FD Suzhou & Luzhi Grand Canal by private vehicle

| May 15, 2020

Suzhou, one of the oldest cities in the Yangtze basin and easily accessible from Shanghai, flourished as a trading and silk centre from the sixth century. Its most prosperous period was during the Ming and Qing dynasties when many officials, scholars and artists settled here and local traders grew rich. This wealth was largely invested in the 150 gardens that make Suzhou famous today. Most of the gardens are hidden behind high walls, but a selection can be visited. The Garden of the Humble Administrator, which is part park and part restored Ming garden, is a classic example from the Ming era and has a pool patterned with islands and bridges. The garden of Cang Lang Ting, or the Surging Waves Pavilion, is the oldest of the Suzhou gardens and emphasises the harmony between man-made buildings and the natural environment. A large pond occupies half of the garden and adjacent to the pond are winding corridors, rock formations and old trees. The layout combined with the reflection on the water helps give the illusion of spaciousness and connects the inside with the garden outside. Lion Grove Garden features many rocks in the shapes of lions. Built in 1342 during the Yuan dynasty (1279-1368) by the Zen Buddhist monk Tianru and his followers, in the memory of High Monk Zhongfeng, Lion Grove Garden has changed hands and been renamed several times. In addition to the rock formations, the Lion Grove Garden has ornamental pavilions and towers in different styles, each with its own history and story.

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