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China -> Suzhou -> Master of the Nets Garden
Master of the Nets Garden    Suzhou, Jiangsu Province

The Master of the Nets Garden, or Wangshi Yuan, is an example of natural harmony. It is the smallest garden, only 1/10th the size of the Humble Administrator's Garden, but is one of the best gardens in Suzhou. The garden was originally planned in the 12th century but abandoned, and restored in the 18th century by a retired official. He claimed he wanted to leave the bureaucratic way of life and instead be a fisherman, which is where some believe the garden's name originates. This garden, though filled with large buildings in a very small space, doesn't feel cramped.

An exact replica of the plants, ponds, sitting rooms, pavilions, and bamboo groves were made for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1981 in New York. This garden is best viewed from one of the many waterside perches so one can take in its peacefulness.

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