Archive for the ‘Suzhou Travel’ Category

How to Visit Guanqian Street in Suzhou

Thursday, November 29th, 2012
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Plan your Suzhou tour? Suzhou has a century old street known as “Guanqian Street”(观前街). After having visited some big tourist draws in Suzhou, you may stroll along Guanqian Street to have a real feel of the local life.

Guanqian Street literally means “a street before a Taoist temple”. Guanqian Street is named after a Taoist temple called “Xuanmiao Temple”(玄妙观). This Taoist temple has a long history dating back to 276AD and it was originally built in the Western Jin Dynasty. 

Guanqian Street was renovated and widened in 1930 during the republic era. On June 1982, it was designated as “Pedestrian Street”, a night market as well by the local Suzhou Government. The street has been reputed as one of the best known walking streets in China including Wangfujing Street in Beijing, Nanjing Road in Shanghai and Fuzimiao in Nanjing.

Guanqian Street is located in the city center of Suzhou with a length of 760 meters from east to west. The street can be divided into three sections: east section ( teeming with old buildings), middle section ( the temple itself) and the west section (trendy shops and restaurants).

There are a bunch of time-honored shops like Songhelou, Caizhizhai, Sanwanchang, Deyuelou and Huangtianyuan. A slew of fashionable stores, chic shops and quality restaurants line the street. The street has become a pastime, a must see attraction in Suzhou. Your Suzhou trip is incomplete if you miss the street.

You can bus it since there are numerous bus lines running past Guanqian Street: Tourist Bus line Bus 1、2、4; Public Bus 1、101、102、103、33、38、313、146 and the list could be much longer. You may walk to Guanqian Street which is walking distance within the city proper of the old Suzhou city.

Best visit time: from 10:00am to 9:00pm

Guanqian Pedestrian Street is just ahead of Xuanmiao Taoist Temple.

Guanqian Pedestrian Street is just ahead of Xuanmiao Taoist Temple.

East Section of Guanqian Street lined with old buildings.

East Section of Guanqian Street lined with old buildings

West Section of Guanqian Street teeming with modern and chic shops and restaurants.

West Section of Guanqian Street teeming with modern and chic shops and restaurants

The KFC ads dominate some area around Guanqian Street.

The KFC ads dominate some area around Guanqian Street

The Century-old Restaurant Deyuelou

A century-old Restaurant Deyuelou

A time-honored restaurant Zhuhongxing

A time-honored restaurant Zhuhongxing

 
Palatable steamed buns with minced pork fillings at Zhuhongxing Restaurant.

 

Palatable steamed buns with minced pork fillings at Zhuhongxing Restaurant

Further Readings


Top 10 Attractions in Suzhou
Suzhou Railway Station
How to Visit Tongli Water Town
How to Visit Zhouzhuang Water Town
How to Visit Pingjiang Road in Suzhou
How to Visit The Garden of the Master of the Nets
How to visit Humble Administrator’s Garden
How to Visit Lion Grove Garden
How to Visit Canglang Pavilion
How to Visit Guanqian Street in Suzhou


Any questions, just drop a line.

How to Visit The Garden of the Master of the Nets

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012
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Plan your Suzhou tour? The Garden of the Master of the Nets (网师园) should be included on your first time trip to Suzhou. Of all the famous classical gardens in Suzhou, the Garden of the Master of the Nets is the smallest in size, only one sixth of the Humble Administrator’s Garden. It is a typical residential garden which mainly consists of the two sections – East Section (Residential Area) and West Section (garden).
 
The most prominent feature of the garden is its use of space, making an illusion of creating a garden looking much bigger than its actual size. The east residential area is an axis of four halls with three courtyards. The western garden area is set out around the Pool with plants and rocks being used to make scenes which represent several seasons.
 
The garden was originally built and owned by Shi Zhengzhi, an offical in Southern Song Dynasty. Shi Zhengzhi named the garden “Yuyin” indicating he sought after the simple and solitary life of a Chinese fisherman depicted in philosophical writings. Later the garden changed many hands till 1785 when it was revamped and renovated by Song Zongyuan, a retired government official of the Qing Dynasty. He redesigned the garden and constructed more buildings, but kept its orignal appearance. He often regarded himslef as a fisherman and renamed th garden the Master of the Nets Garden, meaning the simple life of a fisherman. In 1940 the garden fell in the hands of He Chang, who renovated the garden and renamed the garden Master of Nets Garden. In 1958 his daughter He Zehui donated the garden to the Suzhou government according to her father’s will.
 
