No boundaries, and no limits
Mist-covered ponds, arched bridges, and traditional Chinese buildings with swooped-edge gables grace the 1.6-acre grounds of Tao Hua Yuan – also known as the One Billion Luxury Garden Home, thanks to its one-billion-yuan (around US$154 million, S$208 million) price tag.
Situated on a private island at the heart of Suzhou’s Dushu Lake (China’s largest), the posh compound is considered highly desirable because its location and shape are in line with the laws of feng shui. Inspired by the city of Suzhou – a maze of waterway canals, leafy gardens, and zigzag bridges – the classic Chinese estate took three years to complete and features 32 bedrooms and 32 bathrooms. Outdoor pavilions overlook the lush grounds that were modeled after the Classical Gardens of Suzhou, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and are teeming with native plants, craggy rocks, reflection pools, and a bubbling waterfall.
Inside the approximately 6,725 square metre residence, is an array of traditional Chinese furniture, fixtures, and art, as well as a walk-in wine cellar and an infinity-edge pool overlooking the lake. Tao Hua Yuan – which means ‘Utopia’ or ‘Peace Blossom Land’ in Mandarin – may be the most expensive property in China right now, but with the country’s ultra-rich population soaring, expect more amazing and pricier houses to appear soon.