Famous Suzhou Gardens
Experience the pristine beauty and divine tranquility of Suzhou’s beautifully manicured classical gardens — nine of which have been designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites and two that are considered China’s most famous (Lingering Garden and Humble Administrator’s Garden). Thanks to impeccable preservation, this graceful place has seemingly stood still for thousands of years.
Classical Chinese garden design aims to create a flawless miniature landscape and emphasize the profound harmony between man and nature — and Suzhou’s gardens are regarded as masterpieces of the genre. Though these elaborate, private gardens owned by the rich and royal date back to the sixth century B.C., it wasn’t until the Ming (1368–1644) and Qing (1644–1911) dynasties that Suzhou’s garden art reached its zenith.
Today, guests are welcome to visit the gardens and wander the paths, enjoying fragrant flora, rippling ponds and quiet pavilions along the way. Evoke the countryside and commune with nature, just like the people of Suzhou did so long ago. You, too, will discover why Suzhou’s classical gardens give merit to the moniker, “Heaven on Earth.”
Explore the Beauty of Suzhou Gardens
Humble Administrator's Garden
Humble Administrator’s Garden is Suzhou’s largest garden and considered the archetype of classical garden design.
Lingering Garden is famous for its striking architecture and corridor adorned in ancient inlaid calligraphy.
Master of Nets Garden
Suzhou’s smallest garden, Master of the Nets, boasts an intricate design and creates the illusion of a much larger space.
Lion Grove Garden
Lion Grove Garden’s whimsical rock formations and imposing manmade mountains are the garden’s biggest draws.
Mountain Villa with Embracing Beauty captivates its audience with its soaring mountains and cliffs, deep caverns, stone houses and more.
Couple’s Retreat Garden
Fall in love with the Couple’s Retreat Garden, a romantic oasis sandwiched between three restful canals and a bevy of dramatic pavilions and verdant landscaping.
A flawless union of architecture and nature, Canglang Pavilion is the oldest garden in Suzhou and home to a mesmerizing forest of weeping willows, viridian bamboo and other ancient trees.
The Garden of Cultivation
The Garden of Cultivation, with its mist-cloaked hills, deep springs and placid pools, is simpler than the others — yet its beauty is commanding.
Retreat and Reflection Garden
Located in the picturesque water town of Tongli, the Retreat and Reflection Garden is notorious for its pavilions that seemingly float atop the pond’s peaceful surface.
One of the best ways to tour the "Venice of the East" is from a front row seat on a hand-steered canal boat. Afterwards, stop into 130-year-old Pin Von Teahouse for exotic teas served in private booths on the second floor. It overlooks Pingjiang Lu, an 800-year-old lively pedestrian street, one of China's "National Historic and Cultural Streets." next tip>