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Itinerary Name: One Day Mountain & City Tour in Suzhou from Shanghai, Visit Pingjiang Road & Couple’s Garden, Mt. Heavenly Pool
Day 1
One Day Tour to Rural and Downtown Suzhou from Shanghai
Meal:Not included in the quotation
Hotel:No
You will be picked up at your address in Shanghai by your private guide and driver. Drive to ancient Suzhou city which is around 100 km / 2 hours drive to the west of Shanghai.

 

You will arrive at the the Pingjiang Historical and Cultural Street Block in the center of ancient Suzhou city. It is located on both sides of the Pingjiang River in the eastern part of the ancient city and with an area of 30.66 hectares. It is the most typical and the best preserved historical and cultural street block in Suzhou. The street pattern here has come into being since 13th century. The rivers, bridges, lanes, civilian residences, archways, temples, ancestral temples and halls exist all in harmony, forming an inseparable whole.

   

 

This street block is a typical section of the double chessboard pattern of the layout of the ancient city of Suzhou - with streets and waterways running parallel. The civilian residences along the streets, with black tiles and whitewashed walls, vary in height. The length of the two north-south rivers and four east-west rivers is up to 3.5 kilometers, and there are 13 bridges in the block. It is the street block in the city with the highest density of rivers and bridges. The locations and names of lanes and bridges are basically identical to that contained in the monument inscribed with the Pingjiang Map drawn in the 13th century. Civilian residences along the rivers in the street block connect to one another, forming deep and tranquil lanes.

 

The lnext place you will visit in the city is the Couple’s Garden which is located in the east end of ancient Suzhou City. The original garden was built in 1874. It was purchased by Shen Bingcheng, the magistrate of Susong area (in the current Suzhou and west Shanghai area). who rebuilt it in its current form. He also changed the name to the Couples Garden Retreat. This name refers to the gardens two parts and alludes to a couple. It was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Nov 2000. 

The 0.33 ha garden is divided into an east and west section by the residential core in the middle, an unusual composition for a classical garden. The eccentric design is continued in the form and details of many of the garden buildings, especially the Taoism Tower. The garden is located in the intersection of canals and is surrounded by water on three sides. The West garden is composed of several structures grouped around a small grotto and a Library annex. It is structurally joined to the central residence. East Garden is the main garden of the complex. It consists of a grotto and pond ringed by a covered walkway that connects the structures. A smaller fruit orchard annex is attached.

   

 

After lunch in downtown Suzhou, you will drive for around 22km/30m to arrive at Mt. Heavenly Pool. Walking up the mountain on cobblestone path by the side of Peach Blossom Stream and under green trees for around 15 minutes, you will arrive at Heavenly Pool. The surroundings here is charming, peaceful and silent, peculiar stones, green trees, graceful bridges and yellow wall of ancient temples around it, make it like a wonderland.

    

 

The Stone Palaces and Stone Status of Buddha in the Jijian Temple were built around 700 years ago in Yuan Dynasty are the most precious here. (Jijian Temple means Silence Mirror Temple).

   

Pool inside the Temple & Stone Palace

 

There are some natural springs in the temple, Cold Dry Spring, Landmine Spring. The highest summit of the mountain is the 169m high Lotus Peak. Tourists can enjoy the charm of this scenic masterpiece from a distance.

   

Lotus Peak 

 

After a enjoyable day in Suzhou, sit back and enjoy a scenic drive for around 115 km / 2 hours back to Shanghai.