Home > Destination > Jiangsu > Suzhou > Attractions
Suzhou Bus Search

Search buses/subway lines between two stops.

Search a bus/subway line.

Humble Administrator's Garden

Ask Question
  • A Long Corridor, Zhuozhengyuan
    A Long Corridor, Zhuozhengyuan
  • Beautiful Scenery, Zhuozhengyuan
    Beautiful Scenery, Zhuozhengyuan
  • A Pavilion, Zhuozhengyuan
    A Pavilion, Zhuozhengyuan
  • Humble Administrator's Garden
    Humble Administrator's Garden
1 2 3 4

Taking up an area of 51,950 square meters, the Humble Administrator's Garden (Zhuozhengyuan) is situated at No. 178 of Northeast Street, Suzhou City. The garden was initially built in 1509 in the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644). As 'The Mother of Chinese Gardens', Humble Administrator's Garden is the representative Garden south of the Yangtze River, as well as the biggest classical landscape garden in Suzhou City. In 1997, it was listed as a 'World Heritage Site' by UNESCO.

The Chinese name of the garden is 'Zhuozheng Yuan' - 'the garden of an incompetent's political life'. It was given by the first owner Wang Xianchen to describe his difficult political life. After resigning, Wang Xianchen came back home and asked an artist named Wen Zhenming to draw the blueprint of the Humble Administrator's Garden. With a unique layout and sophisticated arrangement, the garden centers upon water and makes full use of the restricted space. It was built in the typical style of the Ming Dynasty, presenting a peaceful and quite landscape with refreshing ponds, pavilions, ornamental perforated windows, cloisters, hills, ancient trees, green grasses and colorful flowers.

The garden consists of three major sections, the east section, the central section and the west section, of which the central section is the highlight.

 East Section
Originally built in the Ming Dynasty, the East Section was reconstructed between 1959 and 1960. It is now the main entrance of Humble Administrator's Harden. The new East Section inherits the bright and vivid style from the previous one, where flat ridge, pines, meadows, bamboo hutch and streams are highlighted. The main buildings in this section are the Heavenly Spring Pavilion, the Millet Fragrance Hall and the Lotus Pavilion.

 Central Section
The Central Section is the elite part of the whole garden, which is about 18.5 Mu (14,750 square yards) in total. Being the theme of Central Section, water takes up 1/3 of this area. Pavilions and halls are built randomly around or over water, among which the Distant Fragrance Hall is the main building. It was initially built in the years of Qianlong in the Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1911). The hall faces a pond, with windows on four sides. Standing in the hall, one can see different views from four sides. In the south of the hall are a small pond, an artificial hill and a bamboo forest. In north of the hall, there are two isles in the pond. While in the east and west, there are two pavilions named Yuanxiang Yunwei Pavilion and Daishuang Pavilion respectively. Especially in summer, the fragrance of blooming lotus is passed around by the breeze, permeating the whole garden, hence the name of "Distant Fragrance Hall". In addition, there are many other buildings near the Distant Fragrance Hall, such as Xiuqi Pavilion, Loquat Garden and Jiashi Pavilion.

 West Section
The west section takes up an area of 12.5 Mu (9,966 square yards). Arranged in a compact layout, pavilions and halls are built at the foot of hills and beside the ponds. In the south of the pond is the Mandarin Ducks Hall, where the owners used to meet guests and enjoy opera. The hall is divided into two parts, the 18 Daturas Hall and 36 Mandarin Ducks Hall. There is also a small pavilion in the north of the pond named 'Yu Shui Tong Zuo' (with whom I sit), which was named after a famous line of Su Dongpo 'With whom I sit, the moon, the breeze, or me'. There are other buildings in this section like Liuting Pavilion, Yiliang Pavilion, Daoying Tower and Shuilang.

There is also a Suzhou Garden Museum in the Humble Administrator's Garden. Built in 1992, it is the first gardening museum in China. The museum consisting of four exhibition rooms which are Garden Origin, Garden History, Garden Characteristics and Garden Arts.

 Entrance Fee: 
CNY 70 (Apr. 16th to Oct. 30th )
CNY 50 (Oct. 31st to Apr.15th ) 

 Opening Hours: 08:15 - 17:30 

 Best Time to Visit: Spring, Summer and Autumn 

 Bus Routes: Take Bus No. 40, 178, 201, 301, 309, 313, 518, 529, 923, Tourism Bus No. 1, 2 or 5 and get off at Zhuozhengyuan stop.

1. Local Food: Songshuguiyu (Squirrel-shaped Mandarin Fish), Yingtaorou (Braised Pork with Cherry Juice), wonton, and all kinds of noodles which can be enjoyed in the near Eunuch Lane that is regarded as the Food Street of Suzhou.
2. Shopping: Suzhou Fans and Suzhou Embroidery which could be found in the Northeast Street or Garden Road near the Humble Administrator's Garden.
3. The annual Rhododendron Show in spring and the Lotus Show in summer are held between April and October.

Ask a Question about Humble Administrator's Garden
Back Go Top