The best island is Fairy Islet, which is a bit funky with its lakes within the island within the lake. There’s the Nine-Turn Bridge (a standard for any garden) and of course the infamous Three Pools Mirroring the Moon. They are a symbol of the city (you’ve seen them on the taxis) but are only properly viewed during the Moon Festival. You can only get to the islands by boat, and there are lots of spots to hop on all around the lake.
But why are we telling you about this now in the heat of the summer? Because, only in the summer can you get in on the nighttime cruises, and since it’s hot, this is the best time to be on the lake. There are two main routes, neither of which drops you onto the islands, but you do get to stop by and take a gander at Three Pools. But to be honest, summertime, with all of the tourists piled onto them, isn’t the best time to appreciate the islands. Have some dinner at a spot around the lake and then get onboard and take in the spectacular night view from our West Lake.
Nighttime Cruises: #2 Park, #5 Park, Children’s Palace and Broken Bridge 二公园，五公园，六公园和断桥
Adults: Big Boat-25RMB, Islands-20RMB.
Children: Big Boat-12.5RMB, Islands-10RMB.
Small Boat (4 people max.): 80RMB/hour.
Self-drive boats: 40RMB/hr for a 4-seater; 50RMB/hr for a 6-seater.