Nicknamed “the Venice of the East,” ancient and picturesque Suzhou dates back some 2,500 years and was the cradle of Wu culture. Situated along the lower reaches of the Yangtze River in Jiangsu Province, Suzhou is renowned for its stone bridges, pagodas, and classical garden masterpieces.
Overlooking Tai Lake on Hubin Road in the Wuzhong District, the Sheraton Suzhou Taihu Resort is part of the Taihu National Tourism Resort. The Suzhou Taihu International Conference Center is nearby, and the city center is less than 45 minutes away by car. The resort is only 35 kilometers from Suzhou Train Station, which offers high-speed service to Shanghai in less than 30 minutes. Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport (SHA) is 110 kilometers away, and Sunan Shuofang International Airport (WUX) can be reached by car in 55 minutes.
For a look into the city’s storied past, visit two classical gardens that have been designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The Ming-style Humble Administrator’s Garden is vast and beautiful, and features a pond, water features, pavilions, terraces, chambers, and towers. The ancient Lingering Garden is an exquisite home to many architecturally noteworthy buildings.
Near the Lingering Garden is Hashan Temple, which was named after a famous monk and is one of China’s most celebrated temples. Its prominent structures are the Main Hall, the Circular Gallery, the Sutra Library, the Bell Tower, and a pavilion known as the Maple River Tower. Other notable temples include the Twin Pagodas, the North Temple Pagoda, and the Mysterious Taoist Pagoda. More history can be appreciated at the Suzhou Silk Museum and nearby ancient towns.
For some exhilarating entertainment, watch a Pingtan, Kunqu, or Suzhou Opera performance, known as the “three flowers” of the city’s cultural history. Delight in Suzhou’s renowned embroidery, recognizable by its goldfish and cat motifs. Other unique local handcrafted items include fans, brocade, silk tapestries, writing bushes, Chinese musical instruments, and wood-engraved pictures. Fall visitors should be sure to taste the famous hairy crabs from Lake Taihu and Lake Yangcheng.
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