Plan your Hangzhou tour? There are two well-known causeways running across West Lake in Hangzhou – Bai Causeway (白堤) and Su Causeway (苏堤), which are both named after the poet-governors of Hangzhou – Bai Juyi (772–846) in Tang Dynasty and Su Dongpo ( 1037 – 1101) in Song Dynasty respectively.
Walk or Bike on Su Causeway
Su Causeway is a great place for walking or biking during your Hangzhou tour. It is a 2800-meter scenic walk or bike belt crossing the lake from the south to the north on the west side of West Lake. There are six stone moon bridges numbered from the Bridge No.01 in the south ( Leifeng Pagoda side ) to the Bridge No.06 in the north ( near Tomb of General Yue Fei or Shangri-la Hotel).
You can either walk from the south to the north or from the north to the south. You can stroll along Su Causeway only or regard Su Causeway as just one part of your hike around the 15 km long West Lake. Dawn on the Su Causeway in Spring ( 苏堤春晓 ) is one of the top 10 classical attractions in Hangzhou. It is better to stroll from the north to the south when you finish at Viewing Fish at the Flower Park, Prince Bay Park or Leifeng Pagoda on the south.
Best Time to Visit Su Causeway
You are kindly reminded to visit Su Causeway in the early morning (avoiding the hordes of tourists ) and you can catch the beautiful sunrise in a fine day or later afternoon for a sunset glow, avoiding weekends or public holidays.
As its name suggests ( Dawn on the Su Causeway in Spring ), spring is the best time to walk along the causeway since peach blossoms, willows trees, plum blossoms and spring flowers make the causeway a fairyland, which entices a consistent flow of modern tourists as it did in the ancient times.
ABC of Su Causeway
Like Bai Causeway (built from the dirt from the lake), Su Causeway was also constructed from the silt dredged from the lake in an effort to make the lake deeper and larger during the reign of Su Dongpo, also known as Su Shi (January 8,1037 – August 24, 1101), who served twice as the governor of Hangzhou.
In the course of his second term (1090), he organized a large-scale dredging of West Lake. The dam or the causeway was later named after him as Su Causeway.
Virtual Tour of Su Causeway
Now follow me to have a virtual walking tour of Su Causeway from the north to the south. I get off at the bus station of Yue Fei Tomb and walk towards Shangri-la hotel in the east, then turn to the south and see the northern entrance to Su Causeway. A large stone tablet on the left side is inscribed with the two large Chinese characters – 苏堤 (Su Causeway with a brief introduction to the history of the making of the dam.
A large stone tablet on the left side is inscribed with the two large Chinese characters – 苏堤 (Su Causeway with a brief introduction to the history of the making of the dam.
Su Causeway is nicknamed “Six Bridges Causway” since as you know there are totally six stone moon bridges on the Su Causway starting from south to north. Let’s start from north, so we literally start from Bridge No.6. Let’s go!
Bridge No 6: Kuahong Bridge 跨虹桥
Kuahong Bridge 跨虹桥 literally means “Striding the Rainbow Bridge”. Originally built in Song Dynasty, it is 21.1 meters long and 4.3 meters wide, a single arch bridge with the arch length of 8.1 meters.
If you don’t want to walk through the 2800-meter long causeway, Kuahong Bridge is the best place to experience the Su Causeway scenery. In the east, you will Gushan Island; in the west you will see Lotus Flower in the Breeze Courtyard.
Walk or bike across the bridge, you will see the densely forested dame lined with various trees such as willow trees, cherries, plums trees and various species of flowers.
The lake on your right side is called Yue Hu Lake 岳湖, a part of the broad and spacious West Lake.
Bridge No.5: Dongpu Bridge 东浦桥.
Dongpu literally means ” water flows to the east“, indicating the water from Yue Hu Lake flows though the namesake bridge into West Lake ( also known as Outer West Lake, the main part of West Lake).
Originally built in the Northern Song Dynasty, it is 16.8 meters long, 4.3 meters wide, a single 5.9 meter arch moon bridge.
Standing on Dongpu Bridge, you can have a clear view of sunrise if you come here early in the morning in a fine day. On the west side the bridge, you are able to view the charming Yue Hu Lake and Lotus Flower in the Breeze Courtyard.
The Jade Belt Bridge in Rainbow Shape. The bridge spans Jinsha Dyke linking Su Causeway and Lotus Flower in the Breeze Courtyard.
Standing on the Jade Belt Bridge and look at the rowing boats on the West Inner West Lake on the west of Su Causeway.
If you are tired, you may take a seat on the benches arrayed along both sides of the dam.
Bridge No. 4: Yadi Bridge 压堤桥
Yadi Bridge is the place to have a panoramic view of the whole West Lake. The bridge is 16.9 meters long and 4.0 meters wide with the single arch length of 6.3 meters.
buggy ( a sightseeing car ) is going down the 4th bridge. There are buggies zipping back and forth along the causeway.
Yadi Bridge is the place to have a panoramic view of the whole West Lake.
Bridge No.3: Wangshan Bridge 望山桥
Wangshan Bridge 望山桥 lierally means “Viewing the mountains bridge‘. Originally built in Northern Song Dynasty, it is 16.9 meters long and 7 meters wide with an arch bridge length of 4.7 meters.
From Wangshan Bridge you are able to see the largest island on the lake – Three Pools Reflecting the Moon and the West Hills on the west of West Lake.
Bridge No.2: Suolan Bridge 锁澜桥
Suolan Bridge 锁澜桥 literally means “Lock the Waves Bridge“. Su Causeway divides West Lake into Outer West Lake ( the main lake ) and West Inner West Lake (on the west of Su Causeway).
The forested Su Causeway keeps from the wind blowing from the east side. The lake on the west side of Suolan Bridge (Lock the Waves Bridge ) become calm and pacified, hence “Lock the Waves Bridge”.
The picturesque West Inner West Lake on the northern shore of Su Causeway.
Between the second bridge and the first bridge is the east entrance to Viewing Fish at Flower Park, or simply known as Red Carp Pond, a peninsula extended from West Lake, which is a large green and flowery park.
Opposite to the East Entrance to Viewing Fish at Flower Park is Huagang Harbor ( Flower Harbor ), where you pay 55 yuan for a return boat ride to the largest island on West Lake – Three Pools Reflecting the Moon.
Bridge No. 1: Yingbo Bridge 映波桥
Yingbo Bridge 映波桥 means” Wave Mirroring Bridge“. On Yingbo Bridge, you can have a clear view of Leifeng Pagoda on the east side and see the beautiful reflections of the trees and buildings on Viewing Fish at Flower Park on the west side.
At the southern end of Su Causeway is Su Dongpo Memorial Hall with a brief introduction to Su Dongpo’s life and work.
Tip: Hassle-free Hangzhou Guided Tours
If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours, here are some options for Hangzhou Guided Tours:
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Hangzhou East Railway Station
Hangzhou Airport Arrival Hall
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Hangzhou Bicycle Hire
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Hangzhou’s Best Bars & Nightclubs
Best Way to Visit Hangzhou from Shanghai
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How to Visit Leifeng Pagoda
How to visit Hupao Spring (Tiger Spring) Hangzhou
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The Best Place to View Sunrise over West Lake Hangzhou
Any questions, just drop a line.