Suzhou Surfing Wave Garden, China

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Surfing Wave Garden

The Surfing Wave Garden at Suzhou, Jiangsu Province is existentially the oldest garden in the City of Suzhou covering an area of 11,000 square meters.

Surrounded by the ponds, the Surfing Wave Pavilion is the heart of the whole garden with yards in the south and the pavilions and corridors in the north.

Purchased by a famous scholar Su Shunqing, the Surfing Wave Garden was established in the year of 1044, in Song Dynasty (960- 1279 AD). While in the Ten-Kingdom Dynasty, it was the real estate of a military official Sun Chenyou.

Stepping on the stairs towards the Surfing Wave Pavilion, you can see the Chinese calligraphy written by Emperor Qianlong (1662-1723A.D.). Entering the hall of The Surfing Wave Pavilion, you will see the inscription about the history of The Surfing Wave Pavilion by Su Shunqing.

Along the west part of the Surfing Wave Garden, crossing the bridges, there are many heritages of the Song Dynasty. Turning north, in Yangzhi Pavilion, you will see the famous "500 well-known figures in Suzhou" from The epoch of Spring and Autumn (722~484B.C.) to the Ch'ing Dynasty.

If you are keen on counting these famous figures, you will get the number of 594 people altogether. In fact, there are so many places of interests in the Surfing Wave Garden; it is hard to point out one by one.


After Su Shunqing purchased the real estate from the military official Su Chengyou, he set up the Surfing Wave Garden. The garden got its name of "Surfing Wave" dated back to an article in Chuci, which is the masterpiece written by a well-known Statesman Quyuan in the Warring Period (475BC- 221BC). The article written as following:

"The river of Surfing Wave is so clean that make my hat clean and smart;
Even if Surfing Wave River become dirty, I can get freshen up and wash my feet."

Quyuan wanted to express that he would like to be devoted to any wise emperors. Su Shunqing later worked under famous general Han Shizhong and then changed the name from Surfing Wave to Han Garden to memorize General Han.

In the following years until the Ch'ing Dynasty, the Surfing Wave Garden had changed its name for several times. It became a monastery in Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368A.D.), and converted in to the Surfing Wave Garden in 1546, during Ming Dynasty. Coming to Emperor Kangxi of Ch'ing Dynasty, a clan hall was set up.

In 1695, the Surfing Wave Pavilion was move to the central part of the Surfing Wave Garden. "500 well- known figures in Suzhou" was set up in year of 1828. The existing expanded Garden has keeps its scale since 1872.

According to the historic records, the Surfing Wave Garden was rebuilt twice, one in 1954, the other in 1986.