Located on the northern shore of Lihu Lake in Southwest Wuxi, Jiangsu Province, Liyuan Garden is one of the most famous gardens for lake scenery in China. The garden derived its name from Lihu Lake and it became well known because of Fan Li, a high-ranking official of the State of Yue in Spring and Autumn Period (770 BC – 476 BC), who lived here in seclusion together with Xi Shi, one of the four famous beauties in ancient China.
Liyuan Garden is a private garden built in the early 20th century, with its layout and architecture in classical Chinese style and a backdrop of picturesque lake scenery. The garden is surrounded by water on three sides. The water surface of Lihu Lake is about 10 square kilometers, which is 1.7 times the size of West Lake in Hangzhou. Merging with Lihu Lake, Liyuan Garden becomes the most beautiful spot on the entire lake.
The scenery in the garden can be divided into three sections: artificial hills in the middle section, long causeway and Pavilions of Four Seasons in the west section, and Thousand-step Corridor and Spring and Autumn Pavilion in the east section. The garden appears full of life and is like a mysterious labyrinth, with ponds, walkway, mini-bridges, mini-pagodas and souvenir stalls dotted here and there.
Liyuan Garden has two characteristics: “A real lake and artificial hills” and “red peach blossoms and green willow trees”. Here the real lake refers to Lihu Lake, and the artificial hills are the hills piled up with Taihu rocks. In the artificial hills, there is the Ear-washing Spring in the shape of an ear. The “red peach blossoms and green willow trees” is a vivid description of the Spring Dawn at South Causeway.
Four pavilions known as Spring Pavilion, Summer Pavilion, Autumn Pavilion and Winter Pavilion constitute Pavilions of Four Seasons, which is one of the highlights in the garden. The four pavilions were built in the same style, with the pictures of flowers in four seasons painted on the pillars accordingly. Beside each pavilion, a special kind of flower was planted. Plum blossoms are planted beside the Spring Pavilion; oleanders beside the Summer Pavilion; sweet-scented osmanthus can be found by the Autumn Pavilion; and winter sweets by the Winter Pavilion. Therefore, you can enjoy flowers in bloom throughout the year.
Thousand-step Corridor is about 300-meter long, winding around the park. It has a large white wall with numerous latticed openings, from which you can view the park at different angles. Here you can also enjoy the inscriptions in the handwriting of famous ancient calligraphers, such as Su Dongpo and Mifu.
Spring and Autumn Pavilion is three-story high, with eaves cocked upwards. As the highest architecture in the garden, the pavilion is a good place to have a panoramic view of the garden.
- Inside the Liyuan Garden there is a tour boat dock for people to other points on the lakeshore.
- Each year from late March to middle April, the exhibition of peach blossom is held in the garden; and annual exhibition of lotus is held from late June or early July to the end of August or early Novemeber.
- The night tours are available from July to the end of August or early September.
- Spring is the best time to visit the garden.
ADD: No.70, Qingqi Village, Binhu District, Wuxi, Jiangsu Province.
Openging Hours: 07:00am – 18:00pm