Carry within Itself the Wu and Yue Areas

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Carry within Itself the Wu and Yue Areas

Description: Carry within Itself the Wu and Yue Areas
Text found on stamp: 太湖 . 包孕吴越, 1995 - 12, 500分, CHINA, T, 中国邮政.
Designer: Fan Yang

Taihu Lake, known as Zhenze in ancient times, extends across Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces . As the third largest fresh water lake in China formed from a gulf dammed with the silt from the lower reaches of the Yangtze and Qiantang rivers, Taihu Lake sits in the center of the river network in areas south of the lower reaches of the Yangtze, facilitating irrigation and shipping . The areas around the lake abound with rice, wheat, mulberry and tea, as well as other local specialties such as whitebait, hence the name of "a land of plenty". The beautiful scenery of Taihu Lake is well known both at home and abroad. Scattered in the lake are dozens of isles which, along with the surrounding mountain peaks and peninsulas, form the scenery of 72 peaks. Famous scenic spots around the lake include hills and waters of Wuxi, gardens of Suzhou, cave paradise of Yixing and the historical sites of the Kingdom of Wu (222-280).

The Dongting West Mountain in Wuxian County, Jiangsu Province, is the largest island mountain in Taihu Lake, with the beautiful main peak more than 300 meters above sea level. Opposite it is the Dongting East Mountain where flowers bloom all the year round and is known as a "mountain of flowers and fruits".

Yuantouzhu (like a turtle's head into the lake) in the like-side Wuxi City of Jiangsu Province is one of the best places to enjoy the beauty of Taihu Lake. The gardens there are built against the hills and by the water, constituting a peculiar style. "Yuan Zhu Chun Tao" (spring waves around Yuantouzhu) is one of those landscapes. In the natural stone wall of Yuantouzhu beside the lake, there is a stone inscription read as "Breeding rich lands", which is believe as the key comment of Taihu Lake.

Lihu Lake is the inner lake of Taihu Lake. According to legend, it is named after Fan Li, a senior official of Yue, a state in the later Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 B.C.), who resigned after success and carried Xi Shi, a famed beauty at that time, to go boating on Taihu Lake. Liyuan Garden by the side of the lake is one of the best known gardens in Jiangnan (the areas south of the lower reaches of the Yangtze River).

Jichang garden is a classic one with unique style in the Taihu Lake scenic spots. A key cultural relic under state protection, it is featured with water corridors in the east and rockeries and plants in the west. Xiequ Garden (Garden of Harmonious Interest) in the Summer Palace of Beijing is built after the architectural style of it.

Plum Garden, also in Wuxi City, is known for the thousands of plum that, when in full bloom in early spring, gladdens the heart and refreshes the mind of visitors. The top of Nianqu Tower gives visitors a view of the beautiful scenery of Taihu Lake in the distance.

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