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Humble Administrator's Garden & Lion Grove Garden

Humble Administrator’s Garden, Suzhou

Humble Administrator's Garden

The Humble Administrator's Garden covers 51,950 square meters (about 13 acres). It can be divided into four parts: the east, the middle, the west, and the inhabited part. The inhabited part contains agroup of Suzhou folk houses that are now the garden art museum. The main attractions of the east part are hills, grasslands, pine trees, and water. The middle part is the soul of the entire Humble Administrator's Garden. Water is the main element. Buildings are perfectly placed along the water, creating a great harmony between the natural scenery and the man-made elements. The main structure in the west part of the Humble Administrator's Garden is the Mandarin Duck Hall. The pond by the hall is in tri-square shape. With its magnificent decorations, the Mandarin Duck Hall will give you a different and unforgettable memory.

Suzhou Gardens, Humble Administrator’s Garden

The Bonsai Garden and the Refined Stone House are two bright pearls in the Humble Administrator's Garden. Inside the bamboo fence in the west part of the garden there are almost ten-thousand bonsais which are considered the treasures of this garden. You can enjoy more than 50 kinds of beautiful bonsais. The Refined Stone House in the middle part of the garden is actually a quiet and elegant yard surrounded by water and corridors. What makes this yard amazing is that many kinds of rare stones are displayed here, which are hardly ever seen in other places. In recent years the Rhododendron Festival and the Lotus Festival are held in the Humble Administrator's Garden to enhance the beauty and elegance of garden. These types of festivals are greatly enjoyed by visitors.

Admission Fee: CNY 70 (Mar.1 to May 31 and Sep. 1 to Nov. 30)
CNY 50 (June 1 to Aug. 31 and Dec. 1 to Apr. 30)
Opening Hours: 08:15 to 16:15
Bus Route: 2, 3, Tourism Bus No. 1, 2 & 5

Lion Grove Garden

Located in the northeast part of Suzhou city, Lion Grove Garden, with a history of 650 years, is one of the four most famous gardens in Suzhou (the others are: Canglang Pavilion, Garden for Lingering In and Humble Administrator's Garden).

Lion Grove was first built in 1342 during the Yuan dynasty by Monk Tianru and other disciples, as a memorial to their master, Monk Zhongfeng. Because there was a forest of bamboo, grotesque rocks resembling lions in the garden, and indirect reference to a Buddhist story of the lion, the garden was named as Lion Grove. Soon after its birth, the garden became a popular place for scholars at Suzhou to write poems and paint pictures. After the death of Monk Tianru, the garden declined and changed hands a number of times. In 1918 it was purchased and repaired by Pei, an industrialist. After the founding of the P.R.China, the garden was donated to the state.

With an area of 10,000 aquare meters (2.5 acres), Lion Grove boasts 22 buildings of varied types, 25 tablets, 71 steles inscribed with the handwritings of famous calligrapher, 23 brick carvings as well as 5 carved wooden screens.

Lion Grove Garden has reputed as the 'Kingdom of Rockery' for a long time. Covering nearly half of the total area of the garden, these rockworks, made from Taihu limestone (a kind of limestone produced in Lake Taihu), were ingeniously piled up in layers to form peaks, crags, valleys and caverns. There're 9 mountain paths, 21 caves, and innumerable grotesque rocks, many of them resembling lions with different and striking poses, such as dancing lions, roaring lions, a couple of fighting lions, and lions playing with a ball.

Noted for its labyrinthine mountains with winding pathways and caverns, old pines and cypress trees, awesome peaks and jogged rocks of grotesque shapes resembling dancing lions with striking and unusual poses, it possesses with pride the true delights of mountain and forest scenery in limited space with a flavor of Zen Buddhism.

It was said that Emperor Qianlong had visited here for six times and wrote an inscription 'Zhenqu' (True Delight) to describe the beauty of the garden, which is now hung on the True Delight Pavilion.

Admission Fee: CNY 30 (Mar.1 to May 31 and Sep. 1 to Nov. 30)
CNY 20 (June 1 to Aug. 31 and Dec. 1 to Apr. 30)
Bus Route: 2, 3, 4, 40, 701
Tourism Bus No.1, 2 & 5