If you ever visited Suzhou, you must visit Tiger Hill, or commonly known as Huqiu in Chinese.
Tiger Hill can also be known as Surging Sea Hill. It is a large hill covering about 3.5 acres of land, but only 118 feet in height. And on top of the hill, you can see the Tiger Hill Pagoda (Huqiu Tower).
Although the hill is easy to hike, it is rich in history. Plus, the sunset view from the hill is simply amazing.
Things to See in Tiger Hill
Even from afar, you can see the Tiger Hill Pagoda from far away. Suzhou is a flat land, and Tiger Hill is the only hill side that surge up from entire Suzhou.
Here are a few things you should check out when you visit Huqiu:
The Tomb of King He Lu
He Lu, the King of the Wu State perished during the war fought against the Yue State in 496 BC. King He Lu was buried on the hill.
Legend has it that after 3 days of the funeral, a white tiger appear and sat upon the grave as though guarding it. Ever since, people started to name the hill as Huqiu, or Tiger Hill.
Tiger Hill Pagoda (Huqiu Tower)
There is a pagoda on top of the hill. And if you take a careful look, you will see that it is leaning. Some people called it China’s Leaning Tower.
Huqiu Tower was built during Song Dynasty, it is a 7 storeys octagonal tower with 48 meters high. And for the past 400 years, the tower has leant about 3.59 degrees to the northwest.
Sword Testing Stone and Sword Pool
It was said that King He Lu loved swords and he tested them on the stones. When you hike up Tiger Hill, you can see big stones with a crevice on the center, which was the evidences of the existence of the swords.
It is also believed that the swords used by King He Lu were buried beneath Sword Pool as funerary objects.
How to Go to Tiger Hill
As of now, there is no metro station to go to Tiger Hill, but the local government is building a new line with a station there. After a year or two, you can take the metro straight to Huqiu.
For now, your options are to follow a tour, take a taxi, or take the local bus.
If you are taking the bus, here are some routes you can follow:
- Take bus no. 32 or express line 3 and get off at Huqiu Beimen (North Gate of Tiger Hill) Station.
- Take bus no. 146 or tourist bus no. 1 or 2 and get off at Huqiu Station.
- Take bus no. 816 or 949 and get off at Huqiu Road Station.
If you take the taxi, you can get the driver to drop you off at the south gate and start off from there then exit at north gate.
Tips When Visiting Tiger Hill at Suzhou:
- There is an admission ticket, 80RMB during peak season and 60RMB during non-peak season.
- Tiger Hill opens from 7:30AM to 5:30PM.
- The sunset view from the hill is beautiful. With the colorful trees, beautiful landscape, and Huqiu Tower, make up the beautiful scenery.
- If you ever go to Tiger Hill, make sure you check out the view in Wanjing Villa, an archaistic garden in the southeast of the place.
- You can easily spend about 1 to 2 hours visiting Huqiu.
So, is Tiger Hill worth visiting? I’d say yes.
If you ever visit Suzhou, make sure you plan your trip to Tiger Hill as well. The sunset from Wanjing Villa is the one that catches my heart.