Located in the southwestern corner of the Nanbei Lake, the famous Butterfly Island apparently formed by man made at the time of dredging the South Lake in 1988. The island has an area of about 12 acres. From our position at the top of the Yingchaoding Mountains, every detail of the landscape was obviously in view. The whole island is shaped like a butterfly.
The island is in memory of Hudie who was the most famous movie queen from Shanghai in the 1930s, coming to the South Lake to produce a film based on living and working condition of someone engaging in the salt industry. The main building on the island is the Shanhai Pavilion shaped like an octagon, with the height of 18.8 meters. The pavilion is seated on a height to give an extensive view.
At the Shanhai Pavilion further up, one can see in the distance the green landscape and near the foreground green fields with scattered hamlets. To the north is the Zhonghu Pool; on the water is two bridges and one causeway. The branches of the drooping willows were swaying lightly in the breeze. To the west is the Yingchaoding, the island cubes superimposed upon the distant plateau of mountains.
The ancient nunnery and red walls set each other off beautifully. To the east is the Yangshanjiao, the hotels joining closely together like the teeth of a comb. To its south outside of one causeway is a myriad surge of the Qiantang River. Although the pavilion is small, it affords a panoramic view of the singular charm of the hills and pleasant seascape.
On the south side of the Shanhai Pavilion and the southeastern brim of the island is the Shuangfei shop. On the southern and western side of the lake is the long corridor. Leaning on the balcony and looking at the distance, visitors could stand at the traditional-style pavilion from which one can have a distant view of the mountains below, as of standing in the water.
There's the veranda with the total length of over 10 meters. The framed landscape with sparkling water, like a poem and a picture, all the pillars on water, pleasure-boats and winding bridges setting off each other, make visitors understand the beauty of Butterfly Island. Beyond this, there're many furniture including Lianli Pavilion and Butterfly House upon that island.
Another primary characteristic of the island is the cobble. Not hammer-strokes, but singing and dancing of the water make the pebbles into perfection. The wall, earthworks and the trail are made of pebbles that could make mosaics inexhaustible in pattern and color, together with tons of huge rocks were scattered over the island.
It is at a time when the visitor could climb to the island like this that one could really appreciate the rustic charm, coming up with the idea of returning to nature. Butterfly Island is such kind of beach that still remains in almost its original state, the rise and fall of the tides has changed continuously in response to different kinds of weather.