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Xiaoyingzhou

 

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Xiaoyingzhou (小瀛洲, or the Little Yingzhou) is the highlight of Santan Yinyue, or Three Pools Mirroring the Moon, one of the ten classic scenes of the West Lake. Actually, it is a park in the heart of the lake. It is a must-see tourist site during the cruising trip on the West Lake.

First, why is it named Yingzhou? This is the origin of this site, to express its cultural core as a retreat paradise. Yingzhou is a far holy mountain on the sea where the deities live on. This islet named Yingzhou, or small-sized Yingzhou is to mean that this is a place for deities and immortalities, and also an ideal place afar from the earthly world - Purity, Immortalization and Romance.

Geographically speaking, it is in the oceanic region on the east side of Shandong province. In accordance with the records of the ancient people, it is one of three sacred mountains on the sea, and the other two are Penglai Mountain and Fangzhang Mountain. They are always the mirages seen by the people, and look like a place on the paradise, and this is perhaps the reason that why they are considered as the holy mountains. They are the yearning holy destination of the emperors since Qin Dynasty, which was the first empire unifying China. According to the record of Fengshanshu Chapter in The Records of the Grand Historian that the kings of Yan and Qi states in the warring states period ordered the people to go to the sea to search for the holy mountains named Penglai, Fangzhang and Yingzhou, which were said to be located in Bohai Sea Area, and not so far from the human world. But there was the big gale, and the ship could not arrive, and some of the fortunate guys saw the deities and immortal medicines over there. The most famous god searcher was Emperor Wudi in West Han Dynasty, who spent lots of money and time staying on the sea to find the immortal mountains.

xiaoyingzhou Xiangqiao Statues
The classical garden building complex on Xiaoyingzhou The stele of Chong'er to show the boundless beauty


Second, what is the Fengyue? There is a big stele on the islet. Two eye-catching Chinese characters – “Chong Er”(虫二, Literally translated Insect Two) . It was said that this was written by Emperor Qianlong when he enjoyed the marvelous landscape of the West Lake. Since then, many people were puzzled by two characters. What do they mean? Actually, this is a quite interesting paronomasia. Emperor Qianlong to express his satisfaction, especially wrote two characters. Two characters originally should be Feng Yue (风月, literally translated the wind and the moon), but for showing his admiration of the boundless beauty of the West Lake, he intentionally left out the outer part of the two characters, and then there is Chong Er. In a word, Chong Er means the boundless beauty of Feng Yue(风雨无边).





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Editor: Julius from Mildchina
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