Suzhou is one of China’s major cities located along the south-eastern edge of Jiangsu province in eastern China. Boarded by the Yangtze River in the north, Shanghai in the east, Zhejiang province in the south and Lake Taihu in the west.
Suzhou is known for its pagodas, canals, bridges and beautiful gardens. The city is divided by the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal from north to south. Around 42% of the city is covered by water, including a vast number of ponds and streams, and it praised as the ‘Venice of the Orient’.
Food in Suzhou
Savour traditional tea and cuisine along Suzhou’s historic streets. Suzhou is also a paradise for gourmets due to its long history and thousands of years of culinary experience and culture. The characteristics of Suzhou cuisine lie primarily in its delicate preparation, emphasis on the quality of ingredients along the uniqueness of the dishes.
Weather in Suzhou
A mild climate makes Suzhou a desirable destination all year round. Exploring the ancient water towns in the vicinity or lingering in the downtown area within the beautiful classical gardens, you will truly experience ‘paradise on earth. There’s a saying – ‘Gardens to the south of the Yangtze River are the best in the world, and Suzhou gardens are the best among them’.
Transportation in Suzhou
With no airport in the city, travellers use the nearby Shanghai Pudong Airport and Hongqiao Airport.
However, this city does have a well-developed railway with four main train stations.
Subway trains are used to take visitors to attractions around the city and frequent bullet trains travel between Shanghai and Suzhou making it easy to travel between the two cities in around 30 minutes.
Must sees in Suzhou
- Humble Administrators Garden: This garden covers around 52,000 square meters, is the largest and most renowned garden in Suzhou. Due to its beauty and unique designs it has gained many special awards and is listed as a World Heritage site.
- Lingering Garden: Originally a classical private garden, it is now one of the four most famous gardens in China. The Lingering Garden is known for it’s building of various colours, sizes and shapes and magnificent halls.
- The Master of Nets garden – This garden is the smallest of the Suzhou gardens, however, is seen as the most impressive. This is due to the fact it uses space so well it creates an illusion it is greater than its actual size. The tranquillity and harmony it embodies takes over the architectural achievement.
Tiger Hill is a large hillock that covers around 3.5 acres and is only 118 feet in height. On climbing it you can find a number of historical sites, some of which can be traced back over 2,500 years to the founding of Suzhou.
Zhouzhuang water towns:
Zhouzhuang is one of the most famous water towns in China. It is rich in cultural background, has well-preserved ancient residential houses, has elegant watery views along with strong local traditions and customs.
Suzhou industrial park:
Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP) is the centre of modern day Suzhou. Home to hundreds of modern hotels, restaurants and shops, it is also home to many marvels including Jinji Lake (the biggest inland city lake in China), two manmade island (Peach Blossom Island and Exquisite Island), the largest Ferris Wheel in Asia and a musical fountain.
Shantang Street is an ancient riverside pedestrian road in northwest Suzhou and is very popular with tourists. From Changmen Gate in the downtown, the street winds northwest on the northern bank of the Shantang River up to the scenic Tiger Hill.
Cost of living in Suzhou
|Item||CNY/RMB||GBP £||USD $|
|Meal at Chinese Restaurant||26.50||3.09||3.85|
|Meal at Higher End or Western Restaurant||60.00||7.00||8.95|
|Draught Beer (0.5 Litre)||7.00||0.82||1.02|
|Coke/Pepsi (0.33 Litre Bottle)||2.97||0.35||0.44|
|Water (0.33 Litre Bottle)||2.00||0.23||0.29|
|Regular Milk (1 Litre)||13.00||1.52||1.89|
|Loaf of Fresh White Bread||9.67||1.13||1.40|
|White Rice (1kg)||6.10||0.71||0.89|
|Skinless Chicken Breast (1kg)||18.67||2.19||2.71|
|One Way Public Transport Ticket||2.00||0.23||0.29|
|Monthly Pass (Unlimited Trips)||150.00||17.51||21.79|
|Taxi After 1km||1.80||0.21||0.26|
|Taxi 1 Hour Inner City Journey||32.00||3.73||4.65|
|Monthly Utility Bills||423.94||49.48||61.58|
|Cinema Ticket (Western Release)||35.00||4.08||5.08|
|1 Bedroom Apartment Monthly Rent (City Centre)||3,060.00||357.11||444.47|
|3 Bedroom Apartment Monthly Rent (City Centre)||5,666.67||661.32||823.10|