Did you know that nine of Suzhou, China’s 69 classical gardens are designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites?
Suzhou’s gardens are recognized as the most refined forms of garden art. While stepping through their gates, you’ll experience a type of tranquility that can’t be found elsewhere.
Out of all of Suzhou’s gardens, here are five that you absolutely must see:
1. Humble Administrator’s Garden
The Humble Administrator’s Garden (above) is Suzhou’s largest and most renowned. This UNESCO World Heritage site covers 52,000 square meters and is one of China’s four most famous gardens.
A representative work of the Ming Dynasty building style, it is celebrated for its delightful layout of ponds, rockeries, bamboo groves, pavilions and corridors.
2. Lingering Garden
Like the Humble Administrator’s Garden, the Lingering Garden is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of China’s four famous gardens.
Acclaimed for its striking architecture, the Lingering Garden spans 23,000 square meters wide.
Travel tip: Though beautiful at all times of the year, the Lingering Garden is especially magnificent in the fall when the leaves change.
3. Master of the Nets Garden
The most delicate garden in Suzhou, the Master of the Nets Garden features an elegant array of pavilions, rocks, trees and water at every turn.
The buildings in this garden portray refinery and elegance. Though one of the smallest in Suzhou, the Master of the Nets Garden is also one of the city’s most well preserved.
4. Lion Grove Garden
Built during the Yuan Dynasty in 1342, the Lion Grove Garden is known for its stunning rock formations, which gives it a unique appearance.
This UNESCO World Heritage Site is exciting to explore with its many levels, caves and peaks. Travel through this maze and you’ll find a 2-story pavilion, lion-like silhouettes, traditional buildings, and a beautiful pond garden.
5. Canglang Pavilion
The Canglang Pavilion is the oldest classical garden in Suzhou. Built in 1044, this garden generally has less tourist traffic, making it a bit more peaceful than the others.
Situated by the side of a lake to its north and a miniature mountain to its south, the Canglang Pavilion is different than Suzhou’s other gardens that are typically surrounded by a high wall.