The 2,500 year old city of Suzhou is a city of gardens. A garden must have a water, rocks (the rock structures are typically volcanic formations brought in from the lake to make little artificial mountains), a bridge, and a pavilion. These gardens where built by the wealthy merchants of Suzhou who controlled what’s believed to be the world’s oldest and longest canal system. They also produced and sold the world famous silk and embroidery that attracted Marco Polo.
For hundreds of years, the city thrived and there were over 200 of these garden estates in the city (remember to be a garden they need to have rock formations, water, a bridge, and a pavilion). Now there are still 50 in existence but this one, the Lingering Garden is one of the largest and most beautiful. With seemingly unending rocks, water, bridges, and pavilions... One thing you need to understand about these gardens is that no picture can do them justice. No place on earth that I’ve ever seen compares to this. It is like mixing a maze with a fairytale. You can wander for hours and constantly be seeing new things. Every turn is a little unexpected, but also so carefully and thoughtfully designed that it feels both surprising and familiar. To wonder one of these gardens is one of the most magical, relaxing, and inspiring things that I have ever experienced. Suzhou will forever in my mind be a magical place.