The Best Place to enjoy the panoramic view of the West Lake
Baoshi hill, located on the northern edge of West Lake, provides the ideal mountain-top lookout point. The hill looks onto downtown Hangzhou at the east and Geling Hill to the west. Constructed hilltop is Baochu, an ancient and unique pagoda and symbol of the West Lake Scenic Area.
Baoshi Hill reaches a height of 78 meters at its peak. It is formed of minerals such as rhyolite and tuff set amongst igneous rock. Ferric oxide (iron dust) gives the hill’s ridges their characteristic red hue.
The name ‘Gemstone’ Hill was given to the mountain because of its red glittering gem-like appearance under the light of the rising and falling sun. This scenic landmark also boasts a place on the list of the ‘New Ten Sights’ of West Lake with its’ unique scene - the "Gemstone Bathed in Flowing Rosy Clouds".
Perched atop Baoshi is the Baochu Pagoda. The pagoda has been rebuilt six times through the Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties due to damage sustained in repeated conflicts. Today’s pagoda - a six-sided structure with seven levels, was built in 1933 and follows the architectural style of its’ late Ming Dynasty predecessor. In 1996, restorations replaced rotting components of the pagoda finial (the vertical column that protrudes from the centre of a pagoda’s roof, designed to strengthen the structure against earthquakes).
The Baochu pagoda gazes longingly across West Lake towards Leifeng Pagoda – another great place to enjoy rosy sunset glow of a Hangzhou evening. The two pagodas have inspired such sentimental observations as “The Leifeng Pagoda is an old monk and the Baochu Pagoda is a gorgeous young woman” and “the West Lake mirrors the twin towers”.