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Humble Administrator Garden  

Located in northeast Suzhou, it is the largest private garden in the city. It's a more traditional "outdoors" garden with streams, ponds, bridges, and islands of bamboo forests. It was constructed in the 1500s in the Ming Dynasty by Wang Xianchen, an imperial censor. Wang Xianchen gave his garden the name, The Humble Administrator's Garden, because it was built after he was dismissed from the imperial court.

The complex consists of four parts: the eastern, central and western parts and a dwelling quarter. The dwelling quarter is filled with typical Suzhou architecture which were residential houses for the administrator and his family. They now serve as the exhibition halls for the Museum of the Gardens. The eastern part features pine forests and lawns, bamboo groves and flowing water. Many famous attractions here include Orchid Snow Hall, Dotted Clouded Peak and Lotus Flower Waterside Pavilion. In the center part, visitors will find pavilions, mansions, corridors, lush vegetation and willow sheltered ponds. The main attraction in the western part is the 36 Mandarin Duck Hall. Ponds, corridors, terraces are scatter through this part.

The large garden will afford a leisurely walk for an hour or so. The layout, natural and unsophisticated, is a manifestation of the Ming Dynasty landscape art.