Classical Chinese Garden Building - one of several Suzhou Garden Photos

Located just a couple of hours outside of Shanghai, the serene and beautiful Unesco World Heritage gardens at Suzhou are a feast for the eyes. Two of the most beautiful 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!

Favourite Suzhou Garden Photos

First of the Suzhou garden photos shows a Chinese building reflected a serene green pool

A trip to Suzhou to enjoy the gardens is the perfect antidote to the relentless pace of the Chinese mega-cities. We hope you enjoy planning your trip and that you enjoy these photos of the gardens too.

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 also 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.

The Master of the Nets Garden at Suzhou, China  (aka the Fisherman's Garden)

The garden comprises of three sections. You’ll find a residential area, an inner garden and a 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.

The Entrance to the Garden

The entrance to the garden is tucked away from the main street, but you can’t miss it. The doorway is imposing, with a fabulous roof intricately decorated with splendid mythical beasts; it’s a sign of how enchanting the garden inside is.

The entrance to the Master of the Nets Garden, Suzhou, China |  Suzhou Garden Photos

The garden is a no-smoking zone, like many places in China (thank goodness). We loved this sign though! Sometimes a translation mishap is just funny.

Humurous sign for no smking - funny Suzhou Garden Photos

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.

Intricately carved wooden doors leading to the private residential area in the Master of the Nets Garden | Suzhou Garden Photos

According to local lore, the official became frustrated with bureaucracy and preferred to be a fisherman than a bureaucrat. He renamed the garden to “Wangshi Yuan”, meaning a fisherman’s garden.

Just one of the stunningly symmetrical rooms in the residential area of the gardens.

We’d been to a Chinese 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).

Wonderful painted panelling in the residential area of the Master of the Nets garden

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.

Fabulous, ancient bonsai tree in the Master of The Nets garden
Fabulous, ancient bonsai tree in the Master of The Nets garden

Best of the Suzhou Garden Photos

Of all of our Suzhou garden photos, this is my absolute favourite. The simple yet intricate design of this window is so perfect. It’s purposefully positioned to offer a view of the external planting, from inside, creating a sense of light and airiness.

A pretty window on the world - one of our favourite Suzhou garden photos
Such a pretty window on the world!

We loved the Master of the Nets Garden and hope you enjoyed our Suzhou garden photos too.

Don’t forget to visit the Garden of the Humble Administrator while you’re in Suzhou. You’ll find full information about how to get to Suzhou from Shanghai here.

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.

BEST DEALS FOR THE INTERCONTINENTAL SUZHOU

Garden Hotel Suzhou

Prefer something with a real sense of history? The 5-star Garden Hotel Suzhou is just the ticket! Formerly the private garden of China’s leader, Jieshi Jiang (1928-1975), this building has played host to government big-wigs and many national leaders!

Today, the luxurious Garden Hotel Suzhou offers almost 12 acres of serene gardens, an indoor pool, a restaurant and a fitness centre, plus all of the amenities you’d expect from a hotel of this calibre.

BEST DEALS FOR GARDEN HOTEL SUZHOU

Further Reading

More things to see and do in China:

One Thing To Avoid!

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.

One more thing! If you liked this post, please share it!

Classical gardens in Suzhou, China, one with a green pool of water surrounded by Chinese buildings
Classical Chinese garden building with pointed roof and sides open to the wind

About Author

Coralie is a Brit living in North Yorkshire. When she's not writing, she's either out exploring, planning a new trip, tasting street food or relaxing with a cold G&T. With 40+ years of adventurous travel to almost 40 countries (so far), she knows there's still much to see and remains an adventure-seeker at heart. Follow her on social media and keep up with her adventures and awesome travel tips.

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3 Comments

  1. What lovely photos of the Suzhou gardens! The image of the garden with the pond in front almost looks Japanese. The ancient bonsai tree looks impressive! 🙂

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