Tiger Hill (Hu Qiu) enjoys a reputation as ‘the first scenic spot in the State of Wu’, for Suzhou was once the capital of the State of Wu during the Spring and Autumn Period. It is where the King of Wu, He Lu, was buried after his death. The area was named Tiger Hill after a tiger was seen lying on the tomb of He Lu. With a history of more than 2,500 years, the Huqiu has been known as No. 1 Sight of Suzhou. Tiger Hill, which is 34 meters hight and about 5 kilometers from Suzhou downtown, is a must see for tourists, for its natural beauty as well as historical sites.
Main Attractions to See
Tiger Hill also houses the Yunyan Pagoda that has been leaning since before the Qing Dynasty. It is said that the tower has been leaning since its completion in 959 – 961 A.D. The tower is 48 meter tall brick pagoda with seven stories and eight sides. It was constructed earlier and taller than the Leaning Tower of Pisa. It leans to the north by about 3.5 degrees. The tower was partially repaired in 1981 by the local government. Concrete piles have been driven into the ground around the pagoda in order to reinforce the foundation. Like many pagodas of the Tang and early Song periods, it is a stone imitation of earlier (or contemporary) wooden pagodas. The “brackets” and “lintels” carved on the surface are not structural, but decorative. Today this 1000-year-old (from the Sui Dynasty) pagoda has become a symbol of Suzhou.
Sword Pond (Jianchi): a small rectangular pond and one of Tiger Hill most famous spots. He Lu was a famous warrior and sword collector and the Sword Pond is said to hold He Lu treasured swords in its watery depths, 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.
Located on the western hill-side and with the pagoda scene as its backdrop, the attractive Mountain Villa with 10,000 Scenes has a collection of the finest specimens of the Suzhou style bonsai. The luxuriant vegetation at the back of the hill, constituting a peculiar climatic zone, has now become the paradise of winged fowls. In the autumnal twilight, thousands of herons wheeling in the air round the pagoda make a tremendous spectacle.
Sword-Testing Rock is a rock in two pieces that was supposedly cleaved cleanly by a legendary sword of extraordinary sharpness.
How to Get to Tiger Hill
The Tour Bus 1 and Tour Bus 2 started from the railway station and the North Bus Station respectively may reach the sight directly; If starting from the South Bus Station, tourists may take the Bus Line 103, and then turn to Tour Bus 1 or Tour Bus 2; The other lines are the Bus Line 8, Bus Line 949, Bus Line 32, Bus Line 146.