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Suzhou Panmen Scenic Area
Suzhou Panmen Scenic Area Suzhou Panmen Scenic Area Suzhou Panmen Scenic Area Suzhou Panmen Scenic Area

There are three excellent scenic spots of Panmen , the solemn Panmen City Gate on land and water, the cross Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal Wumen Bridge and the elegant Pagoda of Ruiguang Temple . These sites are being linked by the majestic Grand Canal and they become a tourist attraction in Suzhou's old city area.

The history of the Panmen Gate traces back to 514 AD. It was built by Wu State in the period of Spring and Autumn. Despite the many times of changing and reconstructing by later dynasties, the location of the gate had never changed. On the body, it was carved a fierce dragon (pronounced "Pan Long") that is on the side facing to the hostile Yue State. This was to demonstrate the military ambition that Wu wanted to conquer Yue. Thus the gate was called at that time as Panmen. In later times, because the local special landscape and perhaps for easier recognition of name, it was changed to "盘门". Panmen is the only ancient city wall left intact in Suzhou, the last rebuilding of the wall body was in the year 1351 and it is said that Marco Polo (1254 – 1324), the famous Italian missionary and merchant, had visited the site.

Wumen Bridge was built during the Northern Song Dynasty but the present one was rebuilt in 1872. The name implies the fact that the bridge lies in the strategically important area of ancient Wu State. The bridge is used for cross Grand Canal traffic and ships can freely pass through below. It is a typical stone bridge that properly incarnates the architectural style in lower reaches of Yangtze River region. On the bridge, the great scenery of Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal will feast your eyes.

The Pagoda of Ruiguang Temple is the oldest among the three scenic spots here. It was built in 247 AD. The famous statesman and military strategist Sun Quan (孙权) ordered to build this pagoda inside Puji Zen Monastery . Then in early 12th century, the pagoda had been altered to a 13-level "Tianning Longevity Pagoda" . Divine light in five colors appeared on it, so the temple was changed to Ruiguang (Fortunate Light Temple). The levels of Ruiguang Pagoda were reduced to seven during a reconstruction in 1186. The temple was destroyed in 1860 and only the pagoda remained intact. The base is octagonal and having eight sides. It has a height of about 44 meters with ancient and elegant looking. Lots of relic from early Northern Song Dynasty can be found inside.

iconShanghu Lake Scenic Area

Shanghu Lake Scenic Area Shanghu Lake Scenic Area Shanghu Lake Scenic Area Shanghu Lake Scenic Area

Shanghu Lake Scenic Area was built in 1986 under the supervision of Changshu Government near Suzhou city. Shanghu Lake, is said that the politician Jiang Shang from Shang Dynasty (17th century to 11th century BC) retreated to Changshu in order to shun the brutal tyranny of Emperor Zhou, also the last emperor of the dynasty). Jiang Shang retired and lived near the lake and liked fishing in it. So the scenic lake got its name.

Shanghu's scenery is being accompanied by the majestic Yushan Mountain . The miles-long of beautiful landscape is to be stretched into the urban area that it adds great country views. The lake has experienced many chaotic ages in its long history. Most area of crystal-clear water had been filled and was being used as farmland in late 1960s and early 1970s. Later, because the land was unnatural, the crop harvest was less and less. Lost of ecological balance has made many wild birds and strange animals flied and roamed respectively.

After the human rejuvenation, Shanghu Lake Scenic Area has become a local tourist attraction with great natural and humanistic scenes. It is also an ideal place for leisure and vacation. Lotus Fragrance Island is the largest island in Shanghu Lake. Sijingyuan Garden , Four Scenic Views Garden is Qing Dynasty style architecture. As its name implies, it has four beautiful scenes to the east, south, west and north. Each of which has its thought-provoking meaning. The Fishing Park has a golf club, though not so big, it still has pub, gymnasium, and restaurants so on. The most eye-catching thing in Jiang Shang Cultural Area is the granite statue of the great man. He takes a fishing rod in his hands and sits. His eyes are looking afar, which means he is honest and in a mood of worry for his motherland.

iconShihu Lake Scenic Resort

Shihu Lake Scenic Area Shihu Lake Scenic Area Shihu Lake Scenic Area Shihu Lake Scenic Area

Located in the outskirts of Suzhou, Shihu Lake Scenic Resort is having majestic hill and beautiful water views which are the essence of pastoral scenery of lower reaches of Yangtze River. It also has a lot of historical relics from China's past dynasties.

Shihu Resort is a holiday village having an area of about 133 hectares. It has great deal of high class recreational and entertainment facilities with excellent services, which belong to the world's medium class. The design is done according to the international star-grade standard and the architectural style from the ancient Wu and Yue States in the Spring and Autumn era. This layout style gives artificial elegance to the natural environment.

