Breathing the Free Air in Suzhou

Suzhou, famed as the “Venice of the Orient”, boasts too many attractions, such as the Grand Canal, pagodas, classical gardens and water villages.

During the National Day holiday, I came to Nanjing. After 2-day hang-out in Nanjing, we bought train ticket to Suzhou, which is near Nanjing.

After one hour, we arrived at Suzhou. Alike other cities in Jiangsu, Suzhou is not a large city but with an air of grace and delicacy. I felt great pleasure away from the crowded people and stressful atmosphere. Taking a deep breath under the blue sky, I released all those upsets before.

Our first destination is The Humble Administrator’s Garden. The Humble Administrator’s Garden is centered upon a lake of large size, making up about one fifth of the total area. The buildings are carefully arranged in order to match the natural beauty of lakes, ponds, artificial mountains, and various vegetation and flora. And therefore, the garden landscape and waterscape are simple, extensive and natural, and yet not at all dull since the scenes are distinctive, changeful and are of interest.

The garden is divided into three sections – the eastern, middle and the western sections. The middle part is the gem of the garden with clear water, various shaped stones and mountains, elegant buildings and leafy old trees and colorful flowers. When stepping into the garden, you will find a lake of peaceful water and many parasols and ancient cypresses near the bank. To the opposite of the pond is the main building Hall of Distant Fragrance (Yuanxiang Tang). The building is beautifully designed, and the reflection of the pavilions, trees and flowers just make up a beautiful picture. And you may just imagine that you are walking through 3-D Chinese painting.

The eastern part of the garden features verdant hills covered with pine and bamboo trees and encircled by winding streams, and an extensive area of grass, flowers and trees. The highlight spots include the Furong (Lotus) Waterside Pavilion and the Tianquan (Heaven Spring) Pavilion, which are very finely built and make beautiful reflections on the ponds. The tranquil and peaceful west section boasts rich water views with a lake at the center, around which are zigzagging corridors and Yuanyang (Mandarin Duck) Pavilion.

There are so many scenes and spots you can discover in the Humble Administrator’s Garden. When you are strolling deeper, the landscapes change and you can linger for a while to take in the distinctive charm of the spots and pick out your favorites.