Suzhou, the "Venice of China", is a sightseeing paradise. It has been the cultural and commercial hub of China for decades. The city is lush with bright green hills, pristine rivers, and quiet little towns where tourists can indulge in experiencing old town China and delve into the rich history of the country. Home to many temples dedicated to several spiritual leaders, the list of religious places to visit does not end. The UNESCO-recognized classical gardens are a testament to unparalleled Chinese design and architectural talent. There are several little treasures to be found in the state, apart from the popular tours, tourists can set out on foot and discover old towns, small temples and indulge in the local food scene. For tourists looking to find something new within something old, Suzhou is the place to find them.
Suzhou, famous for its beautiful landscape gardens with exquisite architecture, is an extremely popular tourist destination. It has convenient modern transportation facilities. You can get there by train, airplanes or bus.Suzhou transport can be a bit tricky to get your head around! Good maps of the city and its outskirts, with road and place names in Chinese characters and pinyin, can be bought at the city’s Xinhua Bookstore on Shi Road near the Changshu Road intersection. A hand drawn map of the historical centre, with most places of interest clearly marked, is available at hostels and bookstores (¥20). You’ll also find decent maps in some of the city’s free English language magazines, available wherever foreigners gather.
Public Transport Cleanliness: Moderate and efficiency- Moderate
Taxis are, in general, the fastest and easiest way to move around Suzhou. Almost all are either VW Santanas or Passats. Flag fare is ¥10. Santanas cost ¥1.8 per kilometer after the first three, Passats cost ¥2.
Suzhou has a taxi hotline, but to use it you’ll need to speak Chinese. The number is (0512) 6777 6777.
Buses in Suzhou, like almost everywhere else in China, are incredibly cheap but very difficult to use. The signs at bus stops, which explain the city’s many bus routes, are only in Chinese. If you are going to be in the city for more than a few days, the maps available at the Xinhua Bookstore outline routes and route numbers. Fares for city buses are ¥1, tourist buses cost ¥2.
You can rent bikes from a number of the city’s hostels. Mingtown Youth Hostel’s (28 Pingjiang Rd, 0512-65816869) bikes cost ¥10 for four hours. You’ll be asked to leave either a ¥400 deposit or your passport. Min Han Tang Youth Hostel (61 Guyang Ji Road, near Shantang Street, 0512-65833331) has small, collapsible bikes, which fit into a taxi (¥20 per 1 day), and mountain bikes (¥30 per day). You have to leave your passport as a deposit. There are also bike rental shops on Renmin Lu, just north of the Silk Museum.
|Water Bottle||RMB 1.00|
|Cup of Coffee||RMB 29.00|
|Milk Carton Pack||RMB 12.00|
|White Bread||RMB 12.00|
|Eggs (12)||RMB 13.00|
|Combo Meal||RMB 30.00|
|Fine Dining||RMB 187.00|
|Bottle of Coke or Pepsi||RMB 4.00|
|Domestic Beer||RMB 9.00|
|Imported Beer||RMB 15.00|
|Bottle of Wine||RMB 50.00|
|Cigarettes (20 Pack)||RMB 19.00|
|Taxi ( 1 km )||RMB 2.00|
|Ticket in local transport (Single way).||RMB 2.00|
|Rent ( One Bed Room)||RMB 3144.00|
Do address seniority by the family name followed by an honorific title (family relationship or e.g. ’teacher’: laoshi /laow-shrr/), or Mr. (xiangsheng /sheen-shining/) or Ms. (nvshi /nyoo-shrr/).
Do address the eldest or most senior person first. This is done as a sign of respect to those in a more senior position.
Do use ‘Ni hao’ (/need-how/ ‘you good’) when addressing older people.
Do take off your shoes when entering someone’s home. This is extremely important.
Do bring a small gift with you. When meeting someone for the first time in a planned setting, make sure to bring a small gift with you as a token of friendship.
Do join in the toast. It’s very polite to join in on each toast and say the words “gan bei” (/gan bay/ ’dry cup’) before finishing your drink.
Do sample everything. At dinner, it is polite to sample each dish available and remark loudly that you enjoy the food.
Do let elders sit down first. After this, you should wait to be instructed where to sit.
Do feel free to drink from the bowl or use your fingers to eat food like chicken and shrimp. Just make sure that this food is already on your own plate.
Don’t bow. Bowing is not a custom in China when greeting people.
Don’t offer a firm handshake. Handshakes in China tend to be softer, and a firm handshake could be misconstrued as a sign of aggression.
Don’t interrupt or try to talk over senior people. Social ranking is taken seriously in China and is quite often tied to the age of a person. You should let whoever is older or most senior lead the conversation and try to avoid talking over them,
Don’t leave chopsticks standing upright in your food, like sticks of incense. This symbolizes death and should never be done.
Don’t tap the bowl with your chopsticks or point them at other people. This is considered to be very rude and should be avoided.
Don’t use your own chopsticks to take food from the dishes. Use the serving chopsticks or ladles provided.
Don’t spit bones in your bowl or onto the floor. Use a tissue or hand to place them on the small plate provided – or observe how others deal with them.
Don’t take the last pieces from a serving tray. This would show a lack of consideration for others. Ask if everyone else is full first.
A night is not complete without appreciating a traditional Suzhou musical performance such as Pingtan, Kun Opera, etc. Sitting at antique tea-house or theater, you can order a pot of fine tea, taste some exquisite, delicious Suzhou dim sum, and experience the wonderful nightlife just like the local people. Embodying abundant cultural connotations and historical sense, traditional Suzhou musical performances are a visual feast one should not miss. Some of the places to go:
Bars and Pubs
Suzhou is not just an ancient city endowed with beautiful scenery, but also an open modernized metropolis possessing a colourful bar scene. Here, people can enjoy the vibrant bar charms by taking part in all kinds of entertainment, including dancing with dynamic music and flickering lights.
Go on the Grand Canal night cruise, not only is it one of the most relaxing things to do but it is also one of the most romantic trips to take with your special someone.
A leisurely stroll in the country’s most beautiful quaint mountain village and wander in the bamboo forest and green tea garden
Get to the country’s best hot springs, this impressive open-air hot spring is the only outdoor spring resort in China and has a choice of 39 pools with different sizes and shapes dispersed in a beautiful luxuriant natural setting.
Visit the Taihu Ore Field, due to the high content of minerals, the water here becomes abnormally blue.
Guangfu Ancient Town is known for the plum flowers blooming in the Sea of Fragrant Snow in early spring. Apart from this, there are interesting temples and handicrafts worth seeing.
Luzhi Town is a peaceful and pristine landscape typically representing an ancient water town in lower reaches of the Yangtze River.
Shaxi Ancient Town is an ancient water town with many folk houses built in Ming and Qing Dynasties, ancient streets and bridges. Enjoy the local festivals there.
The Master of Nets Garden (Wang Shi Yuan) is the best example of small and medium-sized gardens, best for squeezing as much time as possible from your visit.
West Garden Temple was initially one part of the Lingering Garden, featuring sacred temples and beautiful landscapes.
Xuanmiao Taoist Temple (Temple of Mystery) is a place where you cannot only admire the majestic buildings but also enjoy Taoist music and the flying cymbals performance.
Sunan Shuofang International Airport - WUX
SHA - Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport
Start Tariff: RMB 11.50
1 Km. Tariff: RMB 2.00
1 Hour Waiting Tariff: RMB 48.50
Monthly Average Temperature & Rainfall
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