BIT World Travel Service
Escorted Tour - Suzhou Overview

The city of Suzhou, situated on the shores of Lake Taihu in Jiangsu Province near the Yangtze River, is and has long been one of the key cities of the rich Yangtze River Delta. Due to its favorable location and many sites of interest, Suzhou is one of the most popular tourist destinations in all of China.

With more than 489 sites of cultural significance that benefit from protection by either under the national, provincial government, or city government, Suzhou ranks third in the nation in terms of the sheer number of destinations of cultural importance, being surpassed only by the cities of Xi'an and Beijing, the capital of China.

The city of Suzhou is known above all for its garden culture. A prosperous city even as it was being founded, Suzhou gave rise to enormous personal wealth that was translated into elaborate private gardens, many of whose histories can be traced back to the origins of the city and are among some of China's best and most exquisite. The height of Suzhou garden art was during the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) Dynasties.

Renowned Suzhou Tourist Attractions
Lingering Garden

Majestically beautiful Lingering Garden is one of the 4 renowned gardens in the immediate vicinity of Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, and in fact, one of the most famous gardens in all of China. In 1997, Suzhou's Lingering Garden, together with other classical gardens of Suzhou, was officially registered as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site.

The garden was originally constructed under the name of East Garden as a private garden (all gardens were "private" in feudal China, of course, either being the domain of an emperor, a member of the noble family, a high-ranking government official, or a wealthy merchant) in 1593, the 21st year of the reign of Emperor Wanli (1572-1620) of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). East Garden fell into a state of disrepair but was eventually rebuilt as the "Cold Green Village" during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). The renovated garden thereafter came to be known after its new owner, Liu Shu, and therefore it was referred to as Liu Yuan, or "Liu's Garden."

Covering an area of 23,310 square meters, Lingering Garden is renowned for the measured, rhythmically-spaced manner in which its various elements are laid out in a labyrinth fashion, delighting the mind as well as the eye, and in harmony with the partly natural and partly man-made topology, all of which contributes to the serene ambiance that has made this garden world famous.

Humble Administrator Garden

The Humble Administrator's Garden, located on Dongbei Street in the city of Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, is a traditional landscape garden in the style of the south Yangtze River region. It features streams, ponds, bridges, and small, man-made islands that are covered in bamboo plants. The main pond comprises roughly 60% of the entire garden, such that it can be seen from any particular point on the grounds. As beautiful as it is, it is no wonder that the garden's creator wished for it to play a prominent role in his creation.

There are various stories explaining the rationale for the special name, the Humble Administrator’s Garden, 2 of which are as follows. The first goes that the dismissed official, Wang Xianchen, wished to signal his regret over having merited being let go, and wished to humbly express his intent to strive to at least be worthy of tending a garden. The second legend says that he did not feel shame in the least over the actions that had caused him to be dismissed from government. Rather, in giving the garden the name he chose, he was expressing a touch of irony and deep sarcasm at the same time since the villa-and-garden complex display all the hallmarks of a deliberate and ostentatious expression of opulence.

Garden of Master of the Nets

Wangshiyuan, or Garden of the Master of Nets, Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, is a garden like no other. Originally built as a humble fisher's garden, it apparently possessed a quality even then which commanded respect, and which inspired its future private owners to not only protect it, but to continue to hone it so as to transform what began as a diamond-in-the-rough into the polished gem that it eventually became, and which is preserved in that remarkable state today, thanks to the foresight of the government of the PRC. Though the Garden of the Master of Nets may have begun as the garden of a humble fisher, it evolved into an unusually harmonious scholar garden whose artistic charm is unique among Chinese scholar gardens.

Garden of the Master of Nets is said to be the smallest of Suzhou's private residential gardens (by comparison, it is only one sixth the size of the Humble Administrator's Garden), yet it is considered the most exquisite in design of them all, thanks in no small part to its qualities of elusiveness that delight the senses as well as the mind. Some consider it the most balanced of Suzhou's private residential gardens for the way it makes use of water, rocks, plants and buildings, yet this "balance" is achieved in a most unbalanced, or asymmetrical, manner, a notion which, to the Western mind, may seem contradictory, but which, to a person steeped in the culture of Taoism, Confucianism and Buddhism, seems perfectly natural and non-contradictory.

Tongli Ancient Town

Tongli's major attractions are a garden, two halls, and ternate bridges. Tuishi Garden, Chen Qubin's former house in Shanyuan Street, was listed in the Focus Cultural Relic Unit under State Protection. It is a four-A national scenic spot that includes Haoge Hall, Baichi Tower, and Blue Emerald and Green Jade Hall, among other structures.

The ternate bridges, Taipeng Bridge, Jili Bridge, and Changqing Bridge, are a treasure of bridges built during the Ming Dynasty and the Qing Dynasty. The natives of Tongli still follow the convention of "walking across ternate bridges." This convention has been handed down over 1,000 years and means, "going over these three bridge floors sequentially on foot." The people of Tongli regard ternate bridges as a symbol of good luck and happiness, and believe they dispel calamity and difficulties. It is said that if you go over Taipeng Bridge, you will be healthy throughout the year; if you go over Jili Bridge, your business will boom; and if you go over Changqing Bridge, you will be young forever and have a long life.

Gengle Hall was built during the Ming Dynasty and has survived the rise and fall of several dynasties. One crosses three gates to reach the deepest courtyard with its beautiful and pleasant scenery, 41 rooms, and unique buildings such as Lotus Pond, Mandarin Duck Hall, Huanxiu Hall, and Sweet-Scented Osmanthus Hall. Gengle Hall has been classified as one of the eight most famous attractions of Tongli.

Chongben Hall, to the north of the three bridges, connects with them and faces Jiayin Hall. Its key attraction is the various carvings, such as found at the rear of Chongben Hall, which embodies 58 quintessential wood carvings, all reflecting widespread folk stories from the Yangzi River Delta. Luoxing Island, a chinampa in Tongli Lake, is approximately 40 square kilometers in area and is famous for its scenery filled with misty rain.

Recommended Tours:

One Day Suzhou Garden Highlights Tour
Destination:The Administration Garden - Ancient Grand Canal- Lingering Garden
You'll visit some of the most famous Suzhou gardens including the Lion Grove Garden,The Ouyuan Garden,Tiger Hill and The Fengqiao Bridge (Hanshan Temple).

One Day Suzhou Tongli Ancient Town Memory Tour
You'll visit the famous Tongli Ancient Town which has a history of more than one thousand years and boating on the small rivers around the town to enjoy the beautiful and peaceful ancient town.

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