The Master of Nets Garden is located in No. 11, Kuojiatao Lane, Daichengqiaoa Road, which is in the southeast part of Suzhou City. From the main street, we passed this narrow alley way crammed with small shops selling various trinkets where visitors are expected to haggle over prices.

There was an admittance fee of 20 Yuan per person. There were only a few visitors that day. As soon as we walked into the garden, I felt like we were stray cats wandering aimlessly through a series of connected chambers and passages without a helpful map in hand.

The Master of Nets Garden was first constructed in the 12th century and then restored in the 18th century as the residence of a retired official. This is the smallest and a typical mansion garden in Suzhou about 5,333 square meters.

The garden is divided into three parts: a residential section, the central main garden and an inner garden. The main garden has large pond that is surrounded by pathways and a variety of buildings.

The eastern part of the garden is the residential area with guest receiving halls, and living quarters.

The Western part of this garden has an inner courtyard which contains the Hall of the Eternal Spring which was copied and exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and miniaturized for an exhibit in the Pompidou Centre in Paris. This garden also has won the titles of world cultural heritage site, a scenic spot of national 4A level and considered the finest garden in China.

The ancient rooms are quite noticeable in design representing the style of the Song Dynasty, and the garden has a compact layout that beats other larger gardens. But overall I wasn't really impressed of the place. It wasn't as striking as I expected, so I ended up feeling a bit sluggish while we spent walking around.

To make your visit memorable, probably you should visit here from middle of March to middle of November where they offer nightly performances of traditional Chinese music and dance.

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  1. The garden location is kind of odd, in way of the ugly alley. But the garden looks decent

  2. This garden looks so old and simple.

  3. Hmmm, why do you always have to make me feel jealous with your travels?

    Haha, thanks for sharing this.


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AN ASIAN TRAVELER, Exploring Around Asia!