Garden of the Master of the Net is one of four famous gardens in Suzhou together with the Humble Administrators’ Garden, Lingering Garden, and Lion’s Grove Garden. It is the smallest in Suzhou but is considered one of the best preserved in the city.
Plans for the garden were drawn up in 1174 CE which was to be named “Hidden Fisherman”. The garden fell into disrepair but was restored around 1765 during the Qing Dynasty as part of the home of a retired official. Although it once belonged to several owners in its history, these owners were refined scholars; so many valuable and masterful tablet stones were left behind.
The garden is separated into a western and eastern sections. The eastern section is the residential area and is a linear sequence of four halls, one tower, and three courtyards. The western section is an inner garden where a courtyard contains Spring Rear Cottage, the master’s study.
The most remarkable feature of this garden is its use of space – the labyrinth of courtyards, with windows framing other parts of the garden, is ingeniously designed to give the illusion of a much larger area.
There are two ways to enter the garden. One is from Shiquan Street, the other is via Kuojiatou Lane, off Daichengqiao Lu. In addition, musical performances such as Kunqu Opera, Pingtan, are held in the evening.
Opening Time: 07:30 to 17:30 (Apr.16 – Oct.30), 07:30 to 17:00 (Oct.31 – Apr.15), 19:30 to 22:00 ( night tour, ticket sales closed at 21:00)
Admission: RMB 30 from October 31-April 5, RMB 20 from April 6-October 30.
Address: 11 Kuojiatou Lane, Daichengjiao Road
Telephone: 0512 65293190
How to Get to: take bus no. 55, 202, 529, 811 or 931 and get off at Wangshiyuan Stop.