Slender West Lake
Situated in the northern suburbs of Yangzhou, the Slender West Lake boasts picturesque scenery, showing the characteristics of the gardens in South and North China. Compared with the West Lake of Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, the Slender West Lake is narrower but longer, like a slender and tall beauty. The beauty of the Slender West Lake lies in the meandering lake and simple and unsophisticated constructions. All the tourist attractions in the garden are scattered on both banks of the exquisite and winding lake, making the garden resemble an unfolded traditional Chinese painting. A number of buildings are erected on the lakeside, such as the West Garden, Imperial Wharf, Yechun Garden, Five-Pavilion Bridge, White Pagoda and Twenty-four Bridge. Touring along the lake on a boat, you will be fascinated by the changing scenery.
Loated on the northern corner of the Old City of Yangzhou, the Geyuan Garden is one of the representatives of the private gardens of the Qing Dynasty in the areas south of the Yangtze River. The garden owner planted lots of bamboos all over the garden, due to his love of bamboo which symbolizes the character of upright and honest to Chinese people. The name “Geyuan” comes from the shape of a bamboo leaf, which is like the Chinese character “ge”(个). The Geyuan Garden is famous for artificial hills, and its scenery changes along with the seasons. The construction of artificial hills in the garden is redolent in the conception of using different rocks for different peaks. Rocks of different hues and shapes are employed to represent scenes of four seasons, vivid and lifelike.
Located in Xuningmen Street of Yangzhou, the Heyuan Garden, also called Jixiao Mountain Villa, is known as the “No. 1 Garden of the Late Qing Dynasty”, integrating the Chinese and Western architectural arts. The garden is divided into the eastern part and western part, which are linked by a line of two-story buildings and double corridors. All the architectural structures in the garden are placed beside a pond at the foot of a hill by using the oddly-shaped rocks and undulating wall-side artificial hills. The garden is strewn with some halls, towers, pavilions and kiosks, which are laid out in the fashion of a maze, showing a perfect combination of landscapes and architecture. Known as the Mountain Forest in the city, Heyuan Garden is a typical example of the residential gardens in Yangzhou.
The Wang’s Garden
Situated in the Dongquanmen historical neighborhood, it is one of the large well-preserved residences in Yangzhou, which was owned by a salt merchant between the late Qing Dynasty and the early days of the Republic of China. With an area of over 3,000 square meters, it contains nearly 100 old houses and the floorage comes to over 1,600 square meters. The residence shows a well-conceived layout, with three rows of rooms horizontally and the main halls linked by three courtyards. A central axial line goes through the residence and the chambers on the left and right are symmetrical, embodying the mean ideology of Confucianism. The houses in the residence are in odd number. According to the mysterious geomantic omen, odd number symbolizes yang, and even number stands for yin.
The Lu’s Former Residence
Known as the “No. 1 Salt Merchant’s Mansion”, the Lu’s Former Residence is the largest residence owned by a salt merchant in Yangzhou. Situated in Old Kangshan Street in Yangzhou, it was built by Lu Shaoxu, a salt merchant during the Qing Dynasty. Covers an area of over 10,000 square meters, the residence contains more than 200 rooms and has nine courtyards. The side rooms by the front gate have been converted into the “Yangzhou Culinary Culture Museum”, where the models of famous Yangzhou dishes and detailed introductions are on display. The main halls, built with nanmu (fine wood), is named the Hundred-banquet Hall. Now it has been converted into a restaurant, serving the typical Yangzhou dishes and snacks.
Scenic Grand Canal
Yangzhou owns the oldest section of the ancient Grand Canal in China, which runs through the city. The Grand Canal in Yangzhou is flanked by many historical sites and shows special local customs and lifestyle. It is a sightseeing zone integrating gardens, tourism culture, leisure, trade and commerce. Taking a boat tour along the Grand Canal, you can feel the profound cultural connotations of Yangzhou and the unique glamour of the waterside city. There are two choices for you: regular pleasure boats and charted boats. You can board the ships at the Bianyimen Plaza or Kangshan Culture Garden.
Museum of Guangling King’s Tomb of the Han Dynasty
Close to the Pingshan Hall in Yangzhou, it is a mausoleum-type museum, which mainly displays the wooden coffins of the first Guangling King of the Western Han Dynasty, and his queen. With a well-knit structure, the large tomb is one of the large Han tombs rarely seen in China, with a history of over 2,000 years. The museum also includes the “Exhibition of Prosperous Yangzhou in the Han Dynasty”, “Special Exhibition of Liu Xijun – No.1 Woman of Yangzhou” and the show of the recreational activities of the Han Dynasty.
Tianning Buddhist Temple
Legend has it that the temple was built on the basis of the old residence of a famous prime minister of the Eastern Jin Dynasty (317-420). The Wanfo Building (Building of 10,000 Buddhist Statues) in the temple was built according to the historical records. Now the Tianning Buddhist Temple serves as the exhibition center of Buddhist culture, which includes some special-topic exhibition zones, such as “Chinese Buddhist Stories”, “Buddhism and Yangzhou”, “Deep Buddhist Temple”, “The Story of Avalokitesvara”, “The Story of Chan Sect”, “The World of Buddhist Paintings” and “Sound of Buddhist Songs”. In the temple there are also the abbot’s building and the monks’ rooms.
Standing on the Shugang Middle Peak, the Daming Temple is one of thekey Buddhist temples open to the public in China. The temple was first built in the Daming reign period of Emperor Xiaowu of the Southern Dynasties (420-589); hence the name. The Daming Temple is a national culture warehouse with rich historical and cultural connotations and has enjoyed a high reputation since ancient times. Meanwhile, this temple is also a picturesque garden.