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Free Things to Do in Suzhou

Last updated by meimeili at 2014/3/25; Destinations: Suzhou

As an ancient capital city, Suzhou is famous all over the world for its natural mountain and water scenery, classical gardens and water towns, and it’s awarded the heaven on the earth by the later generation.

The saying goes that “the gardens in the south of the Yangtze River are the best under Heaven, among which Suzhou gardens are the best” , therefore, its’ the top priority to visit Suzhou gardens such as the Lingering Garden and Humble Administrator’s Garden. In addition, Suzhou Museum and Suzhou Amusement Land are also good choice for your Suzhou travel.

1. Suzhou Lingering Garden

The Lingering Garden is among the Four Famous Gardens in Suzhou along with the Pavilion of the Surging Waves, the Lion Cave Grove and the Humble Administrator’s Garden, each of which is the essece of the Chinese classsical garden art. Located outside Changmen of Suzhou with Bihan Mountainous House as the main body, the Lingering Garden is composed of the east, west, central and north parts.

The central part is noted for water scenery, boasting the essence of the garden. The east part is celebrated for is corridor-style architectures, highlighted by Guanyun Platform, Returning to My Study Venue. The north part offers you a rustic view, highlighted by a bonsai garden. As the highest point in the garden, the west part is famous for its grotesque rockeries.

Location: No. 388, Liuyuan Road, Jinchang District, Suzhou
Getting there: bus 161, 311, 318, 34, 36, 406, 44, 50, 522, 64, 70, 7, 800, 85, 921, 933 and (游) 1
Opening hours: 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

2. Suzhou Humble Administrator’s Garden

Covering an area of 52,000 square meters, Suzhou Humble Administrator’s Garden is praised the Model of Gardens in the World for its unique layout, 1/3 of which is dominated by water, and it is equally famous as Suzhou Lingering Garden, Chengde Mountain Resort and Beijing Summer Palace in China and listed on the world heritage sites.

Serving as the former residence of Tang-era Lu Guimeng and owned by Ming-era Wang Xiancheng as a private garden, the Humble Administrator’s Garden fully represents the highest level of Ming-era gardening art. The Humble Administrator’s Garden is composed of the central, east and west sections as well as its former owners’residence.

Lined with verdant trees and centered with a lotus pond, the 12,333- square-m Central Sections boasts the essence of the garden, where the towers and pavilions are distributed along the pond, and some of them are just above water, preserving a simple and vigorous style of the Ming-era gardens.

In the south of the pond lies Distant Fragrance Hall, the main building of the central section, watching “Scented-Snow & Blue Cloud Pavilion” in the west and “Snow-Waiting Pavilion” in the east respectively across the crystal-clear pond. In the west of the Distant Fragrance Hall stand the Leaning Jade Pavilion and the boat-shaped Fragrant Isle, forming a tripartite confrontation to “Pavilion in the Lotus Breezes” in the north. A small bridge linking the Leaning Jade Pavilion is in the south of the “Pavilion in the Lotus Breezes”, which leads to the Small Flying Rainbow Bridge, the only gallery bridge in the garden.

The west section is compactly arranged with 8,333 square meters, whose main architectures are the “36-Mandarin-Duck Hall” and “Sitting with Whom Pavilion”, and the former was well-decorated and served as a feasting venue in the past. Two fan-shaped windows are opened on the wall of “Sitting with Whom Pavilion”, one of which faces “the Reflection Tower”, and the other is opposite to the “36-Mandarin-Duck Hall”.In addition, the “Careful Listening Pavilion” and corridors are available in the west section as well.

Initially known as “Returning to Nature”, the East Section is lined with pines trees, lawns, rockeries and bamboos as well as towers and pavilions, where the main buildings include Orchid Snow Hall, Lotus Pavilion, Heaven Spring Pavilion and Sky-Touching Peak, and a souvenir store is also available in this section.

Location: 178, Dongbei Street, Pingjiang District, Suzhou
Gettting there: Bus (游) 1, (游) 2, (游) 5, 50, 55, 178, 202, 309, 518, 529, 811 and 923
Opening hours: 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

3. Suzhou Museum

As a local historical and art museum, Suzhou Museum was designed by Bei lvming, and it’s tugged between the Chinese traditional courtyards. Suzhou Museum has one basic exhibition -Suzhou History Exhibition and four permanent exhibitions, Precious Remains of Wu Region, Cultured Atmosphere in Wu Area, National Pagoda of Wu State and Calligraphy and Painting of Wu School.

Suzhou History Exhibition introduces the development of Suzhou from the Spring and Autumn Period (770 B.C.-476 B.C.) to the Qing Dynasty (1616 -1911), which highlights the foundation of the State of Wu by He Lei during the Spring and Autumn Period (770 B.C.-476 B.C.). A number of pre-historic potteries and jade wares are exhibited in the Precious Remains of Wu Region. The Buudhist cultural relics from Yunyan Temple and Ruiguang Temple are exhibited in the National Pagoda of Wu State.

In addition, a number of colorful temporary exhibitions are regular held in Suzhou Museum, highlighted by No. 1 Scholars’ Fan Exhibiton, Qing-ra Silk Exhibition, Ancinet Arts and Crafts Exhibition, Porcelain Exhibition and Suzhou Kun Opera History Exhibtion.

Location:204, Dongbei Street, Pingjiang District Suzhou
Getting there: Bus (游) 1, (游) 2, (游) 5, 50, 55, 178, 202, 309, 518, 529, 811 and 923
Opening hours: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. except Monday

4. Suzhou Amusement Land

With the Lion Mountain as background, Suzhou Amusement Land combines the oriental element with the occidental element perfectely as one, which is composed of the Water World and Happy World, and it has  series of adventurous recreatinal facilities such as the Auspended Roller Coaster, High-Altitude catapult, Hawaii Waves and Tornado .

In addition, Suzhou Amusement Land is also dotted with rich human landscapes, including Su Di Square, Lion Spring Garden, Western Towns, Caribbean Storm, Hundred Lion Square, 4 -D Cinema, Venetian Town, Scottland Villa, Heavenly Lion Lake, the Future World, Hawaii Wrold and the Children’s World, making it the favourite of children,

Location: At the foot of the Lion Mountain, 87, Jinshan Road, Suzhou
Getting there: bus 302, 313, 324, 333, 42, 51, 300, 303, 304, 38, 351, 68, 69, 89, 3 and 30
Opening hours: from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. from Monday to Friday;  from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.