Built by a Buddhist monk in 1342, the Lion Grove Garden is one of the oldest classical gardens in Suzhou and one of nine gardens in the area recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its uniqueness lies in its unusual design of grotto mazes, ponds, and pavilions, with a large and elaborate grotto of taihu rocks at its center. Anyone interested in oriental design and architecture, as well as nature and history, will appreciate a visit here.
The garden's massive grotto is made up of a maze of paths winding through 21 caves across three levels, with a pond dividing the grotto into east and west sections. The rocks, dating back to the Yuan Dynasty, are piled up in such a way that they are meant to resemble lions in various positions. Elsewhere in the garden, there are buildings, trees, ponds, and other elements to explore.
Lion Grove Garden can be visited as part of a day trip from Shanghai to Suzhou. Enjoy a stroll in the grotto maze here, followed by lunch and shopping nearby, or perhaps even a boat ride along the canal. The high-speed express train from Shanghai makes the journey easy, and is included on some organized tours.
Lion Grove Garden is situated close to Pingjiang Road in Suzhou. It is open daily from 7:30am to 5:30pm. Admission is 40 CNY in spring and summer, and 30 CNY in autumn and winter. Children under 3'11"(1.2 m) tall can enter the Lion Grove Garden for free when accompanied by an adult. For children under 4'11" tall (1.5 m), entrance is half price. This is a popular site with uneven grounds, so be sure to take your time and watch your step while exploring.
Did You Know? Aside from the Lion Grove Garden, the Lingering Garden, Humble Administrator’s Garden, and the Master of Nets Garden are the most famous of Suzhou's UNESCO-listed classical gardens.