Straddling the outer moat in the southwestern corner of Suzhou City in Jiangsu province, Pan Gate is the only water-and-land gate in China. The area also contains such attractions as Ruiguang Pagoda and Wumen Bridge. The scenic area is a national AAAA Tourist Area.
Dating from 1355 CE, Pan Gate is composed of the land city gate, the water city gate and the city gate tower. The doubled-walled water gate was used to control the waterways and has other defensive functions. On top of the gate is a tower which has been damaged many times over the years in wars.
The current tower was rebuilt in 1986 to commemorate and some ancient weapons are on display on the first floor. Walking along the thousand-foot (300 meters) long, 16-foot (5 meters) high city wall to the north, tourist can enjoy the whole arrangement of Pan (or Panmen) City Gate.
The oldest surviving pagoda in Suzhou, Ruiguang Pagoda is a masonry-timber structural buildings with eight sides and seven floors. It is said that the pagoda was built in 247 CE by Sun Quan (founder of the state of Eastern Wu during the Three Kingdoms period) in honor of his mother. The extant pagoda was reconstructed in 1004 but damaged during subsequent wars. substantial Buddhist relics were found in hte pagoda in 1978.
Until the Xianfeng Reign of the Qing Dynasty, Ruiguang Temple was destroyed and only the main construction of the pagoda was remained. Climbing on the pagoda is permitted on the 175.6 feet tall (53.57 meters) tall structure.
The Wumen Bridge is the only highest arched bridge in Suzhou. The 11-meter-high and 66.3-meter-long bridge was built in 1084. According to historical records, it consisted of 3 bridges during the North Song Dynasty.
During the South Song Dynasty, the bridge was rebuilt as three-hole stone arched bridge. Standing on the bridge, tourists can overlook the river, pagoda and the fine scenery in the distance.
Opening Time: 7:30 to 18:00
Admission: RMB 40 (including boating)
Address: 1 Dong Da Street, Canglang District
How to Get there: take bus no. 70 and get off at Panmen Stop or bus no. 39, 47, 305, 935, 949, or tourism bus no. 2 and 5, and get off at Panmenjingqubei Stop