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Chongyuan Temple’s Guanyin Statue

There are plenty of temples to choose from in the ancient Jiangsu province city of Suzhou. The Old Town district alone is freckled with beautiful examples of Buddhist and Taoist complexes that ooze a particularly spiritual ambiance.

The modern Suzhou Industrial Park District, though mostly focused on luxury mall culture and being seen wearing (or eating) the hottest new thing, plays host to one of the most interesting hidden gems of local history. Perched on the edge of Yangcheng Middle Lake’s Ring Road, itself a great place to take in typical Suzhou lake-life, Chongyuan Temple makes up part of a huge complex that overlooks the calm waters of the lake.

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