Also known as Jixiao Mountain Villa, Yangzhou Heyuan Garden was built as a private garden on the very site of the Double Pagoda Tree Garden by He Zangdao during Emperor Tongzhi's reign, which was expanded by incorporating Pianshi Garden (Pian Shi Shan Fang) into it in the 9th year of Emperor Guangxu's reign in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). It's awarded as being "the First Garden of the Late Qing Dynasty (1644-1911)", where celebrities such as Huang Binhong (a great master of traditional Chinese painting) and Zhu Qianhua (a famous writer) once lived.
Yangzhou Heyuan Garden brings the charm of a cloister structure into full play, featuring a 1,500-meter (4,921 feet) long double-path cloister. The garden consists of four areas: the East Area and the West Area, the Residential Area and Pianshi Garden, which are well-connected by double-path cloisters.
The East Area is centered with a ship-shaped hall that has a gable, a hip roof and a corridor with single eaves. The hall is 15.65 meters (51.35 feet) long and 9.5 meters (31.2 feet) wide, around which the ground is paved with pebble stones and tiles. In the north of the hall stands a rockery against the wall, which is full of so much fun. In the east of the hall, a hexangular pavilion has been erected, which backs onto the pink wall. In the west of the hall are stone steps leading to the corridor of the hall. In the south of the hall, there is a line of five rooms with connected corridors on three sides. The Half-Moon Platform stands in the middle of the corridors, which is an ideal place for appreciating the moon, especially during the Mid-Autumn Festival, and mayflower trees and plum trees are planted around the platform.
Centered with a big pond, the West Area is rather spacious, where the halls and corridors are built around the pond in picturesque disorder. To the north of the pond stands the Butterfly Hall; on the eastern side of the pond is a stone bridge that connects to the Water Heart (Shuixin) Pavilion in the pond. To the west of the pond are rockeries with overlapping steep peaks, which are filled with rustic charm. A number of famous TV drama programs, such as the Dream of the Red Chamber and the sequel of Princess Pearl, are filmed in the Water Heart Pavilion. Walking southwards, you will arrive at the Residential Area.
Pianshi Garden is the masterpiece of Shi Tao, a famous painter from the early Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), which highlights the man-made moon on the rockery. A stone room is available inside the rockery, which served as a place for the owner to escape the summer heat.
Location: 66, Xuningmen Avenue, Guangling District, Yangzhou
Bus routes: 209, 19 and 61
Opening hours: 7:30 am to 5:15 pm each day