End of August, we had quite a few days off, so we took a trip to Suzhou which is in Jiangsu Province, very close to Shanghai. So close, that many tourists who go for sightseeing in Shanghai, plan a day or two in Suzhou because it is about 45 minutes away by train. So if you guys ever plan to visit Shanghai, definitely try to go to Suzhou, or another canal city close to China’s financial hub as well.
Suzhou is famous for its numerous gardens, of which many are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. So definitely make sure to visit at least one of those that interest you. Most of the beautiful gardens in Suzhou can be found on tripadvisor. I will only introduce 2 of the gardens that I went to here. And they are as following:
1. Humble Administrator’s Garden:
This is the biggest, most famous, and crowded one in Suzhou. It has a lush nature, with an abundance of green bushes, and trees, colourful flowers and clear ponds.
2. Master of Nets Garden:
This garden was my favourite sight in Suzhou. This garden is also open in the late evening hours, which is the best time to visit this place, because of all the beautiful musical and dance performances that’s going on in there. I took many videos which I am planning to publish in the near future. For this blog post, I will just add the pictures that I have taken.
Some flute players. I felt like in a different time and place, catapulted into the past that is Ancient China.
Our Chinese-Canadian friend we met that day said that this instrument sounds like water. And it really does. It is so soothing.
3. Souvenir Shopping at Dongbei Street:
This street is right at the Humble Administrator’s Garden. We just passed it without even planning it when we were on the way from the hostel to the garden, but it turned out to be even better than the garden itself. There are many interesting things you can buy as souvenirs such as wooden carvings, chinese zodiac keychains, and 3-D-pop-up postcards.
4. Eating and Drinking on Pinjiang Road:
This street is very popular in Suzhou due to its narrow alleyways and all the small cafes, restaurants and tea houses. We even found a cat cafe here, which was the most hilarious thing during our trip :D
I had waffles, and they were heavenly *o* The coffee was even better than Starbucks coffee.
5. Boat Ride on the Ancient Grand Canal:
We did the ride on the big canal, because we couldn’t find any boats on the little canals of the side streets. It was a bit expensive though, but it was really beautiful. We could see the city all lit up in colourful lights and at the end of the tour the female guide performed a song for us, including playing on the classical chinese guitar.
6. Scenic Sightseeing on Tiger Hill (Huqiu Shan):
This spot is beautiful and home to the leaning pagoda which is said to be the original for the leaning tower of Pisa. In general, Suzhou is considered to be the original for Venice. It is said that Marco Polo came to China and “stole” many cultural, scenic, and architectural originals, including food, namely chinese noodles being the origin of italian spaghetti.
Suzhou might not be the most famous city in China, but it has its own beauty, and it definitely is one of my most favourite places there.
We went there end of Summer, but I am sure this place looks especially beautiful in spring. It has a very calm and relaxing vibe to it, with all the natural sights, gardens, and beautiful canals. The Venice of China is definitely keeping what it promises.