Suzhou 2: Gardens and Temples

The Master-of-Nets garden. This is a garden covering 5400 square meters. Its history dates to the 1st century AD and it is considered the finest specimen of small and medium-sized classical gardens in the south of the Lower Yangtze. The 22 buildings are arranged to make the garden appear larger than it is.

The Chinese garden in Portland is mainly modeled after this garden.

Another "natural painting" found by cutting a stone.

Some lotus blossoms

This tree is 900 years old. (So far.)

I love this stonework. I think it's very impressive but Maggie says it's easy and she'll come do it in my garden.

Some carving that I liked.

Even a doorway viewing another doorway can be interesting.

This is a newly constructed Pagoda.

Again, I was treated as a celebrity. These children came up to me one at a time to say "Hello!" I said about 50 "hellos". (I should have tried a "Ni Hao" but I think they really wanted a "Hello" back.)

A monk with Buddha beads. Maggie bought me some Buddha beads and showed me how to use them.

Some really nice-looking furniture but I'm not sure that I would want to sit in it.

This place also featured an act with a lion, bear, and Dog(?), so we watched it for a few minutes.

This gated area was designed so that enemies could be lured in, and then the gates on both sides could be lowered leaving them trapped. Soldiers could then walk around the top of the walls and easily annihilate the trapped enemies. It is called the Weng Gate after a type of narrow jar called a Weng. This area also had gates for controlling the water level.

A Gate Winch

East meets West or A coke-drinking lion!

The ramps are for wheeled vehicles including bicycles.

Maggie is passing through a guard tower and approaching the Maple Bridge.

Leaving Maple Bridge. Maggie has a "this doesn't look like the way to the temple" expression but I liked these weathered old buildings.

Another bridge that is very similar to the Maple Bridge.

This is the Han Shan Temple (Monastery of the Cold Mountain). This temple and the "Maple Bridge" outside (above) became famous due to a poem by Zhang Ji titled "Parking my boat in Maple Bridge at night". A rough English translation:

"As the moon goes down, a crow calls through the frost
Under Maple Bridge a fisherman's lamp troubles my sleep
And I hear, from beyond Suzhou's walls, from Cold Mountain Temple
Ringing for me, here in my boat, the midnight bell"

Like many active temples, no photos were allowed inside.