Canglang Pavilion, Suzhou – Ticket Price, Opening Hours, Location, and Highlights

canglang pavilion in suzhou

Canglang Pavilion (沧浪亭), nestled in the heart of Suzhou, China, spans an expansive 1.08 hectares and boasts a rich history dating back to the Northern Song Dynasty during the Qingli era (1041–1048 AD). As the residence of the renowned military general Han Shizhong in the early years of the Southern Song Dynasty (12th century AD), it stands as the oldest existing garden in Suzhou. Canglang Pavilion sets itself apart with its unique garden design, featuring a lush green water pond encircling the exterior. The landscape within the garden predominantly showcases magnificent rock formations, with a prominent earthen mound crowned by the Canglang Stone Pavilion. Below the mound, a meticulously carved water pool connects the landscape, bridging the gap between the mountains and waters with a meandering covered walkway.

Constructed by the literary figure Su Shunqin during his exile in the Song Dynasty, Canglang Pavilion draws its name from the Chu Ci, a collection of Chinese poems, specifically from the “Fisherman” poem. Alongside Lion Grove Garden, Humble Administrator’s Garden, and Lingering Garden, Canglang Pavilion represents the different periods of garden development in Suzhou during the Song, Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasties, collectively known as the “Four Great Gardens of Suzhou.” In contrast to other popular gardens, Canglang Pavilion offers a serene atmosphere with fewer visitors. The garden’s charm lies in its emphasis on artificial rock formations, and the exquisite flower-patterned windows along the covered walkways are a delightful feature worth admiring.

Table of Contents

Basic Information

Estimated Length of Tour1 – 2 hours
Ticket Price20 RMB (21st April – 20th October)
15 RMB (21st October – 20th April the next year)
Opening Hours7.30 – 17.30; Last admission: 17.00 (21st April – 20th October)
7.30 – 17.00; Last admission: 16.30 (21st October – 20th April the next year)
Telephone Number0086-0512-67970005

Location and Transportation

Canglang Pavilion is situated in the northeast part of Suzhou, within the old city area. The pavilion is part of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Classical Gardens of Suzhou, a collection of meticulously designed gardens that showcase traditional Chinese gardening principles. Its exact address is No. 3 Canglang Pavilion Street, Gusu District, Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, China. To get there, you can choose the following ways:

Bus: Take bus 1, 101, 308, 501, or 933, get off at Workers’ Cultural Hall Stop (工人文化宫站), and walk about 50 meters to the east to reach the garden.

Metro: The nearest metro station to the Canglang Pavilion is South Gate on line 4 and line 5. After getting out of the station from Exit 3, walk about 240 meters to the north to reach the garden.

Highlights of Canglang Pavilion

Canglang Pavilion

historical legacy of canglang pavilion

Canglang Pavilion, founded in the Northern Song Dynasty by scholar Su Shunqin, is a gem in Suzhou’s classical gardens. Originally situated to the north, it was relocated during the Kangxi era to its current position atop a mountain peak. With elegant stone pillars and ancient trees, the pavilion offers a magnificent view of the entire garden. From this vantage point, visitors in ancient times could gaze upon the southern fields and village lights. The interplay between the water pool outside and the mountain pavilion creates a picturesque scene, encapsulating the timeless beauty of Canglang Pavilion.

Ingenious Landscape

serene water features of canglang pavilion

Canglang Pavilion, also known as the Blue Wave Pavilion, occupies a significant place among Suzhou’s classical gardens. Despite changes in ownership and renovations, much of the original landscape remains intact, with minimal disruptions to the garden’s rockeries and external water features. The scenery within the garden is characterized by its unadorned natural beauty, harmoniously blending the mountains and waters, creating a picturesque representation of nature. The garden’s layout places a strong emphasis on the integration of mountains, with the entrance showcasing yellow stones and ancient trees planted atop artificial rockeries. The architectural structures complement the landscape by encircling the mountains, connected by a long corridor. This covered walkway not only unifies the pavilions and gazebos situated along the waterside but also provides visitors with over a hundred intricately designed latticed windows on both sides, allowing for panoramic views that seamlessly merge the external waters with the internal mountains.

Latticed Windows

ingenious architecture in canglang pavilion

One of the most distinctive features of Canglang Pavilion is its collection of intricately designed latticed windows, known as “lou chuang” or leaky windows. There are a total of 108 different styles of these windows, each with unique patterns and shapes. The frames of these windows vary, including square, polygonal, circular, fan-shaped, begonia-shaped, vase-shaped, pomegranate-shaped, ruyi-shaped, autumn leaf-shaped, palace-shaped, and peach-shaped, with square and polygonal shapes being the most prevalent. The latticed windows create a visual effect where the view seems both obstructed and unobstructed, casting mesmerizing patterns of light and shadow. As visitors move through the garden, the scenery evolves, creating a captivating “step-by-step” and “ever-changing” experience.

Covered Walkway

peaceful retreat of canglang pavilion

The covered walkway, known as “fu lang” or floating corridor, serves as a seamless link between the mountains and waters, dividing the internal and external spaces. The eaves of the corridor, extending over the walkway walls, tightly bind the mountains within the garden with the waters outside, fostering a harmonious interaction between the two elements. This design not only compensates for the lack of water within the garden but also expands the visual space for visitors, offering a more diverse and enriching viewing experience. This unique open layout contributes to the distinctive character of Suzhou’s classical gardens, with Canglang Pavilion’s floating corridor being celebrated as one of the three renowned covered walkways in Suzhou’s classical gardens.

Vlog about Canglang Pavilion

Useful Tips Summarized from Reviews

Parking Tips: If you plan to visit Canglang Pavilion by car, note that the main parking lot might fill up quickly. Consider parking at the Suzhou Workers’ Cultural Palace parking lot or the “Suzhou Citizens’ Requisition Comprehensive Service Center” nearby. Both options are convenient for a short walk to the pavilion.

Try Local Cuisine Near Canglang Pavilion: For a delightful culinary experience, explore a local Suzhou-style noodle restaurant near Canglang Pavilion called “Chenxingzhai (晨星斋).” Reviewers have praised its delicious dishes, and it’s conveniently located around Canglang Pavilion.

Explore the Newly Opened Ke Garden: Just across from Canglang Pavilion, there’s the newly opened Ke Garden, which became accessible to the public in 2022. The entrance fee is 25 yuan. This garden is considered a worthwhile exploration, especially for seasoned visitors who have already toured Suzhou extensively.

Quiet Tea Room with Riverside Views: Inside the Ke Garden, there is a serene tea room by the water. It offers a peaceful ambiance, and through the windows, you can enjoy views of the bustling street scene along the riverbank. Take a moment to relax and enjoy the tranquility.

Attractions near Canglang Pavilion

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