Lingering Garden with an area of 23 310 square meters, is the best garden in Suzhou as well as being one of the four most famous gardens in China. Liu Yuan, another name for it, was built in the 21st year of the reign of Wanli (1583 A.D.) by Xu Taishi, a bureaucrat, as his private garden-residence. In the 59th year of the reign of Qianlong (1794 A.D.), the Liu family bought the garden and repaired, expanded and then renamed it 'the Hanbi Villa'.
Pan Men (Panmen Gate)
This gate ("men" means "gate") is one of the oldest and best-preserved land and water gate in China today. It is as old as the Suzhou city itself, and has been around for about 2500 years. The image of this gate has become a symbol of Suzhou, and is incorporated into the city's logo.
Gates such as these were traditionally used to protect the city, and is usually accompanied by a moat. In the picture, parts of the gate has been covered by vegetation (the green walls are parts of the gate).
The pagoda in the background is the "Ruiguang Pagoda", see my next tip.
Reputed as "paradise on earth", Suzhou is a major Chinese city of scenic and tourist attraction. The expansive and charming Lake Tai, to the southwest of the ancient city, is a major national scenic zone, divided into 13 scenic areas, 8 of which are located within the boundaries of Suzhou, such as the tourist spots of East and West Dongting Hills, Tianping Hill, Lingyan Hill, Conglong Mountain, Tianchi Hill, and Dengwei Hill, etc., all with natural beauty and rich historical interest.
Apart from the elegant hills and waters, Suzhou is also famous for its elegant classical gardens, which number over 60 today. They are an integrated art of architecture, landscaping, trees and flowers, carving, and calligraphy and painting, etc. Among them, the Humble Administrator's Garden, the Lingering Garden, the Master-of-Nets Garden, the Mountain Villa of Secluded Beauty, have been listed as "World Cultural Heritage"