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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Top 4 Classic Gardens in Suzhou – ancient wonders
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Top 4 Classic Gardens in Suzhou – ancient wonders

Dating back to the Ming and Qing dynasties, Suzhou's gardens are stunning creations. There are over 200 gardens all across the city and here are the top four.

1

Humble Administrator's Garden

A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Humble Administrator's Garden is actually Suzhou's largest garden. As most Suzhou accommodation provides easy access to the garden, you can make time to explore its beauty at leisure. The 13 acres of land contains three main parts. The central part of the garden is called the 'elite' section but the eastern and western parts are just as beautiful. Wang Xiancheng, a retired official and poet designed and created the garden over 16 long years, perfecting each section. The eastern garden is made up of few buildings, a lawn flanked by crape myrtle trees and a pond. The central garden depicts sceneries from fairy islands of the east sea. The sceneries surround the surging wave pond. The western garden is mainly a water garden with miniature hills and ponds that have been arranged with care. The garden pays tribute to the Ming dynasty's garden landscaping expertise. Linger near the ancient trees and watch the serene waterways to travel back in time to a period when gardening was a way of artistic expression.

2

Lingering Garden

One of the best preserved ancient gardens in Suzhou, the Lingering Garden is a classical masterpiece which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1997. The garden is located just about 25 minutes away from accommodation options such as the Citadines Xinghai Suzhou. The garden was built in the period of the Ming Dynasty but during the Qing Dynasty, it achieved its present classical design. There are significantly more buildings at the Lingering garden when compared to other gardens in Suzhou. The architectural features are striking and corridors, the large artificial hill and water features enhance the classical appeal. The artificial hill is in the western part of the garden while pastoral scenery dominates the northern section. The buildings are mainly concentrated in the eastern part while the centre is scattered with water features and hills.

3

Master of the Nets Garden

Yet another UNESCO World Heritage site, the Master of Nets Garden is a fine example of contrast, sequence, depth and foil. The eastern part of the garden contains the residential quarters and the garden elements belong in the western part. The western garden is made up of buildings surrounding a 334 square meter Rosy Cloud Pool. The designers have used plants and rocks to create sceneries that embody several seasons. There is a cypress tree that dates back to the Ming Dynasty and centuries-old pine trees in the garden. Master of the Nets was built during the period of the Southern Song Dynasty. Visitors can see the garden in the evenings from March to November.

4

Lion Grove Garden

The Lion Grove garden was built during the period of the Yuan Dynasty. Intricate rock formations dominate the landscape. Rockeries built in the shape of a lion gives it the name Lion Grove. The garden contains a housing complex, rockery and a central pond. The Lion Grove is, in essence, a rock garden with the grotto of Taihu rocks taking pride of place.