Today, Suzhou is one of the largest and most prosperous industrial cities in China. It is also one of China’s most popular tourist destinations full of UNESCO World Heritage listed traditional Chinese gardens, romantic canals with arched stone bridges, pagodas and temples dotted amongst the modern city elements. It makes a great one or two day tour outside of Shanghai, being just one and a half hours by car or 25 minutes on the high speed train.
Suzhou is best known for its meticulously manicured gardens such as the Humble Administrator's Garden, Lingering Garden, and Garden of the Master-of-the-Nets. Prepare to be whisked away from the noise and chaos of the city to the peaceful symbolic life of the traditional Chinese garden.
A drift along the old canal-ways past Shantang Old Street to Tiger Hill, under arched stone bridges and white-washed homes busy with local life, lends a romantic air to a step back in time. A stroll down Old Pingjiang Street is China's living museum at its best with interesting souvenirs on sale along the way.
Suzhou is also an important center for China's silk industry and the Suzhou Silk Museum is a must for those interested in how silk was and is made.
If you're up for an evening activity we recommend a night tour of the Master of the Nets Garden ending with a show of traditional Chinese music and comedy performances. Alternatively, simply stroll the local area outside your hotel as locals eat, shop and socialize after work.