Recognized as one of the “Ten Scenes of the West Lake,” the “Viewing Fish at Flower Harbor” refers to the practice of watching thousands of red carp swim in unison in a spot known as Red Carp Pond. Located at the center of this 50 acre park, the red cloud of fish creates a unique contrast to the serene and calming atmosphere which draws visitors to Hangzhou’s Flower Harbor in droves.
Initially constructed as the private garden of a Song Dynasty court attendant, the year-round beauty of Flower Harbor inspired poets and painters to incorporate the verdant surroundings into their various artistic works. Gaining gradual notoriety for its beauty the park eventually expanded into the manicured ground which currently hosts thousands of tourists and local residents annually. Although the carp filled pond is an undoubted draw for most park visitors, it’s the myriad species of flowers which bloom from spring through summer which give the park its overall name.
When visiting Red Carp Pond one of the favorite past times for visitors is strolling along the walkway which circles the pond and tossing small chunks of food into the fish-filled waters. Though the aquatic scrum which inevitably occurs is understandably exciting, feeding the fish at Red Carp Pond is also reputed to be a chance for visitors to pray for good luck in the same way that the emperors of the past once at the same spot.