How to visit Humble Administrator’s Garden

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Plan your Suzhou tour? Suzhou is just less than a 30-minute highspeed train ride from Shanghai or 2 hour from Hangzhou. The Suzhou Railway Station for highspeed trains is located on the north of the city moat in Suzhou. One of the must-see attraction in Suzhou is the Humble Administrator’s Garden (拙政园), crowned as the World Cultural Heritage Site along with other classical gardens of Suzhou.

Most of the must-see attractions in Suzhou are walkable within the ancient city wall including the Humble Administrator’s Garden, Lion’s Forest Garden, Canglang Garden, Lingering Garden, Garden of the Master of the Nets, Suzhou Museum, North Pagoda Temple and Pan Gate.

The Humble Administrator’s Garden is located at 178 Dongbei Jie along the Dongbei Pedestrian Street (东北步行街) in th northeast of the downtown Suzhou, just a few steps east of Suzhou Museum and not far to the north of the Lion’s Grove Garden. The garden is easily accessible by public buses – Tourism Bus No.01, Tourism Bus No.02, Bus No.313 and get off at the stop of Suzhou Museum (苏州博物馆) since Suzhou Musuem is very close to both the Administrator’s Garden and the Lion’s Forest Garden.

Admission: RMB70 (April15-October); RMB50 (November-April 14)
Enquiry: 0512-67537002
Complaint: 0512-67510286
Emergence: 0512-67519366

The Humble Administrator’s Garden is one of the four most famous private gardens in Suzhou together with the Lion’s Grove Garden, Canglang Garden and the Lingering Garden. The Humble Administrator’s Garden is typical of the classical gardens in Ming Dynasty.

The Humble Administrator’s Garden is also on the top list of the most famous gardens in China, the other three being Summer Palace in Beijing, the Summer Resort in Chengde and the Lingering Garden in Suzhou.

The garden’s original site can be traced back to the residence and garden built by a scholar named Lu Guimeng in Tang Dnasty. In Yuan Dynasty, the site was turned into a temple called Dahong Temple. In 1509, a retired imperial envoy in Suzhou named Wang Xiancheng purchased the temple and began to build the garden.

Wang Xiancheng worked on the garden in collaboration with the local famous artist, his friend, Wen Zhengming. The garden was named “the Humble Administrator’s Garden to express his desire to keep from politics and enjoy a carefree life – planting trees, growing vegetables, building his own houses.

It took 15 years to complet. After his death, Wang Xiancheng’s son lost the garden to pay for his gambling debt. In the past 400 years, the garden changed many hands. In 1949 all the garden were rejoined and restored to its orignal site in 1952. In 1997 the garden was listed as UNESCO world heritage site.

The Humble Administrator’s Garden is mainly composed of three parts set about around a lake – East Part, West Part and Central Part. The East Part is called “Guitianyuanju” which literally means Living After Returning to the Countryside. The East Part features the pavilions,Pine trees and the lawn and Pinggangyuan Hill.

The West Part is known as “Subsidiary Garden”. It consists of the ponds, rockeries, the water corridor and the streams, the masterpiece of Suzhou classical gardening. The Central Part is the main garden of the Humble administrator’s Garden set around a lake. The pavilions and the rockeries are built around the lake, featuring the watertown in the Yangtze River Delta. 

The Humble Administor’s Garden is located along the Dongbei Pedestrian Street (178 Dongbei Jie). 

The Humble Administor’s Garden is located along the Dongbei Pedestrian Street

The main entrance (south) to the Humble Admistrator’s Garden

The main entrance (south) to the Humble Admistrator’s Garden

Lanxuetang Hall where there is a panoramic map of the the Humble Admistrator’s Garden.

Lanxuetang Hall where there is a panoramic map of the the Humble Admistrator’s Garden

The Furong Pavilion

The Furong Pavilion

The lake view borrows the North Pagoda outside the garden. The zigzag bridge, the pavilions, weeping willows and the lake.

The zigzag bridge, the pavilions, weeping willows and the lake.

The central garden is set out around the lake. The long corridor runs along the lake and the willow trees with reflections the water.

The long corridor runs along the lake and the willow trees with reflections the water.

 The Water Corridor snakes over the lake.

The Water Corridor snakes over the lake.

 The moon gate wall frames a pretty view.

The moon gate wall frames a pretty view.

 Have a close look at the water corridor

Have a close look at the water corridor

 People are also part of the garden view.

People are also part of the garden view.

 Colorful leaves in the garden. Taking away the beauty of the garden.

Taking away the beauty of the garden.

Any questions, just drop a line.

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