The pagoda is a major tourist site, with great views of the lake and the city and readily accessible by roads that support large tourist buses.
Entrance to the pagoda, tourist density alert
Heading up the steps to the pagoda, the views get more and more impressive as the structure dominates the suroundings and grows larger as I approach.
Up the steps to the Leifeng Pagoda
Entering the pagoda, there is a display of the remaining foundation and bricks of the original pagoda (the ones that weren't ground up for medicine).
Remnants of the original pagoda
Today, elevator or stairs (I take the stairs) head up to allow exploration of the levels.
Modern access (not available in original 975 AD building)
At each level, there are displays inside showing the history of the pagoda and the region and balconies outside to admire the views that grow larger and more expansive as I continue up.
Displays and exhibits at each level inside the pagoda
Views from the balconies outside
At the top of the pagoda, in addition great scenes of West Lake and Hangzhou, I get a view of the Jingci Temple across the street. I start down the inside stairs, experiencing the beautiful views both inside and outside at each level and, at the bottom, head across the street.
Jingci Temple across the street
Jingci Temple was built in 954 by King Qian Chu (who also built the Leifeng Temple) for a famous monk, Yongming Yanshou. Built and destroyed several times, the current temple compound was finished in the 1980s. Wandering through the buildings, I view statues of Buddha and other important figures of the time.
The buildings in the compound are beautiful and offer views of the Leifeng Pagoda and of West Lake.
Inside the temple complex
Views of Leifeng Pagoda across the street
I continue my walk around West Lake.