Geyuan Garden is a typical classical garden of the south Yellow River area, which is well-retained and of a high artistic value with a history of over 180 years. It was initially built as a private garden by Huang Zhijun, a salt merchant, in the 23rd year (1818) of Emperor Jiaqing's reign of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). It was listed as a key cultural relic unit under China's state protection in 1988.
Ge Garden is characterized by a bamboo forest and rockeries. Ge (/ger/: the Chinese character 个, literally meaning 'one') is not only the left radical of zhu (/joo/: 竹 'bamboo'), but also the right part as well: 'bamboo' is two 'ge's. So, where lots of bamboo (竹) is planted in a garden, the garden is called a geyuan (/ger-yuan/ 个园 'ge garden'). Three rockeries are well arranged in the garden, which have various appearances in different seasons.
Perched in the north-west of the garden, the Lake Stone Rockery is piled with dainty and exquisite lake stones with a little pond at the front, a cave at its foot, and a bridge crossing over the pond. The rockery is a marvelous creation excelling nature, and you can ascend the steps of the cave to reach the top of the rockery. On the top of the rockery stands a pavilion, with steps connecting to the Sand Stone Rockery.
In the north-east of the garden stands the Sand Stone (Huangshi) Rockery that rises sheer from the ground with a square pavilion on the top, setting off the ancient cypress trees, whose steps either side lead you to the cave (in the heart of the rockery) or to the top of the rockery. In the cave are stone rooms, stone stools, stone tables and even stone bridges, seeming almost like an immortal's abode.
In the south of the garden sits the Quartz Rockery, which shines brightly as the sun shines upon it, and it seems as if the part that the sun can't shine upon is covered with snow that has not completely melted.
Walking into the garden, you can also see the 12 Chinese zodiac sign stones heralding spring and the peonies dotted in the flower beds, adding luster to the garden.
Location: 10, Yanbu East Road, Guangling District, Yangzhou
Bus routes: 8 and 61
Opening hours: 7:15 am to 5:30 pm each day