Sometimes called the Venice of China, Suzhou has a rich history that dates back some 2,500 years. This picturesque city is situated along the lower reaches of the Yangtze River in Jiangsu Province. The Westin Suzhou Xiangcheng is conveniently located in Xiangcheng’s central business district (CBD) at the intersection of Yangchenghu West Road and Renmin Road. Two malls and many retail shops are just steps from our hotel, and the city center is just a 15-minute drive away. Only 10 minutes away by car is the Suzhou Train Station, which offers high-speed service to Shanghai. Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport (SHA) is 88 kilometers away.

Take a glimpse into the city’s rich past at the ancient Lingering Garden. One of China’s magnificent gardens, this exquisite classical park is also home to a variety of architecture. The Ming-style Humble Administrator’s Garden is a large, beautiful park featuring a pond, water features, pavilions, terraces, chambers, and towers. For a different taste of local culture, serenity can be found at Hashan Temple, located very close to the Lingering Garden. Named after a revered monk, its main 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 at nearby ancient towns.

For exhilarating entertainment, catch a pingtan, Kun opera, or Suzhou opera performance, deemed the “three flowers” of the city’s cultural history. Delight in Suzhou’s local embroidery, recognizable by its goldfish and cat motifs. Other unique local handcrafted items include fans, brocades, silk tapestries, writing brushes, Chinese musical instruments, and wood-engraved pictures. Fall visitors should not miss sampling the delicious hairy crabs that come from Lake Taihu and Lake Yangcheng.