Situated outside the Changmen gate (the west gate of ancient Suzhou), Lingering Garden, the Chinese classic garden, is best known for its exquisite layout of buildings and numerous strange stones and rocks. It is one of four greatest classic gardens in China together with Humble Administrator's Garden, the Summer Palace in Beijing and the Summer Resort in Chengde. Covering an area of 3 hectares, the Lingering Garden was originally built by Xu Taishi, a bureaucrat of the Ming court, as his private residence, named East Garden. In 1794, the garden became the property of a Liu Family and then was expanded and renovated. In 1873, the garden was purchased by the Shengs. The garden had been damaged several times, especially during the Sino-Japanese War, but has been repaired.
"Lingering Garden" means lingering between Heaven and Earth. The Chinese name "Liu" is also very similar to the surname of the former ower, Liu Shu. The garden was separated into four sections which present different views like hills and waters, courtyard, wood and pastoral. The central section features water scenery and is the essence of the whole garden. The east section is characterized by winding corridors which are inlaid with calligraphy from celebrated masters. In north section, you can experience the pastoral view and dishgarden. The west section is the highest area and collects shaped rockeries.
The garden has some other features: windows and doorways opening onto usually shaped rockeries, ponds and dense clusters of bamboo and many stone tablets.
The garden is about 3 km west of the city center and can be reached on tourist bus at 2 or 3 rmb from the train station or Renmin Road.
Opening Time: 7:30 a.m.- 5 p.m.
Admission: RMB 50 from October 31-April 5, RMB 60 from April 6-October 30.
Address: 338 Liuyuan Lu, near Tongjing Bei Lu
How to Get to: Take bus no. 406, 933, 949, 34, 85, 161, 311, 44, 45, or Tourist Bus No. 1 and then get off at Liuyuan Station