Suzhou China is known for its gardens and its silk. Apart from the many Suzhou attractions, the town is also popular because of its convenient location, as it is only an hour’s journey from Shanghai by train. Many vacationers who come to Shanghai for the buzz and the vibrant nightlife of one of China’s biggest cities, also visit Suzhou for a more relaxed experience.
Suzhou China is located at the junction where the rail line meets the Grand Canal. The city’s network of canals provide the water source for the highlight of the Suzhou attractions, the city’s classical gardens, widely acknowledged as the area's jewel in the crown. Of these gardens, the Lingering Garden Suzhou is one of the most famous. A World Heritage Site, the Lingering Garden Suzhou is located just outside of the Changmen Gate, and is known not only for the wonder of its cultivated gardens themselves, but also for the beauty of its awe-inspiring halls, some of which date back to more than 400 years ago, when the garden was first cultivated. The Lingering Garden Suzhou was built during the Ming Dynasty, in around 1593, and throughout the intervening centuries, rulers have struggled to perfect the garden. Enjoying the result of the hundreds of years of labor that have gone into beautifying the garden is not only a highlight of Suzhou, but is also one of the top things to do in China.
The Lingering Gardens is just one of the many magnificent gardens in the Suzhou network. Other famous gardens are the Wangshi Garden, as well as Shizi Lin and Zhuozheng Yuan. Also, for those who want a more serene experience, away from the crowds, there are many gardens that are less famous, but equally beautiful, in which vacationers can escape and have some time for contemplation and peace. Suzhou has historically attracted an over abundance of wealthy patrons and artists from Shanghai, which was the imperial capital. Due to this heritage, Suzhou China is also known for its art, painting, sculpture, and poetry. It is also famous for its fine silk, which can still be bought, whether you’re looking to purchase items of traditional Chinese dress, or want something a little more modern made for you. Suzhou Silk Museum will take you through the craft of silk-making, while retail stores dotted across the town are always ready to sell their wares. This unique shopping opportunity has ensured that Suzhou is a popular stop on many tours of China.
Suzhou is a popular destination on tours around the east coast of China, which typically also take in Beijing, Shanghai, and Macau to the south. Many who visit Suzhou want to explore the surrounding province of Jiangsu. Called the "land of fish and rice" traditionally, due to its fertile soil and agricultural abundance, Jiangsu is densely populated, as well as wealthy. Another city in Jiangsu, Nanjing, also attracts history lovers, as it was once China’s capital and has some renowned museums and attractions.
Getting to Suzhou is easy from Shanghai, which is the second largest international air center in China. From there, twenty buses run everyday to Souzhou. You can also choose the quicker, but more expensive option, and take the 60-minute train journey. Although it’s possible to travel by bus or train from other places of interest, such as Wuxi or Changzhou, the vast majority of visitors come through Shanghai, one of China’s biggest cites and a vibrant cosmopolitan hub. Apart from the great shopping and nightlife in the city, there also many cultural things to do in Shanghai, including the impressive Shanghai Museum, and the Jade Buddha Temple.
Top image: caitriana (flickr), CC BY-SA 2.0