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“Couple's Retreat or Ouyuan Garden”
Review of Ouyuan Garden

Ouyuan Garden
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Private Garden Exploration Day Tour of...
Ranked #17 of 337 things to do in Suzhou
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Reviewed 24 May 2016

The Couple's Retreat or Ouyuan Garden consists of a large residential complex , with smaller houses built in the middle of the layout, with two gardens to the east and the west, respectively. On three sides it is surrounded by a canals on three sides .

Walking through the many formal entries, rooms, courtyards , with connecting passageways, covered walkways, interconnecting with to some very small garden spaces, then to extensive recreations of natural landscape vista's, with water features, ponds, bridges, pathways and classic Chinese garden arrangements, you could easily slip back in time.

It can easily be seen and appreciated by all who visit, that this is a fine example of the classic Suzhou architecture and garden of the time. The site has been faithfully restored and formally recognized as an UNESCO World heritage site in 2000.

At the end of your visit you can return to the car park by sampan(for a small tip/fee) via a rear exit, which opens directly onto canal to the canal. The journey takes only minutes but it reminds you of the way the way former residents moved about the Suzhou of old.

3  Thank xlcapris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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5 - 9 of 96 reviews

Reviewed 15 May 2016

Having visited the Humble Administrator's and Lion Forest Gardens earlier in the day, I was somewhat Garden fatigued by the time I made it to the Ouyuan in the evening. The smaller scale of the garden and the smaller crowds revived me, and I spent a happy 1.5 hours wandering the garden and soaking it all in. While the larger Gardens like the Humble Administrators and the Lion forest overwhelm you with their scale, the smaller scale of gardens like the Ouyuan allow the mind to register, absorb and process the million details that compose a Chinese garden. I loved the area around the water body, with its lovely touches like a pine tree artfully 'trained' to bow just so above the water, or the small pavilion above the water. Keep your eyes open for the incredible carved opening (pine + bamboo pattern) of the pavilion on the far end near the water body.

3  Thank Manu J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 January 2016

The "Couples Garden" is wonderful. It is the scale of a large home with grounds and feels like you could imagine living there. It's the sort of place that you look for the small details (be sure to look up as well as around!) rather than take lots of dramatic photos. Highly recommended.

2  Thank sbabones
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 November 2015

This garden is hard to find, down an alley off Xi Bei Street. I suggest you bring the tourist map supplied by the Information Centre opposite the Suzhou Museum, and show it to locals as you go. They are happy to direct you, even when they speak no English, and you will eventually find the garden (as well as two others in the same general vicinity).
Unlike the UNESCO gardens, this serves as an active community centre, with meetings going on and families picnicking here and there. The water feature is much reduced and the plantings less lavish. The quality of the buildings is high but some rooms are closed or used for storage of chairs, documents, etc.
No admission fee. Local markets nearby.

2  Thank BostonGCC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 18 November 2015

Much smaller and less crowded than the Humble Administrator's Garden. Like other reviews said, get here early to avoid the tour groups. The garden is much nicer when it is quiet and peaceful; the yelling tour groups disrupt the tranquility (and also make it very difficult to move about).

1  Thank Daniel C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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