Sometimes called the Venice of China due to its location along the lower reaches of the Yangtze River in Jiangsu Province, picturesque Suzhou awaits discovery. Dating back some 2,500 years, Suzhou is renowned for its stone bridges, pagodas, and classical garden masterpieces. Offering lake views, Le Méridien Suzhou, Suzhou Bay is located south of the Sanchuan River in Wujiang District. Wujiang’s centre is just 7 kilometres away, and the Wujiang Economic and Technological Development Zone is only 14 kilometres from the hotel. Sunan Shuofang International Airport (WUX) can be reached by car in 35 minutes.

The cradle of Wu culture is best appreciated by starting with the ancient Lingering Garden, one of Suzhou’s top cultural attractions. Deemed one of China’s most famous gardens and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this exquisite classical-style park is also home to many architecturally noteworthy buildings. The classic Ming-style Humble Administrator’s Garden is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Large and beautiful, it comprises a pond, water features, pavilions, terraces, chambers, and towers. Another intriguing curiosity found close to Lingering Garden is Hashan Temple. Named after a famous monk and once one of China’s ten most celebrated temples, 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. The Twin Pagodas, the North Temple Pagoda, and the Mysterious Taoist Pagoda are also worth seeing. More enriching history can be viewed at the Suzhou Silk Museum and the nearby Tongli Ancient Town and Zhenze Ancient Town.

Embrace the local arts by attending a pingtan, Kun opera, or Suzhou opera performance, deemed the three flowers of Suzhou’s cultural history. Delight in Suzhou’s renowned embroidery, recognisable by its goldfish and cat motifs. Other unique local handcrafted items include Suzhou fans, brocade, silk tapestries, writing bushes, Chinese musical instruments, and wood-engraved pictures. Fall visitors should not miss savouring the famous hairy crabs that come from Lake Taihu and Lake Yangcheng.