Suzhou,located in the south-east of Jiangsu Province, the center of the Yangtze Delta ,is the birthplace of Wu culture.It is built in 541BC having a 2500 years history. During the long history, Suzhou has developed its fascinating history and culture and is called ''Heaven on Earth''.And for 42% of the city area is covered by water,the city is also known as the ‘Oriental Venice’.
Suzhou is a key silk production centre in China. Its performing arts is very attractive such as Kunqu Opera and storytelling. In 1997, Suzhou caught the world's attention by having its classic gardens placed on the UNESCO list as a World Cultural Heritage site.
Here are some tips of Suzhou travel:
Suzhou is a temperate climate city with cool to cold winters and warm summers. November and April is very cold with temperatures ranging between 0C to 14C. Weather in May, June, September and October is cool, ranging between 19C and 24C. In July and August climate starts to turn warm and humid and temperatures can go up to 35C.
Bring along warm clothing for the winter and light clothing for the summer.
Network accepted is GSM, CDMA.
In Suzhou, telephoning is relatively easy if you adhere to certain procedures. The best way to place a phone call is to go to the local post office. There are also public phone booths where you can make calls with a phonecard.
Shopping & Business Hours
Shops are usually open from 9 am to 9pm from Monday to Friday and 9am– 10pm from Saturday to Sunday and Public Holidays.
Bank and Government Offices
Banks and Government offices are open from 8:30am - 9am to 5:00pm – 5:30pm from Mondays to Fridays.
Commercial offices are open from 9am to 5pm, Mondays to Fridays.
Taxes are not applicable.
GMT / UTC +8.
Tipping is currently not necessary in China.But if you have received exceptional service, you may consider offering something extra.
Valid visas are required to enter Mainland China.
Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport and Shanghai Pudong International Airport in Shanghai serve as the main air transportation to and from Suzhou.
Shanghai Hong Qiao International Airport - Hongqiao Airport (SHA) is 86 kilometers (about 53 miles) away from Suzhou. The journey is about one hour and thirty minutes.
Pudong International Airport –Pudong International Airport (PVG) is located 120 kilometers (about 65 miles) away from Suzhou.
Car rental services are available at the airports.
It is advisable to take licensed taxis and they should run by meters. Agree on the fare first if the meter is not working.
Every day shuttle buses run between SHA / PVG and Suzhou.
The main attractions in Suzhou:
The Humble Administrator's Garden
The Humble Administrator's Garden cover an area of 52,000 sq. meters. It is the largest and most famous garden in Suzhou. the garden has acquired many special honors for its unique designs and ethereal beauty. It is listed as a World Cultural Heritage site and has also been designated as one of the Cultural Relics of National Importance under the Protection of the State as well as a Special Tourist Attraction of China.
Tiger Hill covers more than 14000 square meters and is 36 meters high.The place has many historical sites date as far back as 2,500 years to the founding of Suzhou.It’s said that the King of the State of Wu, Fu Chai, buried his father along with 3,000 swords here. On the third day after the burial, a white tiger appeared to guard the tomb, hence the name of the hill.
In the ancient time, silk is produced for the royal families. Suzhou has become the silk producing center of China since the Tang (618-907) and Song (960-1279) dynasties.The design of the museum combine a sense of ancient civilization with modern style which is very informative, elegant and unconventional . You can learn about making silk and the centuries of silk weaving in Suzhou here.
Guanqian Street,located in the central downtown area,is the tried and true shopping area with century-old shops such as Daoxiangcun, Caizhizhai and Huangtianyuan. all sorts of shops with different brands and dozens of department stores have gathered here since the Qing Dynasty. After reconstructed in 1999, Guanqian Street has become the locals and tourists favourite place to shopping and Strolling.
Hanshan Temple is one of China's most famous temples. .A poet called Zhang Ji wrote a poem “Mooring to the Maple Bridge at Night in Tang Dynasty (618-907). In this poem, he described the midnight bell rings of the Hanshan Temple. Since then, the temple has become famous for its bell rings and Buddhism culture. Now the temple has developed into a historical and cultural area with beautiful natural sights.
Garden of the Master of the Nets
The Garden of the Master of the Nets is the smallest of the Suzhou residential gardens.But it is one of the most excellent gardens in China.It is the typical example of which sometimes the smallest package can contain the most magnificent gift.
Located in Kunshan City , 30 kilometers (18 miles) southeast of Suzhou, Zhouzhuang is one of the most famous water townships in China.This ancient water town is well known for its rich cultural background, the well preserved ancient architecture, the elegant watery views and the strong local colored traditions and customs.
Tongli is a very well preserved ancient water township with a history of more than 1,000 years. It is Located on the eastern shore of Taihu Lake, just 18 kilometers (11 miles) from Suzhou City.It is a wonderful travel destination where you can spend a marvelous holiday or experience traditional Chinese culture.
From the greatest silk in the world to handicrafts, souvenirs and tea, Suzhou offers variety at its very best. Everyone who love shopping will have an unique shopping experience in Suzhou.
West Garden Temple
The West Garden Temple, located on the western part of Suzhou, is thought to have been built during the Yuan Dynasty and cover an area of 16 acres.These magnificent gardens belonged to ‘the Gardens to Linger in’ before the land was donated to house a Buddhist temple.
Lingering Garden, located outside Changmen Gate in Suzhou,cover an area of 23,300 square meters.It has been built since Ming Dynasty.As a private garden,it has been changed hands between several owners since it was first built.In 1997,it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Lingering Garde is well-known for the exquisite beauty of its magnificent halls, and the various sizes, shapes, and colors of the buildings.
Suzhou is not only famous for scenic parks and magnificent gardens but also many cultural and historic attractions.Originally the Panmen Gate was constructed in 514 BC by the King of Wu, He Lu and was given the name Coiled Dragon Gate upon completion.
Canglang Pavilion (Blue Wave Pavilion)
Canglang Pavilion, located in the southern part of Suzhou, is one of the four most famous gardens of the city. The land was purchased by Su Xunruan, a poet who constructed the pavilion christening it Canglang, from which the present name of the garden is derived.
Suzhou has a good public transportation system with public buses routes that run into all parts of the city. Fares are flat rated, usually 1 Yuan for a non-air-conditioned bus and 2 Yuan for an air-conditioned one. You should have change ready when boarding.
Taxis are available in the city and are an easy way to get around. The starting price is 10 Yuan for 3 kilometres, over 3 km, 1.8 Yuan/per km for a Santana and 1.4 Yuan/per km for a Xia Li cab.
These man-powered vehicles are great for seeing the sights. The starting price is 2 Yuan, rising to between 3 to 5 Yuan for a longer trip. Negotiate the price first when taking a pedicab to ensure that there are no misunderstandings.
The bicycle is popular for the many who want to explore the city. A bicycle is generally CNY2 for four hours, CNY5 for the whole day. To rent a bicycle, you'll need to leave a deposit and show your identity card.
Boats running along the Great Canal travel north to Zhejiang or south to Hangzhou. The waterways have been used for transportation for centuries and it is a wonderful way to see the beautiful countryside they travel through.
Being on the Beijing Shanghai railway line, there are over 40 train services that stop at Suzhou Railway Station daily. There are daily services to and from Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, Guilin and many other main cities in China. The Suzhou Railway Station is located on the north side of the city.