China Attractions: Leifeng Pagoda, Hangzhou
Leifeng Pagoda 雷峰塔
The original pagoda was built in 975 but collapsed in 1924. The building had been severely damaged by Japanese pirates (wako), who burnt the wooden parts of the building in the early 16th century, leaving only the brick skeleton.
The present pagoda dates from 2002 when it was rebuilt as a copy of the first tower - except for the modern elevators and air conditioning systems!
Leifeng Pagoda on the southern shore of West Lake - the present structure was built in 2002
Leifeng Pagoda seen across West Lake, Hangzhou
The Leifeng Pagoda is associated with the popular "Legend of the White Snake," about a young woman (who is turned into a snake by an evil monk) and her lover. The bottom of the pagoda has a small museum displaying the original brick foundations with English captions for the exhibits.
The main Hangzhou Station is to the east of the lake with a direct service to Beijing (16 hours). Shanghai is around two hours by train. It is possible to travel by boat from Hangzhou to Suzhou along the Grand Canal.