Located just a couple of hours outside of Shanghai, the serene and beautiful gardens at Suzhou are an absolute feast for the eyes. Two of the most beautiful are the Master of the Nets garden (the Fisherman’s garden) and the garden of the Humble Administrator. We came away from our visit with masses of Suzhou Garden Photos!

After the relentless pace of the Chinese mega-cities, including an exhilarating trip to the Great Wall and a leisurely Li River cruise, a trip to Suzhou to enjoy the gardens is the perfect antidote.

FAVOURITE SUZHOU GARDEN PHOTOS

THE MASTER OF THE NETS GARDEN

This 1,000 year old garden is the smallest of all of the gardens at Suzhou, however it’s also widely regarded as the most impressive and it’s well worth a visit! Created for a government official, it has the most extraordinary use of space that makes the garden feel much larger than it actually is.

Serene reflections on buildings in the water at the Master of the Nets Garden, Suzhou (also known as the Fisherman's Garden)
Serene reflections on buildings in the water at the Master of the Nets Garden, Suzhou (also known as the Fisherman’s Garden)

The garden is divided into 3 sections. There’s a residential area, an inner garden and a central main garden with a large pond surrounded by pathways and buildings. Every inch of the garden and the plants in it have been carefully planned and there are lots of interesting little nooks and crannies to explore.

The Entrance to the Garden

The entrance to the garden is imposing, with a fabulous roof and rather splendid mythical beasts. It’s a sign of how amazing the garden inside is.

The ornate entrance to the Master of the Nets garden, Suzhou, China
The ornate and rather imposing entrance to the Master of the Nets garden

The garden is a no smoking zone – just like so many places in China (thank goodness). We loved this sign though! Sometimes a translation mishap is just funny.

Loving this sign

The Residential Area

Stupidly pretty carved wooden entrance to one of the private family rooms in the residential area at the gardens
Ridiculously pretty carved wooden entrance to one of the private family rooms in the residential area at the gardens

The garden was first designed for a government official about a thousand years ago. It was called ‘the Hall of Ten Thousand Books’ at the time because the owner had so many books, stored in three separate studies within the garden. Centuries later, around 1765, another official, Song Zongyuan bought and restored the garden.

It’s said that the official became frustrated with bureaucracy and that he would rather be a fisherman than a bureaucrat. He renamed the garden to ‘Wangshi Yuan’, meaning a fisherman’s garden.

Just one of the stunningly symmetrical rooms in the residential area of the gardens.
Just one of the stunningly symmetrical rooms in the residential area of the gardens.

We’d been to a Chinese painting class in Yangshuo just days before, learning how to paint bamboo. It was such a treat to find these beautiful painted panels, covered in bamboo (so much better than my painted efforts).

Wonderful painted panelling in the residential area of the Master of the Nets garden
Wonderful painted panelling in the residential area of the Master of the Nets garden

Every room in residential area has access to the garden and fabulous views. It makes for an incredibly peaceful place.

Bonsai at the Master of the Nets garden, Suzhou, China
Fabulous, ancient bonsai tree in the Master of The Nets garden

Out of all of our Suzhou garden photos, this is my absolute favourite. The simple yet intricate design of this window is so perfect. It’s deliberately positioned to offer a view of the external planting, from inside, creating a sense of light and airiness.

Beautiful Suzhou garden photos
Such a pretty window on the world!

We loved the Master of the Nets garden and hope you enjoyed our Suzhou garden photos too.

Coralie

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suzhou garden photos

Author

Coralie is the Sparkles at Sparkles and Fizz. A 50-something mum and blogger, a wee bit obsessed with sparkly things and fizz. Coralie writes about her real-life and travel adventures. She's not averse to gin and she lives life to the max.

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