Garden of Retreat and Reflection

Admission:

RMB 100 to enter old town, no separate entrance fee for garden

Hours:

7:30am-5:30pm daily

How to get there:

Located on Xintian Jie (Xīntián Jiē, 新填街).

"When in office, one should be loyal to the emperor, when away from office, one should meditate." So goes a classic Chinese saying, one that Qing official Ren Lansheng took to heart. When he was released from his government post in 1886, he returned to his home in Tongli and built his dream garden, Garden of Retreat and Reflection (Tuì Sīyuán, 退思园), a perfect place for meditation.

Divided between a residence and the garden proper, you can stroll garden paths, charming terraces and winding corridors. Placid ponds host lotuses and goldfish, completing the picture of a beautifully representative Qing-era classical Chinese garden. The garden's cultural and aesthetic value have been recognized by UNESCO, which has designated it a World Heritage Site.

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