Xiling Seal Society. The tomb of Qiu Jin, a female revolutionary, is at the foot of the hill.
Solitary Hill Island is noted for its ingenious layout that combines artificial and natural scenery. Now its tourist area has increased to 20 hectares.
Gu Shan got this name because it is surrounded by water, standing solitarily in West Lake. It can also be called Solitary Island, for it is a lonely island; rather than a hill. Its other name: Plum Blossom Island, originates from the flourishing plum blossom planted on the hill.
Gu Shan boasts of beautiful landscapes. It is bordered by Bai Causeway on the east, Xi Ling Bridge on the west, the Outer West Lake on the south, and the Inner West Lake on the north. Autumn Moon over the Calm Lake, one of the ten scenes of the West Lake; is formed on the boundary of Gu Shan and Bai Causeway. Gu Shan is an ideal place to enjoy the beauty of West Lake.
In addition, there are a lot of cultural relics in the scenic area. At the south foot lies Zhejiang Museum, Wen Lan Pavilion (attracting many literati), and Zhongshan Park in the middle of the hill. The park was rebuilt on the site of an imperial garden of the Qing Dynasty, and was opened in 1927 to commemorate Sun Yat-sen, the great leader of the Xinhai Revolution in 1911. At the west foot is Fang He Pavilion, which is related to Lin Bu and his story 'Plum wife and crane son', and the Tomb of Qiu Jin, a great female revolutionist at the end of the Qing Dynasty. On the top of the hill, there is Xi Ling Seal Society, dedicated to the study of seals. This area also includes Cypress Hall, Bamboo Pavilion and Si Zhao Pavilion.
The best time to visit Gu Shan is in winter or in early spring, for at this time, you can enjoy the plum blossom as well as the usual sights.