Lingering Garden (Liu Yuan) in Suzhou

Why is Lingering Garden So Special?

Originally a classical private garden, it is one of the four most famous gardens in China. Possessing typical Qing style, it is well-known for the exquisite beauty of its magnificent halls, and the various sizes, shapes, and colors of the buildings. In 1997, it was recorded on the list of the world heritage by UESCO.

Where is Lingering Garden

Liu Yuan is located at 338 Liuyuan Road. Suzhou city, Jiangsu province, China. Liu Yuan is one of the four major gardens in China, as well as the Summer Palace in Beijing, chengde mountain resort and the Humble Administrator’s Garden in Suzhou.

History of Lingering Garden

Liu Yuan was founded in 1593 and was built as his private residence during the Wanli period of the Ming Dynasty. The garden was originally called East Garden, and the Huangshi rockery, which overlaps the pond in the middle and the pond to the west, was built at that time. After Liu Su died, he became the owner of the garden. Through reconstruction, Liu plated many bamboos and carved many stones out of his hobby. After expansion and renovation, it was renamed “Hanbi Villa”, commonly known as “Liuyuan”. In 1873, it was bought by Shengjia, who renamed it “Liuyuan”. Because “lingering” is the same pronunciation as “Liu” in Chinese, Liu is the last name of the former owner. This garden was inherited by Sheng Xuanhuai from his father. He abandoned the garden in 1911. It was in disrepair.

Design Features

After the founding of the People’s Republic of China, the Suzhou government took over and renovated the garden. It was reopened to the public in 1954. In 1997, the garden was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List along with Humble Administrator’s Garden, Netizens Garden and Huanxiu Villa. Since then, it has remained a major tourist destination in Suzhou.

The garden is divided into four thematic parts: east, middle, west and north. Ancestral halls and houses are located to the south of the garden.

The central part is the oldest part of the garden. It features artificial mountain and lake views, similar to a long scroll of Chinese painting. Its center is a lake, with artificial mountains in the northwest and many fascinating buildings in the southwest, such as green shade pavilion, transparent tower, zigzag flow tower, Haopu pavilion, Hanbi mountain villa and the clear wind pavilion by the lake. These mountains are mainly composed of yellow stones and mud.

The east is famous for its pleasant gardens and elegant buildings. Behind the small entrance of the garden is a winding roof walkway leading to a quiet place, showing the clever use of large and small, straight and tortuous, and contrast of light and shade.

The west has set a good example of beautiful mounds dotted with Yellowstone Park and covered with maple trees. There is a winding brook flanked by peach trees and weeping willows.

In the north, there are huts with bamboo fences and rural scenery.

Main Attractions of Lingering Garden

The Hanbi Mountain Villa

“The Hanbi Mountain Villa” is the main building in the central part, commonly known as Lotus Hall. The hall is tall and spacious, with simple furnishings, surrounded by thick shade of old trees, wind pavilions and moon pavilions, which belong to each other. The reflection of the balcony and the beauty of the mountain pool can be called pictures.

The Pu Hao Pavilion

The pavilion is square and has four corners and a single eaves. It is built on a mountain with its north facing out of the water. Liu Shi called the pavilion a “moon-scooping pavilion”. On the side of the pavilion stands a stone in the Chi Pan. Its reflection pool is like a full moon, named Yin Yue. Sheng’s name was “Hao Pu Xiang Ting”. Today it is renamed Haopu Pavilion.

Best time to travel Lingering Garden

March-April and September-October are the best travel times in Lingering Garden.

But in Hangzhou, there is no season or weather. No matter in spring, summer, autumn and winter, rain or shine, rain or snow, it can conjure up a beautiful appearance. September-November: The weather is crisp in autumn, and sweet osmanthus trees full of Longgui rain are fragrant for ten miles. Before and after the Mid-Autumn Festival, you can watch the spring tide in Qiantang during the day and enjoy the moon in the lake at night. March-May: The spring breeze is warm and the spring water is intoxicating. It is most suitable for strolling along the Suzhou Creek and enjoying the flowers.

How to Get There

  • By Rail Transit
    Take Rail Transit Line 2 and get off at Shilu Station. Go out via Exit 1 and walk northward on South Guangji Road for about 50 yards (46 meters). Turn west and walk along Liuyuan Road for about 300 yards (274 meters).
  • By bus
    1. Take bus no. 85, 317, 933, or tourist bus no. 1 and get off at Liuyuan Station.
    2. Take bus no. 7, 34, 44, 64, 70, 85, 161, 304, 315, 318, 406, 415, 522, 800, 921, 970, or 980 and get off at Liuyuan Road Station. Walk to the west along Liuyuan Road for about 300 yards (274 meters).

Useful Travel Tips

  Ticket price Time
Peak season 55 yuan/person-time April, May, July, August, September and October
off season 45 yuan/person-time January, February, March, June, November, December
  • If you want to walk longer, be sure to bring a pair of comfortable shoes.
  • The distance between scenic spots in Hangzhou is generally long. Unless you like hiking, it is recommended to take a bus, which saves time and effort.
  • Whether you are traveling to West Lake or Hangzhou, bicycles are very good choices. You can walk instead of walking and stop as you go.

Nearby Attractions

Edited by Doreen/张洋