Suzhou lies near the east bank
of Taihu Lake, where the Grand Cannel joins Yangtze River. The city
has over 20 lakes in different sizes. There are a lot narrow waterways
connecting each toher thus it got its name” Venice of China.”
Suzhou served the capital of Wu in the Spring and Autumn Period
2,500 years ago. Suzhou is famous for its picturesque scenery and
exquisite private gardens. There were some old sayings about Suzhou:
The heaven has paradise; the world has Suzhou and Hangzhou.
Most gardens in Suzhou were built in the Ming and Qing Dynasty.
The gardens once numbered 200. The tranquil environment, refined
layout, exquisite construction skills, and elegant structural style
make Suzhou gardens renowned all over the world. The Humble Administration
Garden, the Lingering Garden, Lion Grove and Pavilion of Surging
Weaves are the 4 most famous gardens.
The Pavilion of Surging Waves is one very old garden which
was built by a Song Dynasty scholar Named Su Zimei (1008-1048AD).
He built a pavilion near the water and named the garden Pavilion
of Surging Weaves.
Lion Grove was built in 1350 and believed to be
designed by the famous painter Niyunlin in the Yuan Dynasty. There
were beautiful rocks in the garden which were shaped like lions.
The Humble Administration Garden was built in 1522
in the Ming Dynasty. The owner of the garden was a high ranking
official in the Ming Dynasty. He was demoted because of the confliction
with his colleague in the court. Due to his failure in the officialdom
he gave his garden the name of Humble Administration Garden. Much
of the Garden is covered by water surface. The buildings in the
garden either face water or are surrounded by water.
Lingering Garden built in the Qing Dynasty, is
divided into several sections, each with buildings, rockeries, ponds,
trees, flowers and grass. The different shaped doors and windows
offer various views of the beautiful scenery beyond.
Pavillion of Surging Waves Garden
Lion Grove Garden
Humble Administration Garden
Besides the beautiful gardens, the Tiger
Hill in Suzhou is also famous. It is in the suburb of the
city. On that hill buried King Wu. According to a legendary story,
one white tiger appeared beside the King’s tomb days after he was
buried. There is a seven storied pagoda standing on the hill which
has around 1,000 year’s history. Now the pagoda leans an angle of
15 degrees. It becomes a symbol of Suzhou.
Tiger Hill Tower
Broken Beam Hall
Silk Museum in Suzhou
Besides the beautiful scenery in Suzhou, silk, embroidery and brocade
in Suzhou are also world famous. It is pleasant to visit the Suzhou
Silk Museum. Suzhou was the silk capital of China. During the Tang
(618-907) and Song (960-1279) Dynasties, it was the silk producing
center; in the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties most
of the high quality silk produced for the royal families was made
by Suzhou silk weavers. The Suzhou Silk Museum is divided into several
parts: the Introductory Hall, the Ancient Exhibit Hall, the Silkworm-Rearing
Room, the Silk Weaving Workshop, and the Exhibition Halls. There
are also retail stores for purchasing silk. It is worth visiting
the Silk Museum in Suzhou. The tour in Suzhou Silk Museum will offer
you a good opportunity to learn the history of Chinese silk and
the sericulture of China. Of course you can purchase high quality
silk products there.
Generally speaking, one day tour in Suzhou is almost enough.