Pearl on the Yangtze

Updated: 2011-06-10 10:23

By Yang Yang (China Daily European Weekly)

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Pearl on the Yangtze
Taihu lake is the dominate natural feature of Wuxi. Surrounding the lake are lovely parks and gardens, which are some of the best examples of classical Chinese gardens in the nation. Bei Huan / for China Daily

Wuxi is considered a town of natural beauty and its motto is "city of water and warmth"

The bright lights of Shanghai seem to outshine many places in modern China, but only 128 kilometers away gleams another gem that is just as bright and beautiful. Wuxi is a classic jiangnan (south Yangtze River) city, with a beautiful landscape and stunning Chinese gardens. To the Chinese people this city of grace and vitality is known as the "pearl of Taihu Lake?

Situated in East China's Jiangsu province, it is one of the country's oldest cities with a history of more than 3,000 years. A land famous for fish and rice, Wuxi and its surrounding area today is a major center for textile and electronic industries.

The city attracts many foreign business people and there is plenty to see. Here are five suggestions.

1. Turtle Head Islet

Turtle Head Islet (Yuantou Zhu) is considered the best scenic spot on Taihu Lake, a waterway that dominates the city. The island stretches into the lake and looks like a giant turtle raising its head to look into the distance.

Constructed in 1918, Turtle Head Islet has become one of the biggest gardens in the regions south of the Yangtze River.

More than 10 scenic spots scatter across the site including "Elegant Scenery Hiding behind the Chongshan Hill," "Ten-Li Scented Lane" (one li equals 500 meters), and "Sino-Japan Friendship Cherry Woods".

Stone inscriptions with paintings and calligraphy by celebrities of the past dynasties can be seen here.

Modern poet Guo Moruo writes: "The supreme view of the Taihu Lake scenery, after all, lies in the Turtle Head Peninsula".

2. The Li Garden

Li Garden is located in Qingqi village on Lihu Lake. The 8.2-hectare garden and surrounding lake are named after Fan Li, a prime minister of the Yue State in the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC). Fan Li helped the Yue king conquer the neighboring Wu State with the help of Xi Shi, one of the famous Four Beauties of Ancient China. After their success, Fan Li and Xi Shi came to the lake and lived happily ever after in privacy.

From June to September, the lotus flowers bloom and are a sight to behold.

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