Yangzhou's most well-known scenic venue is the Slender West Lake (Shòuxī Hú, 瘦西湖), a narrow stretch of water in the northwestern portion of the city named after famous West Lake in Hangzhou.
Once known as the Baozhang Canal, the lake formed gradually during the Sui and Tang Dynasties from part of the old city moat just outside the ancient city walls.
The literati of Yangzhou gathered on pleasure boats and visited spots of note around the lake. It was also a favorite retreat of the Qing Emperor Qianlong and legend has it that the emperor was so gratified by his luck in fishing at the lake, he ordered additional stipends for the town.
The 4.3 km (2.7 mi) long lake is surrounded by weeping willows, traditional Chinese gardens and sights like the Five Pavilion Bridge (Wǔtíng Qiáo, 五亭桥) and White Pagoda (Bái Tǎ, 白塔), originally built overnight from salt in preparation for a visit by Qianlong.
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