NEED TO KNOW
LOCATION Tiger Hill Gardens, Suzhou, in eastern China, 46 miles (74 km) west of Shanghai
DATE OF CONSTRUCTION
AD 907–61, with further additions 1628–44 HEIGHT 154 ft (47 m) PURPOSE Pagoda used for holding religious artifacts.
Also known as the Yunyang Pagoda or the Tiger Hill Pagoda, the “Leaning Tower of China” is an octagonal seven-story brick construction. Part of the foundations are on a rock base and the rest on soil, which, after more than 1,000 years, has resulted in an angle of tilt of some three degrees.
Some interior columns have cracked, further weakening the structure. The tower has no staircase (movable ladders are used to reach upper levels), so cannot be climbed by the public. Huqiu Tower is set on a hilltop within the ancient gardens of Tiger Hill, where a legendary white tiger is said to guard the tomb of King He Lu, who died in 600 BC.
Getting There and Around Suzhou’s nearest international airport is at Shanghai, 75 miles (120 km) away, with regular, fast bus and train links.
When to Go The humid, subtropical climate means that Apr–May and Oct–Nov are the most pleasant times to visit the gardens.