Located just a couple of hours outside of Shanghai, the serene and beautiful classical gardens in Suzhou are a feast for the eyes the perfect antidote to the frantic hustle and bustle of China’s megacities.
Two of the most beautiful Suzhou Gardens are the Master of the Nets Garden (the Fisherman’s garden) and the Humble Administrator’s Garden. It’s impossible to visit without coming away with masses of Suzhou Garden photos for your social media!
While the planting of the gardens in Suzhou is sublime, you’ll also be entranced by the enchanting and ancient Suzhou garden architecture which is perfectly designed to make the gardens into peaceful, relaxing spaces.
Favourite Photos of the Gardens in Suzhou
The Master of the Nets Garden (aka the Fisherman’s Garden)
This 1,000-year-old garden is the smallest of all of the gardens at Suzhou; however, it’s widely regarded as the most impressive and it’s well worth a visit! Created for a government official, it has the most extraordinary use of space that makes the garden feel much larger than it actually is.
There are 3 sections to the garden:
- The residential area
- The inner garden
- The central main garden, with a large pond surrounded by pathways and buildings.
Every inch of the garden and the plants in it have been carefully planned to harness the beauty of nature, and there are lots of interesting little nooks and crannies to explore and take gorgeous shots!
The Entrance to the Garden
The entrance to the garden is tucked away from the main street in Suzhou, but you can’t miss it. The huge, ornate doorway is imposing, with a fabulous roof intricately decorated with splendid mythical beasts; it’s a sign of how enchanting the garden inside is and you’ll definitely want to capture this Suzhou garden photo better than I did!
The Master of the Nets Garden is a no-smoking zone, like many places in China.
The Residential Area
The garden was first designed for a government official about a thousand years ago. It was called “the Hall of Ten Thousand Books” at the time because the owner had so many books, stored in three separate studies within the garden.
Centuries later, around 1765, another official, Song Zongyuan bought and restored the garden.
According to local lore, the official became frustrated with bureaucracy and preferred to be a fisherman than a bureaucrat. He renamed the garden “Wangshi Yuan”, meaning a fisherman’s garden.
We’d been to a Chinese brush painting class in Yangshuo just days before, learning how to paint bamboo. It was such a treat to find these beautifully painted panels, covered in bamboo (so much better than my painted efforts).
The residential area is designed to provide every room with direct access to the garden, with each room having both windows and external doors. Each room has a different vista and is beautifully cool and peaceful, even in the oppressive heat of the Chinese summer.
Best Photos of the gardens in Suzhou
Of all of my photos of the gardens of Suzhou, this is my absolute
We loved the Master of the Nets Garden and hope you’re inspired by our Suzhou garden photos to visit these beautiful places too.
Where to Stay in Suzhou
The InterContinental Hotel
In a breath-taking location, on the shore of Jinji Lake, the InterContinental Hotel is just a short walk from Suzhou’s best shopping and entertainment destinations, including Shin Kong Place, Moon Harbour and Times Square.
In addition to luxurious guest rooms, the InterContinental Hotel offers a luxury spa, an indoor infinity pool plus five restaurants and lounge areas with panoramic views of Jinji Lake and the city skyline.
If you’re looking for the highest quality hotel experience, the iconic crescent-shaped InterContinental Hotel is THE place to stay in Suzhou.
More things to see and do in China:
- Stroll along the Great Wall of China, but make sure you take the most exciting ride down
- Cycle all the way around the Old City of Xi’an on the ancient city wall
One Thing To Avoid!
- Don’t fall for the horror of Spicy Hot Pots while you are in China!
The UNESCO World Heritage gardens in Suzhou are fabulous and simply the best antidote to the noise and heat of Shanghai. The biggest challenge you will have is deciding which garden in Suzhou to visit if you’ve fallen in love with Suzhou garden architecture too!
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Have we included your favourite Suzhou World Heritage Gardens? Let us know in the comments if you’ve got more recommendations, or share your Suzhou garden photos! We’d love to see them.