|Suzhou - Sightseeing|
(www.suzhou.gov.cn) The Flat-top Hill (Tian Ping Shan) is one of the main scenes of the Mudu Scenic Spot of National Taihu Lake Scenic and Historic Spot. It is 14 kilometers west to Suzhou city with an elevation of 221 meters. Although it is high and steep, it is flat at the top, from which its name is got.
The Flat-top Hill is famous for the three superb grotesque rocks, clear fountains and red maples. The grotesque rocks are jagged and precipitous like tablets held before the breasts by the officials in the feudal times when received in audience by the Emperor and so they are called “Thousands of Tablets in Audience with the Sky”. Half way up the hill there is the Alms Bowl Spring, also called White Cloud Spring. The water is mellow and sweet and is said to be praised as the “Number One Spring in the Wu area” by Lu Yu, the saint of tea. The old maple woods at the southeastern foot were brought back from Fujian Province during the reign of Wanli in the Ming Dynasty and planted in the ancestrily precious land by Fan Yonglin, the seventeenth generation of Fan Zhongyan who was a famous official in the Song Dynasty. It is a splendid sight that the red leaves covering the hill look like rosy clouds curling up in the late autumn, layer upon layer and flake by flake. There is a praise saying that “the red maples on the Flat-top Hill are the finest under heaven”.