Master of the Nets Garden

Admission Fee April, May, July, August, September and October: CNY 40
January, February, March, June, November and December: CNY 30
* Note:
1. Children below 3.9 feet (1.2 meters) can enter for free when accompanied by an adult.
2. Children between 3.9 and 4.9 feet (1.2 and 1.5 meters) can enjoy half price.
Opening Hours Apr. 21 – Oct. 20: 07:30 to 17:30
Oct. 21 – Apr. 20: 07:30 to 17:00

The Master of Nets Garden, though the smallest among Suzhou’s residential gardens, is a true marvel of space utilization, creating an illusion of grandeur far beyond its actual size. Its allure lies not only in its architectural ingenuity but also in the serene atmosphere of tranquility and harmony it evokes.

Originally designed during the Southern Song Dynasty as a residence for a government official, the garden was initially known as “the Hall of Ten Thousand Books” due to its extensive collection housed within three studies. Over the centuries, it passed through different hands until it was acquired and restored by official Song Zongyuan in the Qing Dynasty.

Legend has it that in a moment of bureaucratic frustration, Song Zongyuan expressed his desire to escape the trappings of officialdom by declaring his preference for the life of a fisherman. As a reflection of this sentiment, he renamed the garden “Wangshi Yuan,” meaning “a fisher’s garden,” symbolizing his longing for simplicity and tranquility amidst the complexities of government affairs.

Despite its diminutive size, the Master of Nets Garden stands as a testament to the timeless appeal of Suzhou’s classical gardens, offering visitors a glimpse into the beauty and serenity of traditional Chinese landscape design.

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