Last Update: 15th October 2020
Originally built in 1541, Garden of Cultivation is also called Medicine Garden. The garden features the original style in the Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644). Although it is small, it is exquisitely designed and built.
- Chinese Name: Yipu (艺圃)
- Area: 3,900 square meters
- Things to do there: Photography, History and Culture, Architecture
- Who visits: Photographers, History and Culture Lovers, Architects
- Time required: 1 x hour
Garden of Cultivation can be the least popular among tourists compared to other classical gardens in Suzhou. It is hidden in a small lane. The garden is composed of residence area and garden area with one pool in the middle. Outdoor arches are one of the highlights in the garden.
In north of the pool are buildings, in the south are the artificial hills, and in the east stands the Ruyu Pavilion which was originally built in the Ming Dynasty. Residences are directly situated by the pool. Five waterside pavilions guard the pool.
Located in the southwest of the garden, Nanzhai Room was the original study with the original furnishings. With the artificial hills as the background, Xiangyue Corridor faces the pool. You’ll find a camphor tree, a crape myrtle, and a Physostegia virginiana grows by the pool. Banana trees and wintersweet together with the ornamental perforated windows make for stunning views to appreciate.
Yanguang Pavilion, the tea house is decorated with four marble hanging screen. Nianzu Hall, a large waterside pavilion, stands by the waters. The crescent beam is carved with gorgeous cloud carvings. Boya Hall, also the original structure in the Ming Dynasty is the spot where works of the modern calligraphers of Suzhou is on display.
As it is less popular among tourists, you can explore the garden any time during the opening hours.
The best months to visit are from March to October.
Unfortunately, there is no direct bus to the garden as it is located in a small lane. But you can take Bus 33, 88, 262, 301 or Bus 313 to the Stop of Children’s Hospital and you’d need to walk for some 15 minutes to the garden. Alternatively, you can rent a vehicle to the nearest spot to the garden where the car is permitted to park. And then walk to the garden.
- Opening hours: 07:30 – 17:00 (tourists are not permitted to enter the garden from 16:30 on)
- As at 15th October 2020, the entrance pricing to the garden is 10 CNY per person; children between 1.2m tall (1.2m tall included) and 1.4m tall (1.4m tall not included) are charged 5 CNY per person; the elder between 60 years old (60 years old included) and 70 years old (70 years old not included) are charged 5 CNY per person; the elder above 70 years old (70 years old included) and children under 1.2m tall (1.2m tall not included) are free of charge; For the latest pricing, please contact us via email (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Please book the entrance ticket via Suzhou Tourism Official Account (苏州旅游总入口)on WeChat.
- Please present your passports to the staff at the entrance.