Suzhou has long benefited from its location between two of China's greatest waterways. One, the Yangzi River, divides north and south China; the other, the Grand Canal, connects them. Suzhou itself is nestled in the midst of a network of smaller canals and natural waterways that historically linked the city to various dynastic capitals in Beijing, Hangzhou and Nanjing, making it a vital center of trade, industry and culture while bringing it riches, fame and patronage of the arts.
Suzhou is one of the oldest towns in the Yangtze basin, founded in about 600 BC but really making it's fame one thousand years later when the Grand Canal was up and running. The great location that the city affords helped Suzhou become a prosperous trading area and the silk industry especially boomed here.
By the 14th Century, Suzhou had become the leading silk producer in China and this quaint little retreat became popular with visitors from the imperial court at Hangzhou. Artists, scholars and painters all retreated to this "Venice of the East" to seek inspiration and to relax.
Suzhou was one of the few city's in China to escape the ravages of the cultural revolution and its famous gardens survived almost intact. It is the gardens here, which are the most famous attraction in the city. The gardens embody the harmonious principles of Chinese garden construction which dictate that gardens should attempt to create a microcosm of the universe in a confined space. Amongst the most charming are the Garden of the Master of the Nets and the Humble Administrators Garden. The intimate gardens here are particularly pleasant on a misty day and Suzhou's narrow streets and lanes can be very romantic and relaxing.
Suzhou's cultural sites and temples are also worth a visit. Hanshan Temple's distinctive atmosphere and construction are unforgettable. The Temple of Mystery and West Garden Temple are both excellent examples of Daoist and Buddhist tradition respectively. Also, Tiger Hill is a great spot to explore and spend a lazy afternoon in a historical setting. Suzhou's profound cultural and historical background as an ancient capital have helped make this one of China's premier tourism cities.
Suzhou Garden Two-Day Highlight Tour
|It is said that “Above there is a Paradise, and on Earth there are Suzhou and Hangzhou”. Suzhou is also a worldwide famous tourist city in China and well known by its traditional Chinese villa gardens.|
Suzhou Essential One-Day Tour
|To understand more about the culture of this elegant city, let’s visit Suzhou museum. It is a museum of ancient Chinese art, ancient Chinese paintings, calligraphies and hand-made crafts. The current building of the museum is designed by the famous Chinese-American architect Leoh Ming Pei.|