Tiger Hill Park

Tiger Hill

Tiger Hill by tonbabydc. Sourced via Flickr under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License.

This is the most popular attraction in Suzhou for Chinese tourists. Even more popular than the famous classical Chinese gardens. It is renowned for it's natural beauty as well as many sites of historical significance. The site has been a tourist or place of pilgrimage for hundreds of years. This is evident in the calligraphy carved in to the rocks on the hillside.

Some of Tiger Hill's notable features include:

  • Sword-Testing Rock: a rock in two pieces that was supposedly cleaved cleanly by a legendary sword of extraordinary sharpness.
  • Spring of Simplicity and Honesty: a well that, according to legend, first appeared as a spring to an exhausted monk carrying water up the entire length of the hill.
  • Yunyan Pagoda: a pagoda seven stories in height, known for its lean.
  • Sword Pond (Jianchi): a small rectangular pond, beneath which a treasure of some 3000 swords are believed to have been buried; this site is not excavated because the Leaning Pagoda's foundations rest on the site.
  • Lu Yu Well: a well attributed to Lu Yu, author of the first book on tea.
  • Thousand People Rock (Chinese: 千人石; pinyin: qiān rén shí).
  • Penjing/Bonsai Collection and Museum.
According to the Historical Records, the Wu King Helu was buried on the hill, called then "the Hill Emerging from the Sea". The legend goes that three days after his burial a white tiger appeared squatting on the hill. Hence the name. It has an elevation of over 30 m. and covers about 49.41ac. Tiger Hill boasts impressive rocks, deep dales, 3 matchless scenes, 9 suitable occasions for enjoyment, 18 scenic spots, and changing scenery at all times. No wonder it has been an awe-inspiring sight in the area south of the Lower Yangtze. The Yunyan Temple Pagoda and the Sword Pool are well-known features of the hill. With a history going back more than 1,000 years, the simple, archaic and imposing Yunyan Temple Pagoda, also known as the Second Leaning Tower on earth, stands aloft at the top of the hill, serving as a symbol of ancient Suzhou for years, The Tomb of the Wu King Helu under the Sword Pool has remained an unsolved mystery for two and a half millennia. The story goes that the great Jin master Wang Xizhi traded his calligraphy for lovable geese from the Taoist Abbot. And the windy vale and cloudy spring make the visitor reluctant to leave.[1]

Map showing location of Tiger Hill Park

Above: Location of Tiger Hill Park in Suzhou, Jiangsu, China