This idyllic retreat has for centuries been a magnet to the rich and famous. Dotted with temples and pagodas, the lake glistens against a curl of green hills. Amidst the island's intricately designed gardens, ponds and pavilions, find the famed “Three Towers Mirroring the Moon”. Erected some 700 years ago, the towers are actually three small pagoda-like structures placed in the water at a slight distance from the Solitary Island while the beautiful Bai Di causeway links with terra firma. First landscaped during the Southern Song dynasty (1127-1279), Quyuan Garden on the western shore was enlarged into a 28 hectare park in 1978. Within it are over 200 species of lotus: A view of these unusual flowers blooming (July to September) against the serene background of the West Lake may be one of the most stunning floral spectacles you will ever behold.