The garden is located  No. 11 Kuojiatouxian,Daichengqiao Road, Canglang District (沧浪区带城桥路阔家头巷11号). Its north side gate confronts Shiquan Street (十全街), a renowned commercial street in Suzhou. It is walking distance from the town Suzhou. Bus lines No.204, No.511,No.47,No. 501,No.20 and No.93 run past the garden.
 
Entrance Fees:
RMB 30 (April 16 – October)
RMB 20 (November – April 15)
Day Time Opening Hour: 07:30 – 17:00
Night Time Opening Hour: 17:00 – 22:00 ( Night Traditional Music)
 
Enqiry Phone Number: 0512 – 65293190
 
The short bridge in the garden is reputed as the shortest bridge in the world. 

The short bridge in the garden is reputed as the shortest bridge in the world.

 
The backdrop of the east residential buildings are beautifully reflected on the pond. 

The backdrop of the east residential buildings are beautifully reflected on the pond.

 
The pavilion, the corridor, the rockeries and trees present amazing Chinese traditonal painting. 

The pavilion, the corridor, the rockeries and trees present amazing Chinese traditonal painting.

 
Almost all the rooms in the residential area have easy access to the pond. 

Almost all the rooms in the residential area have easy access to the pond.

Any questions, just drop line.

How to Visit Lion Grove Garden

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012
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Plan your Suzhou tour? Visiting the World Cultural Heritage crowned classical gardens in Suzhou is a must for many first time visitors. The Lion Grove Garden (狮子林) is one of the most famous gardens in Suzhou and the other three are the Humble Administrator’s Garden, Canglang Garden and the Lingering Garden.

Basically you will see the Lion Grove Garden after you have visited the Humble Administrator’s Garden since the two are quite close to each other. The Lion Grove Garden is located at 23 Yuanlin Road (园林路)in Pingjiang District, just about 10 minutes’s walk south from the Humble Administrator’s Garden.

It has convenient public transportation with easy access through public buses and taxis. If you start from Suzhou Railway Station or Suzhou North Bus Station, you take the buses No.5 or 2 and get off at the stop of the Lion Grove Garden; if you start from the Suzhou South Bus Station or the Suzhou Boat Dock, you may take the buses No.1, 101 and 102, then get off at the Guanqian Street ( 观前街) and connect Bus 3 or 5 and get off at the stop of the Lion Grove Garden.

Entrance Fees:
RMB 30 ( April 16 – Ocotber 31)
RMB 20 ( November – April 15)
Enquiry: (0512)67272428

The Lion Grove Garden was originally built in 1342 and typical of the Chinese clasical gardens in Yuan Dynasty (1206–1368). The Lion Grove Garden is renowned for its amazing shapes of the rocks and rockeries in the garden dubbed as the King of the Rocks. The Taihu rocks in the garden resembles the shapes of lions, hence the name of the Lion Grove Garden.

The garden name is also linked to a monk called Tianru who first built the garden in memory of his master who lived on the Lion Cliff in Zhejang Tianmu Mountain. Qianlong Emperor in Qing Dynasty liked the garden very much and visited the garden for 6 times.

The garden changed hands for many times in the past centuries. The last owner of the garden till in 1949 was Bei Runsheng who purchased the garden and finished the restoration in 1926. In 1949 Bei family donated the garden to the government.

The garden consists of two parts – the residential compound and the garden area. The garden area is set out around a lake with rockeries, bridges and pavilions built around the lake. The garden is noted for its elaborate grotto of Taihu rocks. This grotto contains a labyrinth of 9 pathways winding through 21 caves across 3 levels. The most famous is the 9 lions Peak.

The East Entrance to the Lion Grove Garden

The East Entrance to the Lion Grove Garden

 The most famous nine lion rock

The most famous nine lion rock

 The Lion Grove Garden is famous for its rockeries.

The Lion Grove Garden is famous for its rockeries.

 The Lion Grove Garden is also well known for its square bamboo garden. The moon gate frames a pretty view with a backdrop of bamboo.

The moon gate frames a pretty view with a backdrop of bamboo.

 The mid-lake pavilion, bridges, rockeries and the lake.

The mid-lake pavilion, bridges, rockeries and the lake.

 The lion-shaped rockeries are dotted around the lake and the garden.

The lion-shaped rockeries are dotted around the lake and the garden.

Any questions, just drop a line!