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Slender West Lake (Shòuxīhú)
Slender West Lake (Shòuxīhú) Review
Originally part of a river, Slender West Lake was created during the Qing Dynasty by wealthy salt merchants hoping to impress Emperor Qianlong on his many visits to Yangzhou. The park, laced with willows and dotted with pavilions, bridges, and tearooms, can be seen in an hour or savored for a half-day. The Fishing Terrace is where the emperor decided he'd try his hand at angling; the merchants reportedly had their servants wade into the lake and hook a fish on each line he cast. Another mark left by the emperor is the White Pagoda, a dome-shaped Buddhist stupa. The emperor casually remarked that Slender West Lake only lacked a stupa to resemble Beijing's Beihai Park. By the time the sun shone through the morning mist, there was the emperor's stupa, hastily carved out of salt and convincing from a distance. A permanent structure was completed much later. It seems all the flattery had the desired effect; Yangzhou prospered as a trading center right up until the 20th century.
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