The UNESCO Gardens of Suzhou
The UNESCO Gardens
Admirers of well-maintained gardens and an aristocratic lifestyle cannot skip this half-day
Suzhou excursion to two of the city’s most beautiful patches of well-maintained greenery.
Both places are under UNESCO protection because of their immense value.
WHY THIS TOUR?
Few places in China have a certain amount of balance over it, and one of these mesmerizing places to visit is the Venice of the East – Suzhou. In the former days, the city was the residential hotspot for the artistic, the aristocracy and the high society as they were drawn by the sublime gardens, the scenery of meticulously constructed houses along the various canals.
Parts of these good old days remain observed and maintained in its original state, particularly the greener parts that give Suzhou character and often explain the almost Feng Shui-style of design. Two of the most prominent gardens are included in the morning, where a carefully-crafted balance between rocks, water, trees and pavilions reflecting the Chinese appreciation of harmony.
09:00 - 13:00
After you have enjoyed breakfast at your hotel, you meet your English-speaking guide in the hotel lobby for a short drive into the city. The first of two garden stop this morning will be at the Masters of the Nets, the smallest garden in Suzhou. Sometimes the smallest package can contain the most magnificent gift. The Garden of the Master of the Nets is a clear example of this. It is the smallest of the Suzhou residential gardens, yet it is the most impressive because of its use of space which creates the illusion of an area that is much greater than its actual size. Even more than the architectural achievement is the mood of tranquillity and harmony that this humble garden embodies.
At the end of the morning, just before moving back to your hotel, ample time will be given to admire the design and flora of The Humble Administrator’s Garden. Originally built in 1509 during the Ming Dynasty, it was initially a private garden of a former government servant. It was said he intended to design a garden after retired and do some gardening work like planting trees and vegetables there, which was said to be the life of a humble man by him. Hence is the name of the garden. Unlike the Grand View Garden and other famous gardens in Beijing, it is representative of the Ming Dynasty building style.
The importance of the Suzhou Gardens, and the protection of this cultural heritage, has been recognized by UNESCO. Both gardens now are under the protection of this global organization and are inscribed as World Heritage Sites in China.
You will be back at your hotel at around 1 pm.