Three Pools Mirroring the Moon | 三潭印月 | sān tán yìn yuè Address: XiaoYingZhou Islet, West Lake | 西湖小瀛洲 | xī hú xiǎo yínɡ zhōu
The largest isle in the West Lake, It is also called the Lesser Yingzhou Isle, the namesake after a legendary Islet in the depth of the Eastern China Sea. The isle is elegant, harmonizing nature and man-made landscape. The isle is one of the top ten Westlake Scenic attractions for centuries.
The beauty of the scenic spot is the moon in the sky, in the water and in the heart of onlookers. The three stone miniature pagodas standing in the lake off the isle are presumably the best place for moon viewing. These pagodas produce many magic views of the moon in the water, making people nostalgic and reminiscent of the woebegone days and happy moments in the past. On the night of the Autumn Moon Festival, the isle and its three miniature pagodas are the best attraction for moon spectators.
Originally, the isle was merely a Buddhist monastery by the name of Baoning Temple in the lake in the Wu Kingdom and Yue Kingdom period. In the Ming Dynasty, a dike was built around the temple site, making an inner circular lake between the temple and the dike. The Lesser Yingzhou Isle as we see today is the result of a big refurbishing project around the end of the Qing Dynasty.
The largest of the three artificial islands on West Lake, the isle covers an area of 7000 square meters. The island with its inside lake is crisscrossed with many zigzagging bridges; a causeway that spans from west to east; the heavenly lights and clouds reflections in the glass-like water can been seen together with flowers in blossom. Trees stand here and there, birds and fish enjoy themselves in different spaces. Pavilions vanish into nothingness at a distance; bridges allow tourists to view the scenery from different angles with the wonderful result of a different scene for each step.
The stone pagodas are 2 meters high and each with five equally spaced windows. On the night of the Mid-Autumn Festival, lateens are put inside the windows. Their lights shine and water near the pagoda reflect the shiny lights and the moon. Waters move as moon lovers come rowing boats, producing a wavering scene of the moon and the pagodas and the waters. What could be more enjoyable than this moment and scenery? Moon visitors in their boats could feel that they are in paradise or dream.