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
A trip to Suzhou to enjoy the gardens is the perfect antidote to the relentless pace of the Chinese mega-cities. I 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 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 garden comprises 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 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.
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 of the Suzhou Garden Photos
Of all of our Suzhou garden photos, this is my absolute
We loved the Master of the Nets Garden and hope you enjoyed our Suzhou garden photos 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.
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.
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 Pot
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.
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