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!
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.
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 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.
The Residential Area
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.
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).
Every room in residential area has access to the garden and fabulous views. It makes for an incredibly peaceful place.
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.
We loved the Master of the Nets garden and hope you enjoyed our Suzhou garden photos too.