As the largest classic garden in Suzhou, Humble Administrator’s Garden (“Zhuo Zheng Yuan”) is clustered with water features, a museum, a teahouse and at least 10 pavilions. It was built during the Ming Dynasty for a government official and poet, Wangxianchen.
Humble Administrator’s Garden is representative of classic gardens in Jiangnan (the south bank of the Yangtze River). The garden is divided into three sections – eastern, central, and western.
Covering an area of just over 5 acres (20,666 square meters), the eastern section is dotted with steep hills, green grass, dense bamboo, pine trees, and winding streams. You can get a panoramic view from the south wall in the eastern section.
The central section is the essence of the whole garden, with one-third of its area covered by water. Yuanxiang Hall in the central section is the main structure of the garden which is named after a nearby lotus pool, and once was the banquet hall.
The western section is 2 acres (8,333 square meters) and contain a main building which is subdivided in two by a screen. The south part is 18 Camellias Hall and the north part is 36 Pairs of Mandarin Duck Hall, which are very exquisite and extravagant.
Having adopted the traditional method of garden building in Jiangnan, which is dependent on the natural topography, the layout of the Humble Administrator’s Garden has drawn the skills from traditional painting art to create natural scenery with water and hills.
The scenes in the garden change as tourists view them from different positions. The garden contains 48 different buildings with 101 tablets, 40 stelae, and 21 precious old trees as well as bridges, lakes and pools. It represents a masterpiece of classical gardens in the south area of the Yangtze River.
Opening Time: 7:30 – 17:30
Suggested Visiting Hour: 2 to 3 hours
Admission: RMB 70 in low season (from October 31 to April 5), RMB 90 in high season (from April 6 to October 30)
How to Get there: take bus No. 40 or 313, Y1, Y2 and get off at Beiyuan Road Station; or take taxi.