Travel Report: Humble Administrator’s Garden Part I – Suzhou, China.
December 2018. It was Christmas Day and I was back on the road in China to conquer another little corner of this massive country! The beautiful city of Suzhou is famous for a number of sights. Firstly, you’ve got its gorgeous network of ancient canal streets. Secondly, and by no means less impressive, this is one of the best cities to see some of China’s best preserved, age old gardens. Beautiful Chinese gardens are a bit like temples, once you’ve seen a few hundred they start to lose their magic. So for Suzhou I decided to limit myself to its biggest hitter, The Humble Administrator’s Garden. Dating back to 1509, this majestic UNESCO site is widely regarded as one of China’s four most beautiful, classical gardens.
I’m happy to say that Humble Administrator’s Garden did not disappoint! And with December being very much the off season, it was also great that I could stop and breathe without feeling the urge to commit murder. Not that all the usual behaviour wasn’t evident, of course it was! It’s just that this time I was able to remove myself from it. So it was bye bye shouting idiot on phone… see you later man spitting on ancient tree… so long littering asshole!
The garden really is an impossibly beautiful space, with pavilions, bridges, hillocks, bamboo groves, rockeries, water features, teahouses and a museum or two for good measure. Furthermore, the wintry vibe did much to help my ever increasing festive mood. After all, there was a fresh chill in the air and the reflections of skeletal trees in the pond.
Humble Administrator’s Garden, Suzhou.
Humble Administrator’s Garden was the brainchild of a soon-to-be-retired governmental worker, Wang Xianchen. Apparently he was seeking a humble life of gardening, reading and walking in nature. Hence the garden was named as such when work began here in 1513.
Humble Administrator’s Garden is located at 178 Dongbei Street, next to Suzhou Museum. Open daily from 07:30-17:00, entrance tickets are 90RMB (£10.30/€11.45/$13) and they accept cash only.
I spent a solid two hours strolling around the garden. For more on what to see here, check out my article: Humble Administrator’s Garden Part II. For a deeper look into the garden’s history, check out its Wikpedia page.
I’ve been living, working and traveling all over the world since 2001. So why not check out my huge library of travel reports from over 30 countries.