Suzhou, The Humble Administrator’s Garden: Part 2/2

Easy Diving posted a piece (with a few stunning winter pictures) about Suzhou. Easy Diving said the city’s history goes back to 514 BC.  The gardens were built by imperial officials to create an oasis of tranquility intended for inward reflection.

That tranquility was shattered several times.  The gardens were first destroyed during the Taiping Rebellion.

Then the Japanese invaded China during World War II, and the gardens were destroyed a second time.

During Mao’s Cultural Revolution, many of the gardens were destroyed a third time.

It wasn’t until 1981 when Mao was gone and Deng Xiaoping ruled the Communist Party that most of the gardens were rebuilt along with many of China’s Buddhist temples that had been destroyed.

Return to Suzhou, The Humble Administrator’s Garden: Part 1


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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3 Responses to Suzhou, The Humble Administrator’s Garden: Part 2/2

  1. The gardens in Suzhou have been on my one day list ever since we met a lady who had been there and described them to us, but it was only when reading your posts that I could remember the name and realised exactly where in China Suzhou actually is.
    We are hoping to go to the Expo in the summer, so now we have the ideal opportunity for some really enjoyable relaxation time as well.
    Thank you Lloyd.

    • You are welcome. Book your flights now. If patient, you may find a good price yet. Most airlines have filled all seats and prices have jumped. Hotels in China are also charging more–prices for the reasonable hotels we use went up more than 30%. Also, if you haven’t been in China before, expect the Shanghai EXPO crowds as you have never experienced them. Plan accordingly by getting one of those money belts you wear under everything else. Keep your passports, credit cards and money in that money belt. Keep your camera around your neck with a hand always on the camera. As low as the crime rate is in China, there are still pick pockets who take risks even with the harsh laws. A neighbor who lives near us in California was carless in China and lost an expensive camera. He left it on a bench and walked out of sight of it. When he remembered and returned, it was gone.

      We’ve already heard from family and friends in China that Chinese are traveling from all over China to see the Expo. An example would be the national independance holiday when more than two-hundred-million Chinese hit the roads to go home and celebrate with family. Every means of transportation was sold out. We were caught in that holiday exodus one year and will never book a trip around a national holiday in China again. There were so many people flowing into the major cities that all the hotels filled up and people ended up camping out by the thousands in front of bus depots, train stations and airports. It was difficult to even find an available taxi. Only the most expensive five-star hotels had rooms.

      • Yes, thanks Lloyd, I already do use the money belt in China, and we’re fortunate that my brother-in-law can get us discount and priority at many Chinese hotel chains. 😉
        And public holidays are a definite no-no for travel….
        Good advice for all readers though.

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