Suzhou Travel Guide – Introduction of Suzhou
Suzhou, the cradle of Wu Culture, is a city with a history of more than 2,500 years, tracing back to the later Shang Dynasty. Suzhou is located in the south of Jiangsu province, some 50 miles west of Shanghai, along the old Grand Canal. While talking about Suzhou, the old saying mentions it as a “Paradise on the Earth” or the “East Venice of the World”, referring to its natural beauty, classical gardens, bridges and waters, traditional operas and soft dialect tone.Situated in the downstream of Yangtze River Drainage Basin and Yangtze River Delta economic zone, Suzhou has been a national tourist center and has attracted visitors around the world. The city is well-known to its classical gardens, in which two of them have been listed as the great world heritage sites. Among the gardens are the Humble Administrator’s Garden (Zhuo Zheng Yuan), the Blue Wave Pavilion (Cang Lang Ting), the Garden for Lingering In (Liu Yuan), and the Lion Grove (Shi Zi Lin), which are the four most famous gardens in Suzhou. The Blue Wave Pavilion is the oldest one in existence. The Lion Grove was constructed in the Yuan Dynasty. The Garden for Lingering In dates from the Ming Dynasty. These gardens attain their high reputation not only for their vast numbers, but also for their charming natural beauty and harmonious construction. These gardens will surely make your Suzhou tours an unforgettable experience.
Besides, Suzhou has also long been noted for its beautiful women. The city is dotted with lakes and ponds connected by a spider’s web of canals. And all the canals are lined with whitewashed houses with gray-tiled roofs. The natural sights and human landscape enhance each other’s beauty, which is a great attraction to visitors who linger there.There are many other Suzhou travel highlights, such as the Kunqu Opera, Suzhou embroidery.By the 14th century Suzhou had established itself as the leading silk producer in the nation. Well-known products are silk embroidery of the Suzhou style (Suxiu) and the Song silk fabrics (Songjin). Suzhou people also developed their own style of exquisite embroidery, which is lauded as a “pearl of oriental art” for its beautiful designs, varied stitches, superb workmanship and elegant colors.Suzhou has many local performances and operas, including Kun opera, Su opera, and Wuge opera. Kun Opera is seen as one of the most splendid cultural creations of the Chinese people.With its roots in the folk songs of the mid 14th century, Kun Opera was refined over a period of nearly 200 years to stand out prominently among all the schools of opera in China. In 2001, UNESCO listed Kun as a “Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Cultural Heritage.” Kun Opera is a comprehensive performance art involving literature, music, dance, acting, costumes, make-up, props and sets: namely, everything theatrical. Its cultural heritage value is embodied in this comprehensive scope, including its unique singing style. The subject matter for the operas comes from a wide reservoir of resources, integrating all the refined performance techniques and set tunes of northern and southern songs and operas of many dynasties.
As one of the famous tourist cities in China, Suzhou has made a great improvement to its basic facilities and tourist functions. Suzhou is accessible by plane, train and bus. Star-rated hotels with good services and reasonable guesthouses and hostels provide a range of lodging. Of course, tasting local delicacies should not be forgotten in your journey. Authentic Suzhou cuisines and snacks can be found in Guan Qian Street, where delicious food and friendly service are memorable. When night falls, Suzhou City is quiet and peaceful. You can enjoy it while sipping a cup of tea in any teahouse.