The students were guided through West Lake’s five sections by representatives from ZUMC, where they were exposed to numerous gardens, pagodas, temples and artificial islands within the lake.
Sarah Williams, JMU International Journalism student, said: “The visit to West Lake was the highlight of my trip so far, it was so peaceful and scenic there. A few students from ZUMC showed us around and informed us of the history of the lakes. It was really interesting to find out about Chinese history and culture.
“We climbed to the top of the temple, it was breathtaking. The architecture and design involved in the creation of the buildings is beautiful. We were also taken on a boat ride across the lakes, it was an amazing experience.”
The lake’s natural beauty and historic relics have influenced painters and poets throughout Chinese history.
West Lake became a World Heritage Site in 2011, and is known to have to inspired garden design in the rest of China, as well as Korea and Japan.
ZUMC bilingual broadcast student, Youlanda Ting, said: “West Lake is an important and valued part of Hangzhou history. The lake is famous for the White Snake love story. The tale is about two snakes which transform into people. The people then fall in love and get married. I think it is a lovely story.
“The lake is over 2,000 years old and is very popular with visitors and locals. I think people like to visit the lake because it is beautiful. Visitors can view the fish garden, temples and take a trip across the lake. I think everybody who visits Hangzhou should see the lake because it is magnificent.”