The Classical Gardens of Suzhou

The Classical Gardens of Suzhou: Hours, Address, The Classical Gardens of Suzhou Reviews: 4.5/5

The Classical Gardens of Suzhou

The Classical Gardens of Suzhou
4.5
12:00 AM - 12:00 AM
Monday
12:00 AM - 12:00 AM
Tuesday
12:00 AM - 12:00 AM
Wednesday
12:00 AM - 12:00 AM
Thursday
12:00 AM - 12:00 AM
Friday
12:00 AM - 12:00 AM
Saturday
12:00 AM - 12:00 AM
Sunday
12:00 AM - 12:00 AM
Top ways to experience The Classical Gardens of Suzhou
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

4.5
694 reviews
Excellent
401
Very good
229
Average
49
Poor
8
Terrible
7

Manu J
Gandhinagar, India55 contributions
Apr 2016 • Solo
A 30 minute train ride away from Shanghai are the Gorgeous classical Gardens of Suzhou. The unusual concentration of high quality Chinese gardens in a relatively small geographical area make Suzhou a stand-out. Chinese gardens differ markedly from Western and Islamic gardens- which tend to architecturalize the garden; the Chinese on the other hand romanticize the garden by taking the most winsome elements of nature and exaggerating these- often to the point of caricature (the rock formations, for example). Interspersed with the natural elements are architectural features like follies, pagodas, bridges, passages etc. All in all, they are wonderful escapes from reality -especially if the reality is the teeming, modern Chinese city outside the high walls. Back in a quieter time with a slower pace of life, they much have provided just the right setting for reflection and Chinese poetry. After you have been to even a couple of these Gardens, you begin to pick up and understand the building blocks of the vocabulary- the essential pond/lake, the carefully thought out plantings, the Moon Gates, the Pavilions, the bridges, etc etc.
I took 2 days out to visit 5-6 of the many classical Gardens in Suzhou, including the Humble Administrator's, Lion Forest, Ouyuan, Liu Lingering, Yipu as well as the under-rated garden in the Tiger Hill scenic area. All have their own charm, but I appreciated the smaller ones like the Ouyan, Yipu and Tiger Hill ones the most because of the smaller crowds, and the fact that the smaller scale helped me process and absorb the million little details.
So if you find yourself in Shanghai with even 1 day to kill, do yourself a favor and take the early morning fast train to Suzhou, see at least 2-3 gardens, walk Kitchy Shantang Jie Street or more upmarket Pingjiang Street in the evening and take the fast night train back in time to get a head start on the next day.
Written May 21, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

yycflip
Calgary, Canada2,719 contributions
Jul 2014 • Solo
Visited a few years back...

Not your typical garden as it combines classical layout but with very distinctive rock features. It was both mysterious and peaceful at the same time.

A serene place to spend a few hours in admiring the classical Chinese architecture of different structures and the plentiful covered walkways.

A not to be missed attraction in Suzhou!
Written June 30, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

2pence_worth
Bengaluru, India475 contributions
Sep 2012 • Couples
All visitors to Suzhou must see a garden! If you don't visit a classical garden in Suzhou, you will miss the essence of the city. The gardens are meticulously planned, beautifully crafted and so lovingly preserved. We spent a day and a half in Suzhou and managed to see 5 of these lovely gardens. I am listing them in the order of preference.

1) Humble administrator's garden: If you have time for only one garden, then this is it. One of the largest and it has all the components of a classical Suzhou garden.
2) Suzhou Calm Garden: This was a revelation! In addition to the lovely pavilions,corridors, stone bridges,waterfalls, fountains et al, there are chinese traditional music shows and a free scull ride on the canal in the park. There is a gallery where exquisite wooden carvings are displayed.
3) The Canglang Pavilion: A very quiet romantic place with nice bamboo sections
4) Garden of the Master of the Nets: The smallest among the lot but very detailed in its arrangements
5) Lion Grove Garden: A different garden from the others with a lot of emphasis on rockery- the most creative of them all.

All these gardens have one thing in common- they are an expression of profound love and reverence for nature and are an artist's quest to capture and preserve beauty. A visit to one of these gardens will redefine your sense of beauty!
Written September 29, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

David W
Melbourne, Australia33 contributions
Jun 2014 • Couples
I stopped over 7 hours @ Suzhou on the way to Shanghai. This classical garden is the only place I visited.

From Suzhou railway station: please proceed to a taxi rank and take a licensed taxi. The trip won't cost more than a few USD equvilents RMB. If you take public transport, it's no more than 4 bus stops. You must ignore any "taxi driver" who's approaching you and soliciting their cheap services. If you follow them, you are 100% guaranteed ripped off.

Park admission when I visited in June 2014 was 70 RMB. Please allow at least 2 hours to finish the trip. The park is not wheelchair accessable.
Written August 10, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

MA J
Urbana, IL1 contribution
May 2013 • Friends
As a native, I have been to this places so many times. I would not suggest a best time to go, as each season you would see a little different charm. In winter, there are far less people, and it is cheaper too. I suggest you follow a tour guide (a lot English tour guide available) to enjoy more of the scene. Two hours would be sufficient.

A small bonus: the free Suzhou Museum nearby. Less than a minute walk, it's the Suzhou Museum. Huge collection of ancient Suzhou, which was one of the main cities and economic centers in China for a long time.
Written October 9, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

JedRevolutia
Jakarta, Indonesia248 contributions
Jul 2016 • Solo
It is true that China has so many classical garden houses and some of them are popular because they are located in big metropolitan like Beijing and Shanghai. But the best of them all are located in Suzhou.

The recommended ones are:

1. Humble Administrator's Garden (Suzhou’s largest garden and considered the archetype of classical garden design)

2. Lingering Garden (famous for its striking architecture and corridor adorned in ancient inlaid calligraphy)

3. Lion Forest Garden (whimsical rock formations and imposing manmade mountains are the garden’s biggest draws, plus this is a playful maze-like garden)

4. Great Wave Pavilion (The oldest garden in Suzhou and home to a mesmerizing forest of weeping willows, viridian bamboo and other ancient trees)

5. Master of Nets Garden (Suzhou’s smallest garden but a must-visit in the evening to enjoy cultural performances)

6. Mountain Villa with Embracing Beauty (soaring mountains and cliffs, deep caverns, stone houses and more)

7. Couple’s Retreat Garden (a romantic oasis sandwiched between three restful canals and a bevy of dramatic pavilions and verdant landscaping)

8. The Garden of Cultivation (mist-cloaked hills, deep springs and placid pools)
Written July 8, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Katnden
Phoenix, AZ82 contributions
Jun 2014 • Friends
After taking a ride down the canals of the Venice of Asia you go to the gardens to relax. It has all the elements of peace , rocks, structure, water and foliage. One of many restful gardens you should visit while in China
Written July 1, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

FOSSHILL
Melbourne, Australia421 contributions
Jun 2019 • Couples
Really beautiful gardens. So peaceful and tranquil. Spacious. Easy walking and so much to experience. Definitely worth a visit
Written June 12, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

HERVE B
Paris, France173 contributions
Sep 2018 • Friends
A real pleasure to see and visit the Suzhu marvellous garden which allows you to travel in the past when China was so called L'empire du Milieu and unknown from the rest of the world.
Written September 29, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Margie Y
Bellevue, WA46 contributions
Nov 2017
I have been visiting Suzhou gardens for as long as I can remember. I love the city and their effects to ensure that downtown will stay as is for as long as possible. City made sure that all developments are done outside of the city zone. So when you visit, it still feel like the same city I remembered when I was little.
Written February 8, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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