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Useful Information | Li Garden | Plum Garden | Taihu Lake (Tai Lake) | Three Kingdoms City |

Useful Information

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Li Garden

In the Qingqi Village in Wuxi City, is located the Li Garden which is one of the major scenic spots in China. It lies by Li Lake and covers an area of 8.2 hectares (approx. 98,071 square yards). It is said that Fan Li who was a prime minister of the Yue State in Spring and Autumn Period (770 BC - 476 BC) was very meritorious in helping the king to conquer another state. However, he has decided to live in privacy with Xi Shi (one of the Four Beauties in ancient China) after the big success was achieved. They lived in this area and boated in Li Lake. In order to commemorate Fan Li, the lake was named after his name. However, the garden was named after the lake.

The garden is surrounded by water on three sides. You can see green hills in the distance, and at close range the dike, long corridor, and rockery. The scenery in the garden can be divided into three sections: Man-made hills in the middle section, the scenic spots such as long dike and Four Seasons Pavilions in the west section and abundant spots including Spring and Autumn Pavilion and long corridor in the east section.

In the middle section, man-made hills were piled high in various shapes and styles. Some are sharp and angular, of which some are purely magnificent. There is a stone path which is wide in some sections but narrows in others, also are bright in some sections but obscure in others. Walking along the path can be just like being in a maze. The man-made hills are endowed with more vitality by the lake. The two seem to form a whole unit and bring us a great enjoyment of natures beauty.

Four Seasons Pavilions are in fact four pavilions - Spring Pavilion, Summer Pavilion, Autumn Pavilion and Winter Pavilion. They were built all in the same style. The pictures of flowers in four seasons are painted on their pillars. Beside each pavilion, a special kind of flower was planted. Plum blossoms are planted beside the Spring Pavilion, and Oleanders are planted beside the Summer Pavilion. Sweet-scented osmanthus can be found by the Autumn Pavilion and Calyx canthus by the Winter Pavilion. Therefore, tourists can enjoy beautiful flowers here in any season.

Spring and Autumn Pavilions are three stories high, with the eaves cocked upwards. The pavilion gained its name for it is relation to Fan Li and Xi Shi who lived in the Spring and Autumn Periods. The name causes people to imagine something about the ancient time and the sweet love story between them. The pavilion is the highest architecture in the garden, thus providing people a good place to overlook the panoramic view around the garden.

Plum Garden

Located five kilometers (3 miles) west of the city of Wuxi, the Plum Garden in Jiangsu Province has long been known as one of the best places for viewing plum blossoms. The garden backs onto Dragon Mountain in the north and faces Taihu Lake in the south. The three elements-mountains, water, and plum blossoms-are combined to create picturesque scenery that fully represents the profound culture of Chinese plum blossom.

As early as 1912, Rong Desheng, one of the first national businessmen, invested in the garden and began its construction. He planted various plum trees on the original plot of 80 mu (13 acres), later expanding it. The garden now occupies an area of more than 500 mu (82 acres). It integrates natural beauty, history and architecture in a harmonious way.

Three sections featuring distinct themes are distributed in the garden. The part that focuses on the plum blossom has a romantic and poetic atmosphere. As you wander around through this 'ocean of fragrance', bear in mind famous poems and paintings composed on the subject and you will appreciate the wonders of plum blossoms more than ever. There are more than 4,000 planted plum trees and 2,000 plum bonsais including about 40 hybrids such as Cinnabar plum and Kermes plum. Enjoying a 70-year-history of planting, the garden offers a great many examples of members of the plum family including Straight Branch, Reclinate Branch, Dragon Swim, hybrids of plum and apricot, and cherry plum, many of which have been brought here from all around China.

You are bound to be impressed by the shapes of the trees and the poses of the plum blossoms. However, the garden is far more than just scenery. Dotted with terraces, pagodas and rare stones, the garden provides you with many favorable spots for appreciating the view. Furthermore, there is a museum where you can learn more about the natural history of plum blossom.

Roaming about the garden, you may feel as if you were in a mysterious land where windmills and hanging bridges are interspersed with coffee bars. The grassland, forests and flowers here have many distinct foreign styles and are sure to impress you.

Another spot worth mentioning is the Huaxi District (flowers and streams). There are more than 100 varieties of rare flowers and grasses growing under the trees, either along the river banks or amongst the huge rocks.

The garden now has many other trees planted among the plum trees such as peach, orange, and maidenhair as well as many other plants such as lotus. You should not miss the poetic and romantic view of the Three Friends of winter-pine trees, bamboo and plum trees-together with the floating snow, which highlight the garden every winter.

Taihu Lake (Tai Lake)

Located in the southern part of the Yangtze River delta, Taihu Lake is the third largest freshwater lake in China. With a surface area of about 2,338 square kilometers (about 902 square miles), Taihu Lake is a famous scenic spot in China and is famed for its lake, its hills and its splendid man-made scenery.

Taihu Lake is just like a bright pearl set in the Yangtze River delta. It crosses Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces, where 48 islets of different sizes and 72 peaks and peninsulas along the lake combine to form a panorama of great natural beauty. The best place to view the beautiful Taihu Lake is on the Turtle Head Islet. Turtle Head Islet is an islet stretching into the lake, whose shape is really like the head of a turtle protruding from the water. Taihu Lake and the surrounding magnificence will bewitch your eyes when you climb onto Turtle Head. When the soft breezes blow, waves roll and the hills in the distance look like an overlapping landscape painting. The scene is really captivating. Turtle Head Islet Park is mainly made of the natural landscape, augmented by man-made additions. Flowers and trees can be seen everywhere. Various kinds of architecture are strategically placed among the trees and shrubs. All conspire to make the park graceful and elegant.

Besides the natural scenery of Taihu Lake, there are many ruins of historic sites, such as the Grand Canal of the Sui Dynasty (581-618), the Islets in the lake along with the coastal places in the east, the north and the west both of which are the cradle land of the culture of Wuyue (this culture touches on traditions that flow from or refer to Jiangsu, Zhejiang and the southeast part of Anhui Province today) and so on.

Taihu Lake is an abundant source of fish. Traveling there, you can taste the famous delicious food known as 'Taihu Lake Three Whites', including white shrimp, whitebait and whitefish. The feast is generally prepared in the boat as one floats on the placid waters of Taihu Lake. It is very well worth a visit.

Three Kingdoms City

Among the several movie-shooting bases located along Taihu, Three Kingdoms City is the largest and most well known one. Covering 35 hectares, the city was built in 1993, totally in Han dynasty style, to film the famous historical TV serial odyssey - The Romance of Three Kingdoms, which is one of the four most famous novels. The serial was a success and then the city became the most favorable location of historical films.


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