Suzhou's Lion Grove Garden


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January 8th 2009
Published: January 14th 2009
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Suzhou's Lion Grove Garden

I found this garden by accident. I had some free time and my guide asked if I wanted to take a rest. I said NO! I was in Suzhou and didn't want to waste my time resting (I think she wanted a rest). She said that there was a garden nearby that few visitors go to called the Lion Grove Garden. I said "Let's go". The garden was the most fun of all of the gardens I visited. It is much smaller than the other ones, but it was a lot of fun. It is so fun that the Qianlong Emperor visited it every time he went to Suzhou. The garden is famous for its rockeries. The only way to enter the garden itself is by going through an ingeniously designed rockery. It is a labyrinth. It has many levels and caves and peaks. In the center is a two storey pavilion where the owner could sit and watch visitors attempt to get out of the labyrinth. The labyrinth was ingenious. It had so many levels and stairs and some of them were hard to find. It was great. My guide and I were laughing so hard. She proposed that we have a race to see who could get out first. I figured she knew the way out, but agreed. She got so lost. It took me about twenty minutes to get out of the labyrinth and took my guide another twenty minutes. I sat down by the exit and watched her attempt her escape. She kept popping up in different places and we were laughing so hard. Once she finally made it we stopped at the teahouse located near the exit. It was a beautiful two storey pavilion which overlooked the garden. The tea was a bit overpriced, but not too much, so I didn't mind it. The view and the building itself made it well worthwhile. After relaxing a bit we strolled around the rest of the garden. The buildings in the garden were quite spectacular and were built around a lake with a zigzagging bridge crossing it. One of the buildings which was particularly spectacular had golden dragons carved on it. It is where the Qianlong Emperor sat when visiting the Lion Grove Garden. He wrote calligraphy for the building which can still be seen. This garden was small, but really great. I
Suzhou's Lion Grove GardenSuzhou's Lion Grove GardenSuzhou's Lion Grove Garden

That's May my guide, in red, trying to find her way out
plan on taking my family to Suzhou in 2009 and I will definitely be returning to this garden.

Ticket Price:
Peak Season: 30rmb (March 1-May31, September 1-November 30)
Off Season: 20rmb (June 1-August 31, December 1-April 30)
Children under 1.2 meters: Free
Seniors: Free
Time Needed:
1.5-2.5 hours
Hours of Operation:
7:00-5:30 (March 1-November 15)
7:00-5:00 (November 16-February 29)
Location:
Located on Yuanlin Road in the southeast part of Suzhou City

In September 2008 I was sent on an inspection tour with China Odyssey Tours. I am the Marketing Manager of China Odyssey Tours. No one is told that I work for the company, and since I am a foreigner I can experience a tour the way our customers do. That way I get the real experience without any VIP treatment. I check on the sites, hotels, restaurants, and guides to ensure that they all meet our rigid quality guidelines.




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