Tuisi Garden – Ticket Price, Opening Hours, Location, and Highlights

tuisi garden

Tuisi Garden (退思园), located in the ancient town of Tongli in Suzhou, China, has a rich history dating back to the years 1885-1887 during the Qing Dynasty, specifically the 11th to 13th years of the Guangxu era. The garden was constructed by Ren Lansheng, a Qing Dynasty official who returned to his hometown after being dismissed from office. The name “Tuisi” is derived from the phrase in the “Zuo Zhuan” (a Chinese classic historical work), which translates to “Lin’s father serves the ruler, offering thoughts in full loyalty; retreats, reflecting and rectifying mistakes.”

Covering an area of 5674 square meters, with a building area of 2622 square meters, Tuisi Garden may be compact, but it encapsulates the essence of classical Chinese gardens, featuring pavilions, terraces, towers, pavilions, corridors, archways, bridges, kiosks, halls, rooms, and pavilions. This classical garden, situated outside the walls of Suzhou, has been recognized as a World Cultural Heritage site and has served as the backdrop for numerous film and television productions. Tuisi Garden’s unique architectural layout, breaking from convention due to the owner’s desire for modesty, stretches horizontally from west to east, with the western section designated for residence, the middle for courtyards, and the eastern part for the garden.

Table of Contents

Basic Information

Estimated Length of TourAbout 1 hour
Ticket PriceTuisi Garden is an attraction in Tongli Ancient Town, and the combined ticket for the town costs 100 RMB.
Opening Hours8.00 – 20.30; Last admission: 20.15
Telephone Number0086-0512-63311140

Location and Transportation

Tuisi Garden is located in Tongli Ancient Town, Suzhou, a city in Jiangsu Province, China. Suzhou is renowned for its classical Chinese gardens, and Tuisi Garden is one of its most cherished and historically significant examples. Its exact address is No. 234, Xintian Street, Tongli Town, Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, China.

There are express coaches to Tuisi Garden from Suzhou South Bus Station and North Bus Station. They depart every 15 minutes and cost 7 RMB, and it takes about half an hour to get there.

Highlights of Tuisi Garden

Ingenious Layout

layout of tuisi garden

The horizontal layout of Tuisi Garden unfolds from west to east, encompassing residences, courtyards, and gardens. The residential area consists of a main hall, a tea hall, a central hall, and two small buildings where the family resides. The central courtyard acts as a natural transition between the residence and the garden, primarily used for hosting guests. Enclosed by a covered corridor, the southern part of the courtyard features a guest reception hall and the “Suihan Ju,” where the host entertains and feasts guests. To the north, there is the “Zuo Chun Wang Yue Lou,” designated for guest accommodation. Despite its limited space, Tuisi Garden stands as a model of a small classical garden, offering a natural museum experience within its confines.

Ancient Architecture

symbolic architecture in tuisi garden

The Tuisi Cottage is the main building in the Tuisi Garden, located on the north bank of the lotus pond, facing south, with a width of five bays and a terrace extending over the water. The exterior of the cottage is simple, dignified, and yet varied. On the east side of the cottage, there is a music room. Alongside the music room, three curved stone bridges lead to the east bank of the pond, where the “Mian Yun Ting” (Cloud-Napping Pavilion) is situated. This two-story pavilion with a resting mountain roof has its lower level obscured by surrounding rocks, creating an artistic conception of “surpassing a real mountain with an imaginary one.”

Tranquil Water Features

tranquil water feature in tuisi garden

Tuisi Garden’s water features are an enchanting testament to the mastery of Chinese garden design. Serene and carefully integrated, the water elements create a tranquil ambiance throughout the garden. Meandering streams wind gracefully, reflecting the surrounding beauty and symbolizing the flow of life. Lotus ponds, adorned with elegant blossoms, evoke purity and spiritual enlightenment. Bridges gracefully arch over the water, connecting various parts of the garden and providing picturesque views. The sound of gently trickling water adds a soothing melody to the overall experience. Tuisi Garden’s water features invite visitors to immerse themselves in the poetry of nature, creating an oasis of serenity and contemplation.

Rockery Artistry

rockery artistry in tuisi garden

Tuisi Garden’s rockery is a marvel of Chinese landscaping artistry, exemplifying the ancient tradition of artificial mountain construction. The Lingbi Stone, standing on the south bank of the lotus pond, is a solitary massive rock measuring 5.5 meters in height. Resembling an elder gazing into the distance, it is aptly named the “Old Man Peak.” When viewed from the stage outside the Tuisi Cottage, it also resembles the traditional Chinese character for “longevity (寿).” The peak of this stone takes the shape of a turtle.

Vlog about Tuisi Garden

Useful Information Summarized from Reviews

Night Tours and Free Entry After 17:30: Tuisi Garden offers night tours, and after 17:30, the ancient town is free to enter. If you only wish to visit Tuisi Garden, purchasing a separate ticket is sufficient.

Enjoying the Night Views in Same Li Ancient Town: After exploring Tuisi Garden, start your night tour from Mingqing Street to appreciate the night views of Same Li Ancient Town. Experience the serene ambiance with moonlight casting shadows, and the reflection of the Golden Bridge on the lake adds to the pleasant atmosphere.

Recommended Photography Spots:

  • Near the exit of Tuisi Garden.
  • By the wooden windows of Gu Yu Sheng Liang Xuan.
  • Around the Water Fragrance Pavilion, especially by the stone railing near the lake.
  • In the vicinity of Nao Hong Yi Che (Red Boat) and the nearby rockery.

Closing Time and Caution: The ancient town closes its scenic lights at 10:00 PM, so plan your visit accordingly. Avoid wandering too late into the night to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

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