Welcome to Suzhou

A short history of Suzhou

Suzhou, located in eastern China, has a history dating back over 2,500 years. It was founded in 514 BC during the Spring and Autumn period. Throughout its history, Suzhou has been an important center for trade, culture, and arts.

Known as the "Venice of the East," Suzhou is famous for its classical gardens, canals, and silk production. It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997.

During the Ming and Qing dynasties, Suzhou flourished as a center for arts and literature. Many famous poets, painters, and scholars were born or resided in Suzhou, contributing to its rich cultural heritage.

Today, Suzhou is a modern city that blends its ancient charm with modern developments. It is a popular tourist destination, attracting visitors from around the world who come to explore its historic sites, gardens, and traditional architecture.

FAQ for Suzhou

What is the best way to get there?

  • By air: Suzhou is easily accessible from major cities in China and has its own airport, Sunan Shuofang International Airport.
  • By train: Suzhou has high-speed train connections to Shanghai, Beijing, and other major cities in China.
  • By bus: There are also bus services connecting Suzhou to nearby cities.

What is Suzhou famous for?

  • Classical Gardens: Suzhou is renowned for its beautiful classical gardens, which are considered masterpieces of Chinese garden design.
  • Silk: Suzhou has a long history of silk production and is famous for its high-quality silk products.
  • Canals: The city is known as the "Venice of the East" due to its intricate network of canals and waterways.

What are five interesting facts about Suzhou?

  • Suzhou is home to the world's largest single-dome greenhouse, the Flower Dome.
  • The city has over 60 classical gardens, with the Humble Administrator's Garden being the most famous.
  • Suzhou is known for its traditional Chinese operas, which have a history of over 800 years.
  • The city is a major center for silk embroidery, with intricate designs and vibrant colors.
  • Suzhou is also famous for its delicious local cuisine, including dishes like "Squirrel-shaped Mandarin Fish" and "Biluochun Tea".

How did Suzhou get its name?

Suzhou's name originated from the ancient Chinese words "Su" and "Zhou," which mean "reviving state" or "land of prosperity."

What are some travel tips for Suzhou?

  • Wear comfortable shoes as there is a lot of walking involved when exploring the city's gardens and attractions.
  • Try local delicacies like Suzhou-style noodles and mooncakes.
  • Be prepared for crowds, especially during peak tourist seasons.
  • Carry cash as some smaller establishments may not accept credit cards.
  • Respect local customs and traditions, such as removing your shoes when entering someone's home.

Do I need a visa?

Visa requirements vary depending on your nationality. It is advisable to check with the Chinese embassy or consulate in your country before traveling to Suzhou.

When is the best time to visit Suzhou?

The best time to visit Suzhou is during spring (April to May) and autumn (September to October) when the weather is mild and the gardens are in full bloom.

Are there local customs I should know for i.e. Drinking, Greetings, Public transit?

Suzhou follows Chinese customs and etiquette. It is polite to greet others with a slight bow or nod. When drinking, it is customary to toast each other before taking a sip. Public transit is widely available and efficient in Suzhou, including buses, taxis, and the metro.

What is the time zone for Suzhou?

Suzhou operates on China Standard Time (CST), which is UTC+8.

What are the voltage/plug types?

The voltage in Suzhou is 220V, and the plug type is mainly Type A and Type I. It is advisable to bring a universal adapter.

What is the currency?

The currency used in Suzhou is the Chinese Yuan (CNY).

Are ATMs readily accessible?

ATMs are readily available in Suzhou, especially in major tourist areas and shopping centers.

Are credit cards widely accepted in Suzhou?

Major credit cards such as Visa and Mastercard are accepted in larger establishments, hotels, and restaurants. However, it is advisable to carry cash for smaller businesses and street vendors.

Can you use ApplePay and Google Pay?

ApplePay and Google Pay are not widely accepted in Suzhou. It is best to carry cash or use traditional payment methods.

How much do I tip in Restaurants/bars, Hotels, Taxis, Tour guides, etc.?

Tipping is not a common practice in China. However, in upscale hotels and restaurants, a service charge may already be included in the bill. If you wish to show appreciation for exceptional service, a small tip is appreciated but not expected.

Accommodation in Suzhou

City Information for Suzhou

Founded Population Elevation
514 BC Approximately 10 million 4 meters (13 feet)

Average temperatures for Suzhou

Season/Month Temperature (Celsius) Temperature (Fahrenheit)
Spring (March - May) 10°C - 20°C 50°F - 68°F
Summer (June - August) 25°C - 35°C 77°F - 95°F
Autumn (September - November) 15°C - 25°C 59°F - 77°F
Winter (December - February) 0°C - 10°C 32°F - 50°F
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