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                      Home Travel in Jiangsu Mudu Ancient Town
                      Mudu Ancient Town

                       Mudu Ancient Town
                      Located at the foot of Linyan Hill (líng yán shān 靈巖山), west of Suzhou City (sū zhōu shì 蘇州市), Mudu (mù dú 木瀆) is a historical cultural town. It is surrounded by quiet, delicate landscape and connected to the Taihu Lake (tài hú 太湖) through lots of waterways, wins a good reputation of superb grace and elegance. Mudu is the only ancient town worth the reputation of Chinese garden town.

                      The Yan's GardenWith a history of more than 2500 years, Mudu is as old as Suzhou. The name of the Mudu derives from an old story. It is said that in late Spring and Autumn Period, Fuchai, the king of Wu, obliged workers to build a Guanwa Palace (guǎn wá gōng 館娃宮) so as to please Xishi (xī shī 西施), one of the four beauties in history. There are so many wood carried here that the river was blocked. Thus it was called “積木塞瀆"(jī mù sāi dú), which The Yan's Gardenmeans that the accumulated wood blocks the river. Therefore, the town was named “Mudu”.

                      There are more than 30 private gardens during the Ming (míng cháo 明朝) and Qing (qīng cháo 清朝) dynasties, including the Yans’ Garden (yán jiā huā yuán 嚴家花園), Hongyin Villa (hóng yǐn shān fáng 虹飲山房), and Bangyan Mansion (bǎng yǎn fǔ dì 榜眼府第), which are the most outstanding ones among all the gardens in Mudu.

                      The Yans’ Garden is the former residence of Yan Jiagan (yán jiā gàn 嚴家淦). It occupies an area of 16 mu. There is an ancient magnolia growing with rich and varied vegetation. It was planted by Emperor Qianlong when he put up for the night on his tour of the south of the Yangtze River. Shangxian Hall (shàng xián táng 尚賢堂) is an architecture built in Ming Dynasty. With spacious volums and imposing appearance, it is rare in the region. The most unique one in the Yans’ Garden is the Four Seasons Garden (sì jì xiǎo yuán 四季小園). It is small but delicate, with some parts exquisite and tasteful, deep and tranquil, graceful and restrained, representing the constructor’s unique art. And it is renowned as the “classical work of gardens south of the Yangtze River"(jiāng nán yuán lín jīng diǎn zhī zuò 江南園林經典之作).

                      Hongyin Villa200 meters east to the Yans’ Garden, Hongyin Villa is a famous garden dating back to the reign of Emperor Qianlong (qián lóng dì 乾隆帝) in Qing Dynasty. Because of its beauty of stream, rockery, wind and moon, Emperor Qianlong visited Hongyin Villa every time of during his six south tours. And the Hongyin Villa was called the civilian palace of Emperor Qianlong. There exist many historic relics related to Qianlong, such as the dock and the stele in front of the gate of the villa.

                      Bangyan Mansion at Xiatang Street (xià táng jiē 下塘街)  was the former residence of Feng Guifen (féng guì fēn 馮桂芬), a political critic and disciple of Lin Zexu (lín zé xú 林則徐). Feng Guifen was a bangyan, the No. 2 candidate in the highest imperial examinations in the 20th year (1840) of Emperor Daoguang (dào guāng dì 道光帝) of Qing Dynasty. Therefore, his residence Bangyans Mansionis called "Bangyan Mansion”. The residence occupies a land of nearly 10 mu of land, presenting a typical garden construction style of Qing Dynasty. The mansion finds its major characteristics in the three carvings, namely, brick carving, wood carving and stone carving, in the region south to the Yangtze River. The rear garden, with a pond in the center, and decorated by pavilion, balcony, corridor, bridge and yellow rock rockery dispersing around and strewing in high and low manner under green shades, presents a poetic and idyllic picture.

                      Mudu Ancient Town
                      Location: 10 meters southwest of Suzhou City
                      Admission fee: RMB 60
                      Opening hours: 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (November - March)
                                              8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (April - October)
                      Transportation: you can take bus No. 502, 38, 63, 64, 69 and tourist bus Line 4 at the Suzhou Railway Station to get there, or you can take bus No. 65, 58, 312, 511, 505, 506, 2, 326, 512 within Suzhou City to get there