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Suzhou Travel Guide

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  Suzhou Bund
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Understand Suzhou

Overview

Suzhou Travel Guide

Suzhou MapSuzhou is located in the center of the Yangtze Delta, in the south of Jiangsu Province, with Shanghai to the east, Zhejiang Province to the south, Wuxi City to the west and the Yangtze River to the north. Since 42% area of the city is covered by water, including a vast number of ponds and streams, Suzhou is praised as the 'Oriental Venice'. Taihu Lake, four fifths of which is in the territory of Suzhou, is one of the four largest fresh lakes in China, with East Hill, West Hill and other scenic spots in its vicinity. The city is cut by the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal from north to south. Together with its mild climate, making it an available destination all year round, fertile landscape and abundance of produce, it is no wonder that Suzhou is called 'paradise on earth'.

Built in 514 BC, Suzhou is an ancient city with a 2500 years' history. The unique characteristics of the past are still retained in present-day Suzhou. The double-chessboard layout of Suzhou, with 'the streets and rivers go side by side while the water and land routes run in parallel', are preserved basically intact. Strolling the streets, you can feel the unique lingering charm of this landscape left by its long history.

Suzhou CityAs the saying goes - 'Gardens to the south of Yangtze River are the best in the world, and Suzhou gardens are the best among them'. These gardens attain their high reputation not only for their vast numbers, but also for their charming natural beauty and harmonious construction. At present more than 60 gardens are kept intact in Suzhou, and a series of them have been listed in the World Heritage List, including the Humble Administrator's Garden, the Lingering Garden, the Garden of Master of Nets and the Mountain Villa with Embracing Beauty.

Rating alongside these classical gardens are the exquisite water townships in Suzhou. Zhouzhuang, Mudu, Tongli Town and so on should not be missed by any visitor. In any water township of Suzhou, a number of Ming and Qing dynasty preserved buildings can be found. The natural sights and human landscape enhance each other's beauty, which is a great attraction to visitors who linger there.

ZhouzhuangBeing the cradle of Wu Culture, Suzhou plays a vital role in Chinese cultural history. Many great names and schools of art arose here. For example, the Wumen Fine Arts School is the finest in the history of Suzhou, represented by Shen Zhou, Wen Zhengming, Tang Yin and Qiu Ying, whose poems, calligraphy and paintings are considered to be historical artifacts. Pingtan, Kun Opera and Suzhou Opera are praised as 'three flowers' in the cultural history of Suzhou. Furthermore, embroidery, fans and brocade produced in Suzhou are noted world wide. If you want to explore more on their history visit the museum of Suzhou folk-costume for a complete description.

As one of the famous tourist cities in China, Suzhou has made a great improvement to its basic facilities and tourist functions. Suzhou is accessible by plane, train and bus. Star-rated hotels with good services and reasonable guesthouses and hostels provide a range of lodging. Of course, tasting local delicacies should not be forgotten in your journey. Authentic Suzhou cuisines and snacks can be found in Guan Qian Street, where delicious food and friendly service are memorable. When night falls, Suzhou City is quiet and peaceful. You can enjoy it while sipping a cup of tea in any teahouse.

Suzhou was built 2,500 years ago, and was founded in 514BC. The city is situated on the lakeside of Taihu, and is built around canals, which criss-cross the city. As a result, the city is known as the "Venice of the East." Suzhou's beauty is exemplified by its 60 classical gardens. Because of its incredible beauty, there is a saying, "There is Paradise above and Suzhou and Hangzhou below."

Located in northwest Suzhou lies Tiger Hill (Huqui). Tiger Hill is the burial site of the father (He Lu) of the King of State of Wu, Fu Chai, who was buried along with 3,000 swords. Legend states that following the burial, a white tiger appeared and guarded the tomb, thus the name, "Tiger Hill." There is speculation that the tomb rests below the Tiger Hill Pagoda. The pagoda was first built in the Five Dynasties Period. It is octagon in shape with seven stories.

Situated in the suburbs of Suzhou, lies the Hanshan Temple. The Temple was first built between the years 502 - 519BC. Two eminent monks, Han Shan and Shi De once resided on the site, thus the name. The Temple is famous throughout China for its bells. The famous poet of the Tang Dynasty, Xhang Ji, immortalized the bells with his words, "Beyond the Suzhou walls, the Hanshan Temples...Ring bells, which reach my boat." On every Chinese New Year's eve, the bells ring 108 times to welcome in the New Year.

The Lingering Garden, which is one of the four major Gardens in China, was built during the reign of Emperor Jia Qing of the Ming Dynasty (1522 - 1566AD). The expansive garden is landscaped in the traditional Ming style, with its pavilions stretched along the water, surrounded by flowering shrubs and trees, and stone bridges. The gardens are masterfully done and represent an enchanting aspect of Chinese history and culture.

 

 

 

 

 
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