A long, belt-like structure, Lang, the covered corridor is a roofed passage usually with low railings and long side benches. It not only adds beauty of the surrounding scenery but also plays a useful role by providing people with shade from the sun and protection from the rain.
The Chinese Lang can be divided into You Lang which links two or more buildings, Hui Lang(the winding corridor), Qu Lang(the zigzag corridor), Hua Lang which is used for the display of potted flowers, and Shui Lang which borders on lakes or goes over ponds.
Among all the classical corridors in China, Chang Lang(the Long Corridor) in Beijing’s Summer Palace is one of the most distinguished and a unique treasure in the art of gardening arrangement. An exquisite winding structure of 728 meters, it stretches its 273 bays between the hill and the lake, broken at intervals by four double-eaved octagonal pavilions, which represent the four seasons of the year. All its beams are painted with colored pictures of landscapes, human figures, flowers, birds and scenes of historical and popular stories. These paintings total more than 40,000 in number, and the visitor would need eight hours just to linger two seconds before each picture.
As history records, the Long Corridor was built by Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) in order that his mother might safely enjoy the scenes of rain or snow over the lake.
Famous private Chinese gardens, located mostly in the southern province, are often ornamented with corridors. In Suzhou’s Zhuozheng Garden (The Humble Administrator’s Garden), part of the winding corridor is erected over a pond and has been described as a "rainbow over water". With its reflection in the water, sometimes ruffled by a breeze, it is a favorite spot for visitors to take snapshots of themselves.In Liu Garden(The Lingering Garden), another well-known garden of Suzhou, the buildings, pavilion, terrace, hall and tower are linked by a 600-meter-long corridor. Its wooden walls have fancy cut-through window through which visitors can enjoy the surrounding scenes, and they are also inset with 300 stone-engravings of calligraphy works and poems by famous ancient masters; both the windows and the engravings are regarded as masterpieces of their respective kinds.