Sightseeing Area is the former site of Wu State's Palace and also the epic battlefield of Wu and Yue armies, therefore it has invaluable heritage. It is said that during the conflict between Wu and Yue, the famous Chinese beauty Xi Shi was being brought by a Yue's imperial officer to return to Taihu Lake en route Shihu Area of Suzhou.

In additional to the must-see old villas and natural scenery, the Barbecue Zone of Yue Causeway is the largest of its kind in Suzhou today. It has a total of 80 stoves, with a lot of modern barbecue tools and facilities. Travelers can also sail small boats on the tiny stream.

South China Tiger (panthera tigris amoyensis) is an endangered species in today's world. There is a breeding ground for the animal in the resort and tourists can know more about the tigers' life and their habits.

The Movie Culture Area is in the architectural style of over 2,000 years ago. It has already attracted many film and TV series makers to weave their dreams. And the Exotic Restaurant Zone is actually a large boat with some smaller ones berthed on the scenic Shihu Lake. The restaurant has hired Suzhou food historians to research the local boat cuisine, thus it serves authentic and delicious dishes.

Xingchun Bridge Xingchun Bridge Yuecheng Bridge Yuecheng Bridge

Xingchun Bridge

Xingchun Bridge is on Fangshan Road in Shihu Lake Scenic Resort of Suzhou. It crosses over the northern part of the lake. Built in the Song Dynasty, but the actual date of construction cannot be traced. It has nine arch holes below to make ships can go through. It is said that on the eighteenth day of the eighth month of the Lunar Calendar, every arch will have a full moon that is reflected on the water. The scene looks like a beautiful pearl chain that lies on the scenic river. This makes a festival of its own and people will be very cheerful.

The last refit of this great bridge was in 1957. It goes from east to west. The total length is 54 meters, the widest section of it about 5.3 meters and 2.6 meters above the water. Xingchun Bridge is of granite blocks with Song Dynasty's style beast carvings and lion sculptures.

Yuecheng Bridge

Yuecheng Bridge lies northeast coast of Shihu Lake in Shihu Lake Scenic Area, the outskirts of Suzhou city. It is so near to Xingchun Bridge. The bridge was first built in the Southern Song Dynasty (1127 – 1279), massively repaired many times in later ages and entirely rebuilt in 1869. In twentieth century, the years of neglect has caused the bridge to incline, also, some granite parts were dropped due to the hits by boats. It became a dangerous bridge. In 1993 a great refit has been made. It is a cross-lake bridge of single arch that goes east-west. You can command a good view of far away scenery : see the rustic village houses are dotted in the mountain field, and appreciate the crystal-clear water of Shihu Lake.

iconFengqiao Scenic Area

Fengqiao Scenic Area Fengqiao Scenic Area Fengqiao Scenic Area Fengqiao Scenic Area

This scenic zone is having long history. Since the Sui Dynasty (581 – 618 AD), Fengqiao has been a very prosperous town because the smooth traffic on the ancient canal had made trade convenience. The best, or the must go part in the area nowadays is Hanshan (Cold Mountain) Temple. Zhang Ji wrote a sentimental poem "Boat Berths near the Maple Bridge" to describe the beautiful scene at Fengqiao with deep emotion. It runs "Crows call as the moon falls at a cold night, one is sleepless while looking maple trees afar and flashing lanterns on fishing boats. The chilly tolls of Cold Mountain Temple at midnight in outskirts Suzhou fly to the passenger boat." This has made the place famous throughout the world. Relics are left by the Ming Dynasty when their forces oppugned the invading Japanese. Tieling Barrier is a testimony of the battle and it becomes a defense wall at the west of Suzhou city. The scenic area is 3.5 kilometers apart from old Suzhou city. Now it plays one of the best roles in Suzhou's rich resources in tourism.

In recent years, Fengqiao Scenic Area resumed the ancient Tang Dynasty's Scene of Lanterns, Street Scenes of Ming and Qing Dynasties, Riverside Maple Thatched House and Jinghongdu , which are great attractions all about Chinese history. Some old architecture has been rebuilt too. Water Transportation Exhibition Hall uses the state of the art light technology with more than forty ship models and documental diagrams to introduce the history and culture in river and canal traffic. Suzhou Art Celebrity House gathers many local folk artists, who have excellent skills in making interesting traditional works.

