Taihu Lake — Wuyue Culture in Picturesque Landscape

What is Taihu Lake?

How Taihu Lake was formed?

Why it is named Taihu Lake?

What is Wuyue Culture?

What is the most famous folklore of Taihu Lake? 

Important Data of Taihu Lake.

What are the important cultural sites of the Taihu Lake Scenic Area?

Taihu Lake in Jiangsu Province, Photo from Official Site of Lake Tai of Wuxi.

What is Taihu Lake?


Taihu Lake, or Lake Tai, is a huge, ancient Freshwater lake in the east of China, where originated the Wuyue Culture. 


Besides beautiful natural views, legends, folklores, cities and their cultures scattering along the Taihu Lake are attractive. 

Wuyue cultural style bridge on Taihu Lake, Photo from The Official Site of Lake Tai of Wuxi.

How Taihu Lake was formed?


Taihu Lake used to be much bigger in history and has many speculations regarding its formation: meteorite strike, volcano eruption, crustal movement, lagoon or congestion of rivers, and so on. 

Ritual Jade Cong of Liangzhu Culture (about 3300 — BC 2000 BC) that Originate in Taihu Lake Area — Shanghai Museum (Photo by Dongmaiying)

According to an ancient legend, Taihu Lake is the incarnation of a fabulous silver basin in heaven, decorated with 72 emerald beads, which accidentally fell onto earth. 

The silver basin turned into the Taihu Lake when the 72 emerald beads turned into 72 peaks scattering in this area. 

Beautiful Natural View of Taihu Lake, Photo from The Official Site of Lake Tai of Wuxi.

Why it is named Taihu Lake?


Wu Tai, also respected as Taibo, was a prince of a state named Zhou, who realized that his younger brother was more talented and qualified to inherit the throne. 


Hence, Wu Tai left their state, give up the throne, and migrated far away, to show his determination of supporting his brother in reign their state.  


Soon, the son (Ji Chang) and grandson (Ji Fa) of his younger brother flourished the state and established the Zhou Dynasty (1046 BC — 256 BC).

Unearthed Bronze Ritual Water Container (Qiang Pan) with 284 Characters Carved Inside, Recorded History of First Seven Kings of the Zhou Dynasty — Baoji Museum

Wu Tai brought new technology to and worked hard in the new place he migrated. Gradually, he earned more locals' respect and trust, and established a new state named Wu. 


To honor his contribution to this area, people named the lake after his name, as Lake Tai, or Taihu Lake. 

What is Wuyue Culture?


Wuyue Culture is a regional culture of the Taihu Lake area, mainly today's Zhejiang, Jiangsu, and Jiangxi provinces, where Wu Tai established the Wu State.


Later in Spring and Autumn Period (770 BC — 403 BC), this area rises two powerful kingdoms, Wu and Yue. 


Wu State was a prosperous kingdom that Sun Tzu, writer of the Art of War, had served, which was perished by Yue State in 473 BC. 

Sword of Gou Jian the King of Yue that Perished the Wu State in 473 BC — Hubei Museum

After Yue State complied with Qin (221 BC — 207 BC) and Han (202 BC — 220 AD) dynasties, Wu and Yue cultures of the Taihu Lake area became one of the most important regional cultures. 


Today, Wuyue Culture includes local dialects, music, Zhe Cuisine, Jiangnan architectural style, and so on. 

Jiangnan Style Dwellings, Photo from Official Site of Tongli Ancient Town of Taihu Lake.

What is the most famous folklore of Taihu Lake?


When King of Yue State was planning to revenge, a scholar and politician named Fan Li had been assisting the king. 


Meanwhile, he trained a beautiful woman named Xi Shi, one of the Four Beauties in Chinese history, and sent her to the King of Wu State as a honey trap.


After the Wu State was perished by the King of Yue in 473 BC, Fan Li resigned and took Xi Shi away. 


They lived near Taihu Lake in seclusion and frequency boating there. 

Natural View of Taihu Lake, Photo from The Official Site of Lake Tai of Wuxi.

Important Data of Taihu Lake.


  • Taihu Lake is in Jiangsu and Zhejiang Provinces;


  • Taihu Lake is 2445 square kilometers large today, with an average depth of 1.9 meters;


  • Over 50 islands and 72 hills are scattering in and around Taihu Lake;


  • There are over 107 types of fishes in Taihu Lake;


  • About 13 large scenic spots in Taihu Lake Scenic Area. 

Birds on Taihu Lake, Photo from Official Site of Yushan of Changshu City.

What are the cultural sites of the Taihu Lake Scenic Area?


Temple and Tomb of Taibo

Firstly built in the year 154 to commemorate Wu Tai,  and had been rebuilt and renovated several times in history. 

Ancient Stone Tablet in Tomb and Temple of Taibo

Wuxi City

Wuxi is a historic city in Jiangsu Province where prince Wu Tai established his new state in the late Shang Dynasty (1600 BC — 1046 BC).  

Hence, the Temple and Tomb of Taibo locate there. 

Today, Wuxi developed into a big city with over 6 million population, valuable cultural attractions, and beautiful natural views of Taihu Lake. 

Yuantouzhu Scenic Area in Wuxi City, Photo from Official Site of Lake Tai of Wuxi.

Suzhou City

Suzhou is the original place of Wu Culture, an important city of the ancient Wu State.


Today, Suzhou is a beautiful city with over 10 million population and many invaluable relics, including the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage the Classical Gardens of Suzhou.

Humble Administrator Garden in Suzhou, Built in the Early 16th Century, Photo by Moxiu.

Tongli Ancient Town

Tongli is an ancient town of Suzhou City along Taihu Lake.  

It is an excellent example of the small town of Wuyue Culture, with historic buildings surrounded by beautiful rivers.

Historic Buildings in Tongli Ancient Town, Photo from The Official Site of Lake Tai.

Yushan Area in Changshu City

Yushan in Changshu City is a beautiful scenic area with ancient temples, historic relics, Wuyue style buildings, scattering in picturesque mountains and lakes.

Beautiful View of Yushan Area, Photo from Official Site of Changshu City.

Yangxian Area in Yixing City

Yixing is a historic city that is famous for pottery art, mysterious limestone caves, rich plants, and natural beauties. 

Dongpoge in Yangxian Area, Photo from Official Site of Yixing City.

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