Legends of Hangzhou

HANGZHOU One of China’s most celebrated holiday destinations, that is of late positioning itself as an incentive travel option (click here), offers the Zhang Yimou-conceived outdoor performance, Impression West Lake as a unique pre- or post-dinner activity.

Impression West Lake is the third of a series of light-and-sound productions by the acclaimed director of art house films such as Ju Dou and Raise the Red Lantern, the others being Impression San Jie and Impression Lijiang. Equally well-known collaborators are award-winning Japanese New Age composer Kitaro, who wrote the musical score and Chinese singer Zhang Liyanlin rendering the theme song.

The action takes place entirely on the lake itself – a stage was constructed below the surface – and retells in 60 minutes several Hangzhou legends that have been creatively fused into one dazzling high-tech presentation for contemporary enjoyment. MIX caught the show during a recent quick trip to Hangzhou, and although the pacing could have been tightened up a bit, it proves worthwhile entertainment and provides an unusual perspective of the area’s tapestried past.


During the period between April and October when the weather ranges from pleasant to extremely hot to pleasant again, there are two shows, the first at 7.45pm and the second at 9.15pm. 

In the months of March, November and December, when the temperature drops, there is usually only one show at 7.15pm, but depending on weather conditions, a second show could run – it’s best to check on the day itself.

Yue Lake Theatre, which offers a variety of seating from the Normal section (RMB268/US$42) – Mix sat in the very last row which was high up on the stands and had no trouble enjoying the performance – to the VIP Balcony Room good for up to 15 people (RMB1,563/US$247).


For a group of 10 persons and above, a group rate of RMB200 (US$32) per person is available. 

82 Beishan Road, opposite the Yuefei Temple and near to Shangri-La Hotel



Margie T Logarta




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