The cradle of Wu culture, ancient Suzhou dates back some 2,500 years. This postcard perfect city in the Jiangsu Province is adorned with stone bridges, pagodas, and UNESCO World Heritage Site-deemed gardens. The arts born here, particularly opera, music, and silk embroidery work have wide-reaching influence throughout China.
Suzhou has a wealth of classical Chinese gardens, nearly 50 in total, some of which dating between the 11th to 19th century. These the aim of these meticulously designed gardens is to mimic the natural world in miniature with tranquil ponds, natural rock walls, small bridges, perfectly-pruned trees and small pavilions. Several of these well-preserved oasis of tranquility have been designated as UNESCO World Heritage Site. However, the most remarkable one is the 400-year old Liu Lingering Garden with its clutch of colorful buildings with grand halls.Learn More
Contemporary yet evoking the past, the stunning Suzhou Museum designed by Pritzker Prize-winning Chinese-American architect I.M. Pei is a work of art on its own. Yet, there are numerous treasures to be discovered inside. Contemplate ceramics, crafts, rare books and a collection of paintings and calligraphy with works from the Song, Ming and Qing dynasties.Learn More
Serene and scenic, begin a pleasant sightseeing stroll at the Pan Gate, a water and land gate dating back to the Wu Kingdom. Continue over the arched stone Wumen Bridge, the highest ancient bridge in the city and an excellent vantage point for taking in stacked pagodas in the distance and boats floating down the river.Learn More
Teahouse culture may be ancient, but it’s still culturally relevant today. Friends gather at teahouses to chat over a pot of tea and snacks. In the evenings, pingtan operas—a folk tradition of ballad singing and storytelling—keep the crowds entertained.