Autumn Moon over the Calm Lake | 平湖秋月 | pínɡ hú qiū yuè Address: West side of Bai Causeway | 白堤西端 | bái dī xī duān
Though the Autumn Moon over the Calm Lake refers nowadays to a fixed location and one of the top ten attractions around the West Lake, it was in the South Song Dynasty a general reference to the autumn nights when people went boating on the lake appreciating the bright moon and enjoying the cool breeze.
The poetic reference stayed general until the Qing Dynasty when Emperor Kangxi summed up his sightseeing tour in Hangzhou and named the top ten West Lake attractions. A stone tablet was erected with the Autumn Moon over the Calm Lake inscribed on it at a location near the Solitary Hill and the west end of the Bai Causeway. Since then the lakeside spot has been the pronoun for the autumnal night boat trips on the lake. A boat trip on the lake or sitting leisurely by the placid lake at a moonlit night has long since been acknowledged as one of the best human experiences of nature.
Autumn Moon over the Calm Lake is the best location for such a night. Sitting and leaning over the window on the top floor of the pavilion-like waterfront building, you can command a broad view of all the lake and surrounding hills. The moon is bright over the calm Lake, the water and the sky merge in one color; cool breezes, the lake and the moon are of one; willow trees and flowers show different charms in moonlight; people and the moon have a private conversation. Time and space are beyond human reach, but seeing each other at such a night on the lake is a pleasure human beings can enjoy. All the human vicissitudes vanish through centuries, but the changing moon is eternal. The moon in autumn may not be as soft as spring breeze, and the spring breeze is still jealous of the brightness of the autumn moon.
Since 1950s Autumn Moon Over the Calm Lake has been refurbished and extended several times. The
whole location is full of flowers and plants punctuated by artificial rocks. Pavilions and storied wood buildings beside lake are merged nicely with the scenery. Winter days and summer breezes are all enchanting while tourists looking out from these buildings see the moon over the lake and the wooded hills on the other side. The landscape brings all kinds of emotions to tourists. It is a nice location where you can lounge quietly appreciating the moon, you can sip the tea, or take a stroll along the lakeside path, or find a place in the wood and spend sometime sitting idly in the shadow, thinking nothing and feeling everything