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The explorer Marco Polo once declared that Suzhou was one of the most beautiful cities in China. Originally the city had over a hundred perfectly manicured gardens to appreciate, but with development and change this has dwindled down to a select few. The charm of tradition and simplicity still survives today, whilst offering a host of modern facets that the global traveller requires.
One of the many cultural relics that still exist today is the Hanshan Temple. Translated to English, Hanshan Temple means ‘Cold Mountain Temple’. Located in the town Fengqiao, this Buddhist temple is also home to monks. The origins of Hanshan Temple can be said to date back to over 1,500 years ago and was made popular by a famous poet who was inspired by the chimes of the bells.
“While I watch the moon go down, a crow caws through the frost; Under the shadows of maple-trees a fisherman moves with his torch; And I hear, from beyond Suzhou, from the temple of the Cold Mountain, Ringing for me, here in my boat, the midnight bell,” were the words of the famous poet, Zhang Ji. The poem made the bell at the temple so famous that in the 17th century Japanese pirates stole it and took it to Japan. What stands today is a gift from the Japanese people in the 20th century, as an apology for the misdemeanour.
The Hanshan Temple is especially vibrant during the Chinese New Year when a host of activities take place to usher in this auspicious time. A feast, traditional performances and the ringing of the bell 108 times is part of the Chinese New Year celebrations that take place at this popular tourist attraction in Suzhou.
Those travellers in search of a charming Suzhou apartment hotel in the heart of the Industrial Park will be more than delighted with Citadines Xinghai Suzhou. Relax in comfortable and spacious environs that cater to the needs of both the leisure and business traveller.