Lingering Garden is one of the four most famous gardens in China and protected and listed as a UNSECO World Heritage site since 1997. It is located outside Changmen Gate in Suzhou in the Jiangsu Province. The famous garden occupies an area of 23,300 square meters (close to 5.8 acres) and is very well known for its exquisite beauty of the magnificent halls and the numerous sizes, shapes and colours of the buildings, as one of the largest and most natural gardens in China. It was originally built by the Ming Dynasty and possesses largely the Qing style while the Central part of the garden which is the essence of the whole complex characterises the Ming period architecture and design. It is one of the large scale tourist attractions in China and a site that would not be missed by those who visit China on vacation holidays. Ascott Midtown Suzhou is one of the reputed serviced apartments in Suzhou that organise excursions for its guests to visit the beautiful Lingering Garden in Suzhou.

The history of the garden dates back to more than 400 years being first built in 1593 by a retired official working for the Ming Dynasty named Xu Tai. It has passed a few hands of ownership during its existence and was almost demolished in the 1930s, and was subsequently repaired by government sponsorship and declared open to the public afterwards as a state owned tourist attraction in China. The buildings within contain beautiful calligraphy designed by its second owner Liu Shu, who was a famous calligraphy lover with carved masterpieces by him on either side of the corridors. There are many unusually-shaped artistic stones in the garden that were his private collection named as the “Stone Forest”. The four part garden divided as the central, eastern, western and northern based on the different styles of the buildings provides astonishingly beautiful and serene natural landscapes with ancestral temples, domiciles and private gardens within its compound. It creates a desire to linger admiring its many stunning masterpieces and essence within its beautiful premises which does justice to its name as the Lingering Garden. The buildings, trees and flowers perfectly blend with their surroundings adding harmony and generating a tranquil atmosphere that one would not want to move away from easily. Lingering Garden is one of the few prides of the Suzhou people that exhibit their potted plants in the northern part which used to be a vegetable garden before.

Nigel Walters is a travel writer, who writes under the pen name, Fritzjames Stephen. His content is based on the myriad of experiences and indulgences that the world has to offer travellers across all walks of life.