Suzhou

 
The city of garden architecture
 
On the banks of Taihu Lake lies the strikingly beautiful city of Suzhou. Punctuated with classical garden architecture, waterside towns, rivers, bridges and streets and lanes symbolic of the Song dynasty (960 AD-1279 AD). Suzhou is an ancient city with a 2,500 years' history. The unique characteristics of the past are still retained now. The double-chessboard layout of the city, with 'the streets and rivers go side by side while the water and land routes run in parallel', are preserved basically intact. Strolling the streets, you can feel the unique lingering charm of this landscape left by its long history. As the saying goes - 'Gardens to the south of Yangtze River are the best in the world, and Suzhou gardens are the best among them'. These gardens attain their high reputation not only for their vast numbers, but also for their charming natural beauty and harmonious construction. At present more than 60 gardens are kept intact in the city, and a series of them have been listed in the World Heritage List, including the , the Lingering Garden, the Garden of Master of Nets and the Mountain Villa with Embracing Beauty. Rating alongside these classical gardens are the exquisite water townships in Suzhou. Zhouzhuang, Mudu Town,Tongli Town and so on should not be missed by any visitor. In any water township, a number of Ming and Qing dynasty preserved buildings can be found. The natural sights and human landscape enhance each other's beauty, which is a great attraction to the visitors.
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