All elements of Suzhou style are here in precise balance: rocky hillscapes, layered planting, undulating walkways, and charming pavilions overlooking a central pond. Representing mountains, rivers, and the four seasons, it's a theme park of sorts, centuries before Walt Disney. It's also a fine example of how Chinese garden design creates the illusion of space. To avoid the crowds, visit in the evening, when you can saunter from room to room enjoying traditional opera,
flute, and dulcimer performances—as the master himself might have done. Evening performances are held from mid-March to mid-November.