Straddling the outer moat in the southwest corner of Suzhou City, Pan Gate is the only water-and-land gate in China. The area of Pan Gate contain such three attractions as Pan Gate, Ruiguang Pagoda and Wumen Bridge.
Dating from 1355, 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. Upon the gate is a city tower which has been damaged many times in wars. The extant tower was rebuilt in 1986 and some ancient weapons are on display in the first floor. Walking along 300-meter-long and 5-meter-high city wall to the north, tourist can enjoy the whole arrangement of Panmen City Gate.
The oldest 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 by Sun Quan ( the founder of the state of Eastern Wu during the Three Kingdoms) to show respect to his mother. The extant pagoda was reconstructed in 1004 but damaged during wars. Till Xianfeng Reign of Qing Dynasty, Ruiguang Temple was destroyed and only the main construction of pagoda was remained. The pagoda can be climbed.
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 in North Song Dynasty. During 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 to: 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