Fengqiao's (Maple Bridge) construction date is unknown, and it has already disappeared in the Tang Dynasty. The one that now we see here was built in 1867. It is an arch shaped bridge with a big half-circle hole below, to which tourists can travel by boat passing through it. During the boat ride, you can appreciate the charming scenery as described in Zhang Ji's poem!

iconEast Hill

East Hill East Hill East Hill East Hill

In Wuzhong District of Suzhou city, the East Hill has always been a place of flowing milk and honey. Because it is located very near of the famous Taihu Lake. Fertile field is green and vast, tea trees are juxtaposed on the hillside like stairs, fish ponds are dotted around and colorful ripe fruits are like a carpet paving on the slope. You can pick Chinese oranges when they are ripened and eat them. You may feel they are very sweet and juicy. In addition to the great natural scenery, many historical relics and humanistic attractions for you to see : Tower of Engraving Flowers, Xi's Family Garden , Dai of Rain and Flower , Dongshan State Guesthouse and Zijin Nunnery.

iconXishan Scenic Area

Xishan Scenic Area Xishan Scenic Area Xishan Scenic Area Xishan Scenic Area

Xishan scenic area is on Taihu Lake, which is 35 kilometers to the southwest of ancient city of Suzhou. It has a total area of 82.36 square meters. This scenic zone takes advantages of geographical location and excellent natural environment. It is 19 kilometers to Guangfu Airport and 120 kilometers to downtown Shanghai. Comfortable climate, beautiful scenery of mountain and water, old and invaluable heritage, and abundant agricultural products have made Xishan Island a famous place, which is known as "country of flowers and fruits" and "Xanadu on earth".

The Old Village of Ming Yue Wan lies the south of Xishan Island. It is now a local protected heritage. 2,500 years ago, a Wu State Emperor from the Spring and Autumn Period viewed the full moon during the Mid-autumn Festival with famous Chinese beauty Xi Shi. The island got the first character of her name. Old ferry piers, ancient agricultural scenes and ancestral temples from Ming and Qing Dynasties are worth to see.

iconYushan Mountain National Forest Park

Yushan Mountain National Forest Park Yushan Mountain National Forest Park Yushan Mountain National Forest Park Yushan Mountain National Forest Park

Yushan Mountain National Forest Park is located at the lakefront of the Yangchenghu Lake. This is a shining pearl embedded on a beautiful water village of the south of lower reaches of Yangtze River. The southeastern part is in the great ancient city – Changshu . The scenic Shanghu Lake is to the southwest. It has a good saying that "clear streams could flow to the great lake and miles of verdant mountains stretch into the old city", because it has excellent geographical advantages, beautiful natural scenery and abundant resources of humanistic heritage.

The forest of Yushan Mountain National Forest Park is about 1260 hectares which takes up 96 per cent of the park's total area. The vegetation varieties are made by Mother Nature and artificial planting. In a recent unofficial statistics, there are 89 sections that include about 309 kinds of plants.

The highest point in the park is 263 meters above sea level. There are more than 300 faults distributed evenly around the mountainous area. The mountain south has many dangerous cliffs, which are very majestic views ; while in the north are mystic caves, ancient grottoes and crystal-clear springs.

In every spring, lovely peach blossoms and pretty plum flowers are being bloomed flamboyantly. Their red looks like the rainbow clouds and white like winter snow. In mid-summer, bushes will flourish and their leaves will be so green and densely exuberance ; mosses can be seen on the forest field as well. Fragrant maple leaves will be falling in autumn. The crimson color in the forest is an eye-catching and overwhelming scene. Wintertime is beautifully dreamy and snow white : the tall pines with silvery branches, to which this scene is extremely fascinating.

iconFlower Mountain National Forest Park

Flower Mountain National Forest Park Flower Mountain National Forest Park Flower Mountain National Forest Park Flower Mountain National Forest Park

The trees on Flower Mountain are very lushly that they can wholly cover the bright sunlight which heats the ground. If you look at the forest from afar, it is like a giant green wall. Tranquil verdant scene with gravel paved path, which is long and winding. Cold springs flow with rhythmic sound, tall pines and cypress trees are stood along the country paths, and birds sing with flower fragrance wafts. All these make the forest park as if a Xanadu on earth.

The scenery of Flower Mountain National Forest Park has long history. Since ancient times, many litterateurs and artists liked stay in this place so much. The great Chinese thinker, Laozi (flourished about 2,500 years ago), had said that "it is hard to cross the Flower Mountain which is located at the western border of the Wu State (of the Spring and Autumn Era)." Buddhist monks had been living here as hermits, to live tranquil and pious life. Qing's Qianlong Emperor had many lucky chances to visit the beautiful mountain.

In 1990s, the forest park has become a national level tourism place. In 1998, Suzhou government collaborated with Mr. Chen Huizhong to develop the scenic area. Highways and car park spaces were built. Refit and renovation works have been done for many old Buddhist relics too.

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