The Lingering Garden, one of Suzhou's four most famous gardens, was first built in the Ming Dynasty. The garden used to be the private residence of a very rich merchant. It is so huge and so beautiful and extravagant. Almost instantly upon entering the garden people can hear traditional Chinese music. There are many people wearing Tang Dynasty style clothing and playing Chinese traditional musical instruments, such as Pipa and Sanxian. There were musicians located throughout the garden and they were there simply for the enjoyment of visitors. Some were singing, some were just playing, and some were duets. It really made the garden come alive. The cool thing about these Suzhou gardens is that they are designed so that visitors can only see what the creators intended them to see at any given moment. As soon as you turn a corner a whole new scene opens up and visitors are rewarded with scenes more splendid than the one they were just in.
The Lingering Garden can be divided into four parts. Visitors may appreciate different views of the hills, rivers, pavilions, buildings, flowers, and courtyards, etc. The middle garden is the essence of the Lingering Garden, and water is the most beautiful; in the east garden, the exquisite houses and corridors are amazing; in the north garden, visitors may feel that they are in a natural and quiet village; in the west garden, the special rockeries are the highlights. All of the arrangements show the high skill of the ancient experts of landscape garden and the special art style of Chinese traditional landscape gardens.
The Lingering Garden has the most buildings among all the landscape gardens in Suzhou. It deals with space very well. The overall arrangements of pavilions and buildings pay attention to the combination of rockeries and ponds, the set-off of the flowers and plants, and the layers of the close shots and distant shots. Wherever the visitors stand, they can get a perfect picture.
Besides, the Lingering Garden has three treasures. First, Guanyun Peak is the absolute article made of Tai Lake stone. It is a product in the Song Dynasty. This rare stone has become the landmark of the Lingering Garden. Second, the Phoebe Zhenan Palace is made of famous phoebe Zhenan. Because of the wars, later, it is rebuilt again. Third, Ichthyolite is a marble picture. It is definitely natural. In the picture, the hills, rivers, waterfalls, and the moon are alive. The marble is a product in Yunnan. So it is quite far to transfer the stone from Yunnan to Suzhou.
The Lingering Garden was filled with small hills, rockeries, caves, paths, pavilions and much more. With the dozens of buildings, pavilions and places to rest, imagine if you lost your keys. It'd take months of searching by dozens of people to find them again. Maybe that's why the owner had servants whose only job was to take care of the keys. In the Lingering Garden, visitors usually may enjoy Suzhou's local Kun Opera like the Peony Pavilion. The singing style of Kun Opera is much more natural than that in Beijing Opera. All in all, the garden was wonderful!
Recommended Suzhou tour with Lingering Garden:
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