With five sections divided by three causeways, West Lake is a freshwater lake in Hangzhou that contains a number of man-made islands holding many temples, pagodas, and gardens. Its natural beauty and historic relics have inspired poets and painters throughout Chinese history. A number of Chinese, Japanese and Korean garden designers have also drawn ideas from its layout. In 2011, it was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site as a reflection of "an idealized fusion between humans and nature".

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