NileGuide Expert Says:
Called one of the two most beautiful cities in China, SuZhou has long been a coveted retreat as well as a city of divine beauty, history and serenity.
215000 Suzhou, China
86 21 6333 2226 (Tourist Information)
NileGuide Expert tip:
Nearby Ancient Water Towns are a great second attraction
As far back as 900 AD SuZhou had a reputation for beauty, elegance and reverie, as well as an important producer and exporter of silk. Located directly on the Yangtze River, the sale and transportation of silk became the city's primary objective, and lush gardens, pavilions and temples were built to entertain and encourage silk traders, royalty and an elaborate upper class that flourished amid the beauty of the township. Today the city's beauty not only survives, but is enhanced by its contrast to the modernity of nearby Shanghai. Plan to spend an entire day amid the sprawling gardens, pavilions, stone bridges and temples, but avoid the major industrial area of Suzhou, which is an ugly and stark compilation of Soviet-style buildings.