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Best Places to Visit in Jiangsu

Jiangsu, located in the downstream area of the Yangtze River along China eastern coastline, is known as the "country of fish and rice" and the "land of rivers and lakes". TopChinaTravel would like to introduce some of the Best Places to visit in Jiangsu, to help you find your way to explore the unspoiled beauty of this charming and mysterious area. Where to visit in Jiangsu? Travel with us, just let us to be your guide and accompany with you to discover the charms between water towns and gardens.

Confucius Temple(Nanjing)

Located on the Northern bank of the Qinhuai River, the Confucius Temple  in Nanjing is for people to worship Confucius, the great thinker and educator in ancient China. Now it is one of the bustling areas in Nanjing with the East and West markets.

The temple is centered on Dacheng Hall, where a statue of Confucius is enshrined. Other halls and pavilions are laid out symmetrically. Qinhuai River is regarded as the companion pool of the temple. On the opposite bank of the river is an ochreous red screen wall with green tiles. With a length of 110 m (361 ft), the wall is the longest of its kind in China. The first entrance to the temple is a tall arch 'Tian Xia Wen Shu'. The construction of both the screen wall and the arch are in an ancient architectural style used for screens and decoration.

Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum(Nanjing)

The Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum  is the tomb of the Hongwu Emperor, the founder of the Ming Dynasty. The construction of the mausoleum began during the Hongwu Emperor life in 1381 and ended in 1405, during the reign of his son the Yongle Emperor, with a huge expenditure of resources involving 100,000 laborers. The original wall of the mausoleum was more than 22.5 kilometers long. The mausoleum was built under heavy guard of 5,000 military troops.

Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum embodies the ancient Chinese philosophic thinking of "unity of humans and the universe". It inherited the advantages of the systems of imperial mausoleums of the Han, Tang and Song dynasties, while creating a new system of its own. Xiao-ling has been the leading mausoleum system in the Ming and Qing dynasties, possessing a fabulous and cherished position in the development of Chinese imperial mausoleum.

Grand Canal(Suzhou)

The Grand Canal is the world's longest man-made waterway, being 1,800km long. The canal connects the present cities Beijing in the north and Hangzhou in the south, which served as dynastic capitals in the past, and contains 24 locks and 60 bridges.

Today there's program offering cruise of the Grand Canal. The area was nicely designed and had a nice atmosphere. The boat was fairly small and only held about fifteen people. The boat cruised down the canal at a leisurely pace and passed many ancient houses built along the banks. It was really nice. Each house had stairs leading down to the water for washing their laundry and vegetables and the local people relaxing outside their house waved and smiled at travelers who are cruising along this Grand Canal in Suzhou.

Humble Administrator Garden(Suzhou)

Humble Administrator Garden  was first built in the fourth year of the reign of Emperor Zhengde of Ming Dynasty in 1509. It covers an area of 52,000 square meters. It is the best representation of Chinese classical gardens of the Ming Dynasty. Its design is duplicated in many gardens throughout China, and there is even a replica in the New York Metropolitan Museum.

The houses in the residential area are of the typical Suzhou style and now used as exhibition rooms. The middle section is the gem of the whole garden. Of its area one-third is covered by water. Around the lake are trees and buildings. It also is a great fun to have a study about the basic factors of Chinese traditional garden including the lakeside rocks, the tower and mansions, winding path and the corridors, etc.

Panmen Gate(Suzhou)

Panmen Gate is the oldest city gate of Suzhou and the only existing water and land gate in China. The gate is located on the south-west corner of the Main Canal Suzhou. Originally built during the Warring States Period in the state of Wu, historians estimate it to be around 2,500 years old.

It is composed of two water passages, three land passages and the outside gate. The canal outside the gate is the oldest section of the Grand Canal that was also built 2,500 years ago. In its vicinity, there is a 1,000-year-old pagoda named Ruiguang Pagoda, the earliest pagoda in Suzhou; and the Wu Bridge, the entrance to the gate at that time over the water passage and the highest bridge in Suzhou at the time.

Tiger Hill(Suzhou)

Tiger Hill enjoys a reputation as 'the first scenic spot in the State of Wu', for Suzhou was once the capital of the State of Wu during the Spring and Autumn Period. It is where the King of Wu, He Lu, was buried after his death. The area was named Tiger Hill after a tiger was seen lying on the tomb of He Lu.

One of Tiger Hill most famous spots is Sword Pond (Jianchi). He Lu was a famous warrior and sword collector and the Sword Pond is said to hold He Lu treasured swords in its watery depths. Tiger Hill also houses the Yunyan Pagoda that has been leaning since before the Qing Dynasty. The tower is 48 meter tall brick pagoda with seven stories and eight sides. Like many pagodas of the Tang and early Song periods, it is a stone imitation of earlier (or contemporary) wooden pagodas. Today this 1000-year-old (from the Sui Dynasty) pagoda has become a symbol of Suzhou.

Zhouzhuang Water Town(Suzhou)

Zhouzhuang Water Town lies at the middle between Shanghai and Suzhou, is an ancient town of Kunshan City, Jiangsu Province, where abounds with rivers and lakes. So it is thought by many to be the best waterside town in China.

This ancient town has a history of more than 900 years old with many houses built in the Ming and Qing Dynasties. There are about 100 houses with courtyards, and 60 of them have arch gateways made by carved bricks.

With lakes on four sides, the beauty of Zhouzhuang is specially to be found along the waterside lanes and around a number of the stone bridges. Also, one can enjoy the fairyland atmosphere of the evenings here when the myriad stars twinkle as though in communication with the glittering lights.

Taihu Lake(Wuxi)

Taihu Lake  is the largest lake in the area of eastern coast line of China, as well as the second biggest fresh water lake. It is one of the first batches of 12 State-level tourism & resort districts approved by State Department, as well as one of the first batches of the demonstration district of tourism industry of WTO level.

Some 90 islets, large or small, plus the presence of many fleets of fishing junk boats add to its landscape, making it a remarkable spectacle. The lake has to its credit a thriving fishing industry as well as its ornamental limestone rocks that is native to no other place. These are much favored as accessories used in decorating traditional Chinese gardens in China. Out of all the other islets, Turtle Head Islet is the place most worth visiting.

Liyuan Garden(Wuxi)

Liyuan Garden covers an area of 20.2 acres, which noted for its fantastic water view - its waterscape accounting for fifths, thus this garden is designed as a framed landscape with water. It is, actually, a peninsula-like garden that facing water in 3 directions.

The garden is divided into three sections: a landscaped section of hills and rocky paths is flanked by a further two areas where pavilions, corridors and rockeries have been built and carefully planted with fragrant blossoming plants.

Here, you can visit Flowery House, Huanfang Gallery and Four Seasons Pagoda and several small clear ponds. In the evening, if you are interested, you can join the Night Cruise and enjoy a different garden with Nero lights.

Slender West Lake(Yangzhou)

Slender West Lake has beautiful scenery of garden group which had been formed the basic pattern in the period of the Qing Dynasty; it has the reputation "Gardens of the filled, armor in the world". Many famous gardens historical site are distributed on both sides in the gentle and graceful twists and turns blue lake, just like a picture of long traditional Chinese painting.

This lake is thin, long and narrow. Its surface is about 4 km in length, is less than 100 m in width. It is like a painting landscape picture scroll, not only features in natural scenery, but also unique style Yangzhou gardens; is one of the famous scenic spots of China. Rowing a boat on the lake, the coastal scenery appear as thick as hail, making you overwhelmed.