Shihu Lake, Suzhou – Ticket Price, Opening Hours, Location, and highlights

shihu lake, suzhou

Shihu Lake (石湖), nestled in Suzhou, is a captivating branch of the renowned Taihu Lake. This picturesque waterbody is intricately divided into three distinct sections, each exuding its own unique charm. With a history dating back over two millennia, Shihu Lake boasts five historical dams, some of which have stood since 2,000 years ago. These dams are more than mere structures; they are living testaments to the passage of time and human ingenuity.

The lake’s allure lies not only in its ancient engineering marvels but also in its idyllic surroundings. The area is celebrated for its tranquil beauty, capturing the essence of a bygone era. It serves as a bridge to the past, offering glimpses into the lives of the people from the Wu and Yue states during the Chunqiu Era, nearly 2400 years ago. Shihu Lake is more than a body of water; it’s a living repository of history, culture, and nature, inviting visitors to explore the tapestry of time that has woven this remarkable destination.

Table of Contents

Basic Information

Estimated Length of TourAbout 3 hours
Ticket PriceThe Lake: Free
The Zoo: 60 RMB
The Shanfang Mountain: 40 RMB
Opening HoursThe Lake:
24 hours a day
The Zoo:
8.30 – 17.00 (1st March – 31st October)
8.30 – 16.30 (1st November – 28th February)
The Shangfang Mountain:
7.30 – 17.00
Area2,560,000 square meters
Telephone Number0086-0512-65646668

Location and Transportation

Shihu Lake is an enchanting destination situated in the city of Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, China. Its precise geographical coordinates are approximately 31.2583° N latitude and 120.5203° E longitude.

To the north end of the lake:

  • Bus: Take bus 415, 505, Shangfangshan Express Line, or Holiday Express Line 3 and get off at Sanitary School (Shihu Campus) South Stop (卫生学院石湖校区南).
  • Metro: The closest metro station to the north end of Shihu Lake is Shihu North (石湖北) on line 3. After getting out of the station from Exit 1b, you will see the lake right in front of you.

To the south end of the lake:

  • Bus: Take bus 53, 54, 57, 62, 503, 514, 522, 552, 555, 628, or Express line 8 and get off at Moshe Bridge East Stop (莫舍桥东站).
  • Metro: The closest metro station to the south end of Shihu Lake is Shihu Moshe (石湖莫舍) on line 4. After getting out of the station from Exit 3, walk about 400 meters to the east to reach the lake.

Highlights of Shihu Lake

Shangfang Mountain

shangfang mountian in shihu lake

Nestled by Shihu Lake, Shangfang Mountain offers a captivating escape. At its summit, visitors can marvel at breathtaking views of the lake’s expanse. The mountain is a treasure trove of history, adorned with ancient wonders like Lengjia Temple, Baoji Temple, and Zhiping Temple, standing for over 1500 years. These sites weave a narrative of spirituality and culture, inviting travelers to explore their intricate stories. Shangfang Mountain harmoniously combines natural beauty with profound heritage, making it a cherished destination for those seeking both scenic tranquility and a glimpse into the past.

Xingchun Bridge

xingchun bridge in shihu lake area

Xingchun Bridge, an ancient marvel on Shihu Lake, dates back to the Song Dynasty. Spanning 54 meters with nine graceful arches, it stands as a testament to architectural ingenuity. The bridge’s allure is heightened by a captivating legend: on the 18th day of the eighth lunar month, a mesmerizing phenomenon occurs. The moon’s reflection graces each of the nine arches, creating a surreal spectacle. This annual occurrence weaves a touch of magic into the bridge’s historical significance, making Xingchun Bridge not just a structural wonder but also a conduit for enchanting tales and celestial beauty.

Hundred-Lion Bridge

hundred-line bridge in shihu lake

Gracing the confluence of West and South Shihu Lake, the Hundred-Lion Bridge is a captivating gem. Adorned with more than 80 intricately carved stone lions, reminiscent of Beijing’s Lugou Bridge, it stands as a magnificent sight. Its 19 arches, varying in size, have earned it the moniker “19-Arch Bridge.” Proudly the highest bridge on Shihu Lake, this architectural marvel offers a panoramic vista that captivates tourists. As a fusion of artistry and function, the Hundred-Lion Bridge not only connects landscapes but also bridges the past and present, inviting visitors to appreciate its grandeur and savor the surrounding beauty.

Fangong Temple

fangong temple in shihu lake

Fagong Temple, nestled along the shores of Shihu Lake, stands as a poignant tribute to Fang Dacheng, a renowned poet of the South Song Dynasty. This temple, conceived in his memory, honors his poetic legacy. After retiring, Fang Dacheng found solace on the tranquil shores of Shihu Lake, penning numerous verses and articles that beautifully captured the essence of the area. Fagong Temple encapsulates his connection with this serene landscape and preserves his literary contributions, inviting visitors to delve into the past and relish the inspiration drawn from the natural beauty that stirred his poetic soul.

Yuzhuang Garden

yuzhuang garden in shihu lake

Yuzhuang Garden, an artistic haven within the Shihu Lake vicinity, is the creation of Yujue, an accomplished calligrapher of the early 20th century. Encompassing around 1500 square meters, the garden boasts five elegant halls that weave together beauty and culture. Positioned opposite the distant Lengjia Pagoda and Fagong Temple, a pavilion graces its entrance, forming a harmonious alignment. Yuzhuang Garden stands as a testament to Yujue’s creative prowess, offering visitors a tranquil retreat where nature and human craftsmanship entwine seamlessly, creating an oasis of serenity within the historical tapestry of the Shihu Lake area.

Shangfangshan Forest Animal World

shangfangshan forest animal world

Nestled near Shihu Lake, the Shangfangshan Forest Animal World is a captivating sanctuary. Spread across eight distinct sections, each dedicated to various species, the world within offers an immersive wildlife experience. Among its diverse inhabitants, the zoo proudly shelters 15 South China tigers, emblematic of its commitment to conservation. This haven of biodiversity invites visitors to explore the natural world’s wonders, fostering awareness and understanding of our planet’s precious fauna. With its comprehensive sections and dedication to endangered species, Shangfangshan Forest Animal World stands as a testament to the coexistence of humanity and the animal kingdom in the scenic embrace of the Shihu Lake region.

Vlog about Shihu Lake

Useful Tips Summarized from Reviews

Dining Options Near the South Gate: Near the South Gate of the scenic area, there are plenty of dining options, including local restaurants and even international chains like McDonald’s. You have a variety of choices for both local and familiar cuisines.

Unique Three-Forked Bridge Near Yuelake Building: Close to the Yuelake Building, there is a distinctive Three-Forked Bridge. While visitors may not be able to walk on the bridge, its unique design, with one bridge leading in three directions, attracts many tourists who stop to admire it.

Electric Car Rentals: The park offers various electric cars for rent. Single-person electric cars cost 40 yuan per hour, while two or three-person cars are priced at 100 yuan per hour. Larger four-person cars are available at 120 yuan per hour. Renting an electric car provides a convenient and comfortable way to explore the park.

Other Lakes in Suzhou

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