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Day 1 Suzhou
Meals: Chinese Lunch
Suzhou is one of the “Stunning pearls” south of Yangtze River, the “Oriental Venice” city, which has a long history with 2,500 years. It was considered to be the Cradle of Wu Culture. It features the exquisitely designed private gardens, Grand Canal, ancient street, and well-preserved ancient water towns. We specially design this architecture tour so you can discover the amazing and legendary architecture in the ancient city.
This morning, you will be picked up at your hotel in Suzhou. The wonderful exploration trip starts from Panmen Gate. It was one of the 8 gates of the ancient capital of the Wu Kingdom which was built in 514B.C. It was said that the wooden dragon was hung on the door to frightened off enemies. The gate is a well-preserved example of the traditional architecture from the Yuan and Ming dynasties.
Xiamen Gate, located at the south of Wannian Bridge is incredible. It’s also one of the ancient gates of the capital of Wu Kingdom. It lies at the opposite direction of Guxushan Hill (also named Gusushan Hill). Hence the name. The existed gate was built in 1351A.D. in the Yuan Dynasty and repaired in the Ming and Qing dynasties. It was said that the gate was originally built to prevent flooding from Taihu Lake.
Suzhou City Planning Exhibition Hall is divided into the Modern Hall, Ancient Hall, and riverside subsidiary rooms. It showcases the past, present, and future of the city development. In the Ancient Hall, you can see the ancient city in the Spring and Autumn Period and the development periods in the Tang, Song, Ming, and Qing dynasties. In the Modern Hall, you will get to know the plan of the city development in the future. It’s a good place to understand the architecture and the city's history.
Guoyunlou Tower is a famous ancient private library. With many generations present in the collection, the tower preserves over 800 categories of the block-printed editions of the Song and Yuan dynasties, ancient exquisite handwritten copies, and exquisite carvings of the Ming and Qing dynasties.
Yiyuan Garden was originally built by Gu Wen Bin who was the officer of the early years of Guanxu Reign of the late Qing Dynasty. It is comprised of the garden, lotus pond, residences, and ancestral hall. As it incorporates all the elements of traditional Suzhou private gardens, it is considered to be one of the most representative of the Suzhou garden style. For example, the double corridor to imitate the Canglang Pavilion, the pond to imitate the Master of The Nets Garden, the rockery to imitate the Huanxiu Villa, the caves to imitate the Lion Grove Garden. You will enjoy some free time in the garden and explore the architectural beauty on your own.
After the tour, drive back to your hotel. Thus, the end of the full-day exploration architecture tour in Suzhou.
Ancient Town, architecture, garden, Historic, UNESCO, Walking Tour, World Heritage Site
Attractions: Guoyunlou Tower, Panmen Gate, Suzhou City Planning Exhibition Hall, Xiamen Gate, Yiyuan Garden
Cities visited: Suzhou
Provinces visited: Jiangsu
Ideal seasons: Winter, Summer, Spring, Autumn
Ideal audiences: Seniors, Singles, Couples, Dating, Family
Religions: Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, Christian, Taoist, Bahá'í
Type of transportation: Private Car