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Discover 2,500 years of History in Suzhou, China. Time stops in Suzhou where you find centuries of culture and modern wonders. Historically, Suzhou was synonymous with high culture and elegance. Generations of Chinese artists, scholars, writers and high society were drawn to its exquisite art forms and the delicate beauty of its gardens. Discover Suzhou’s famous canals, romantic water towns, thousand-year-old temples and world-class museums. Savor traditional tea and cuisine along Suzhou’s historic streets. Treat your eyes and ears to ancient architecture and music. Rest your head in a bed that’s authentically Suzhou. Explore Suzhou’s unique offerings for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Flanked by droves of meandering waterways and breathtaking gardens, the 2,500-year-old city of Suzhou is located along the southeastern edge of Jiangsu Province in eastern China. Suzhou is bordered by the Yangtze River in the north, Shanghai to its east, Zhejiang Province to its south and Lake Taihu in the west.
Suzhou is located in Jiangsu Province at the center of the Yangtze River Delta, approximately 60 miles west of Shanghai. Because of its proximity to Suzhou and quick, efficient train transportation, Shanghai is the preferred arrival city for North American travelers.
Pudong International Airport (PVG) is Shanghai’s largest airport.
Distance from Suzhou: 60 miles
Driving: 1 hour 45 minutes
Bullet/High-Speed Train: 30 minutes (requires transferring lines)
Regular Train: 1 hour (requires transferring lines)
Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport (SHA) offers easy transfers to Suzhou by train, shuttle bus or taxi.
Distance from Suzhou: 50 miles
Driving: 1 hour 15 minutes
Bullet/High-Speed Train: 30 minutes
Regular Train: 1 hour
Travelers can fly from the United States or Canada to Shanghai nonstop aboard a variety of airlines from the following gateway cities:
Suzhou Classical Gardens
Experience the pristine beauty and divine tranquility of Suzhou’s beautifully manicured classical gardens — nine of which have been designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites and two that are considered China’s most famous (Lingering Garden and Humble Administrator’s Garden). Thanks to impeccable preservation, this graceful place has seemingly stood still for thousands of years. Classical Chinese garden design aims to create a flawless miniature landscape and emphasize the profound harmony between man and nature — and Suzhou’s gardens are regarded as masterpieces of the genre. Though these elaborate, private gardens owned by the rich and royal date back to the sixth century B.C., it wasn’t until the Ming (1368–1644) and Qing (1644–1911) dynasties that Suzhou’s garden art reached its zenith.
According to legend, in 496 B.C., three days after the King of Wu buried his father atop this hill, a white tiger appeared and guarded the tomb. Drenched in history and folklore, the ancient poet Su Dongpo about this popular attraction, “to visit Suzhou and not see Tiger Hill would lead to a lifetime of regret.” Upon approach, it’s hard to miss the cultural symbol of Suzhou, the Yunyan Pagoda (also called Huqiu Tower) — the park’s soaring, thousand-year-old pagoda famous for its menacing lean. After you’re done looking up, turn your eyes down towards to the Sword Pool, believed to be the king’s final resting place… for his swords. It only takes one visit to Tiger Hill to realize what Su Dongpo was talking about.
Suzhou is known worldwide for its luxurious silk, and this facility houses a number of fascinating exhibits that detail the history of Suzhou's 4,000 year-old silk industry.
Set along a canal lined with whitewashed houses, tea houses, local cafes, and shops, this charming area offers visitors a glimpse into the daily life of Suzhou's past.
Kunqu Opera and Museum
Dedicated to the distinct opera style of the region, the beautiful old theatre and museum houses a stage, musical instruments, costumes, and photos of famous performers.
Designed by Suzhou-born architectural powerhouse I.M. Pei, the museum has more than 15,000 pieces in its collections, including ancient paintings and calligraphy, ceramics, and crafts, as well as historic books and documents.
Tongli Water Town
One of six famous water towns in the Suzhou area Tongli Water Town on Lake Tai boasts fifteen brooks and a staggering forty-seven bridges, the most celebrated bridges being Taiping (peace), Jili (luck), and Changing (celebration).
Translated as Cold Mountain Temple, the Temple has been made famous because of a poem named "Mooring for the Night at Fengqiao Bridge" by Zhang Ji, a poet of the Tang Dynasty (618 – 907), as well as the bell ringing festival which takes place on December 31 each year.
Suzhou Industrial Park
Suzhou Industrial Park — or SIP — is the epicenter of modern-day Suzhou. Boasting hundreds of contemporary hotels, shops and restaurants, SIP is also home to several modern marvels, including Jinji Lake, the largest inland city lake in China, the Suzhou International Expo Center, two manmade islands (Peach Blossom Island and Exquisite Island), the largest Ferris wheel in Asia and a musical fountain and water curtain that doubles as a movie screen — the largest waterscape engineering feat in eastern China. If you happen to be in town on Friday or Saturday, don’t miss the 30-minute-long show that begins at 8 p.m.
Sightseeing Along Suzhou’s Historic Streets
Set out on foot (or bike) to discover Suzhou’s storied landmarks and hidden gems. For a trip back in time, head to Shantang Street, famous for its old temples, ancestral halls and memorial arches. For an even richer blast to the past, stroll along Shiquan Street to discover architecture from the Ming and Qing dynasties, as well as the popular Nanlin Restaurant and Hotel and the commanding Master of the Nets Garden. Enjoy Suzhou’s most delicious export at a local teahouse, sample dumplings, and indulge on confections on Guanqian Street. Along the way, be sure to admire the narrow canal, stone bridges and charming, whitewashed homes. Modern shoppers rejoice — Jinchang District’s Shilu Shopping Street provides a bevy of retail and department store goodies, and the shops even stay open until 10 p.m. Whether you’re exploring the city’s deep-rooted history or you’re in need of a major shopping fix, Suzhou’s streets are the place to go.
Lying about 60 mi/95 km west of Shanghai, south of the Yangtze River delta, Suzhou, China, is a picturesque city in the coastal province of Jiangsu. One of the cities on the Grand Canal, it is often seen as a day trip from Shanghai (it's 30-90 minutes by rail, depending on the speed of your train). Another reason people see it as a day trip is that Shanghai has the closest international airports, which means people are likely to pair visits to the two cities together.
Suzhou was founded in 514 BC, and from its beginnings it developed an atmosphere somewhat like Venice, crisscrossed by numerous canals, offshoots of the Grand Canal from Beijing to Hangzhou, which runs through the province. More than 40 percent of the city is covered in canals, ponds and streams. Marco Polo originally gave the city its name, the "Venice of the East," which later became the "Venice of China." It was once the old capital of the Wu Kingdom, and the city lies on the edges of Lake Jinji, which is the largest lake in inland China.
If you're going on a day trip from Shanghai, you'll have to rush to try to see all of Suzhou's sights in one day, so we recommend spending one or two nights there. There are more than 60 preserved gardens in town, nine of which are UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Vincent Vacations - Authorized Suzhou Vacation Planner
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