Tiger Hill, a large hill-rock also known as Surging Sea Hill, is a must-see when visiting Suzhou, both for its beauty and its history. Traditional architecture, tranquil landscapes, and numerous historical sites dating back more than 2,500 years distinguish the hill as a top destination among the city's UNESCO-listed attractions. Highlights include the Tomb of King He Lu, the Sword-Testing Stone—a rock split cleanly in two pieces, supposedly by a legendary sword—and the famously lopsided Yunyan Pagoda, or 'Leaning Tower of China.' Also not to miss is the garden architecture at Wanjing Villa, where potted landscapes and bonsai shrubs create miniature classical gardens.
Tiger Hill, which gets its name from resembling the shape of a crouching tiger, is relatively small and compact, making it an easy stop on any day or half-day tour of Suzhou. Go with a guide to get the most out of the site's rich history, and consider combining your visit with entry to nearby attractions, like the Humble Administrator's Garden or Master of Nets Garden.
Suzhou is located approximately 62 miles (100 km) west of Shanghai, and the two cities are connected by high-speed train. The garden is open 7:30am to 5:30pm daily. Adult admission is 80 CNY on peak months (April, May, July, August, September, and October), and 60 CNY on quiet months (January, February, March, June, November, and December). Some tours utilize the high-speed train rather than road transport.
Did You Know? The ancient art of bonsai tree growing, which originated in China, is still very much alive today. Hundreds of specimen of tree and landscape bonsais are displayed at Wanjing Villa, with many of them having won prizes in prestigious bonsai competitions.