As a Chinese saying goes like, “In heaven there is paradise, on earth Suzhou and Hangzhou”. Suzhou was one of most beautiful cities in China. It is characterized by whitewashed houses, three-lined canals and sumptuous gardens. Suzhou is also famous for its classic Chinese gardens. The gardens contains rocks, trees and flowers, lakes and buildings. It is necessary to spend your days to explore the gardens and other must-see attractions during your Suzhou travel.
Ride a Boat on the Grand Canal
Grand Canal (also called the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal) is the longest canal with the total length 1,776 km. It passes through Tianjin and Hebei, Shandong, Jiangsu and Zhejiang province to Hangzhou, connecting Yellow River with Yangtze River. In Suzhou, you can head over to Pingjiang Road where you can find a 45-minute man-powered ride through narrow canals for 130RMB/boat. The Grand Canal or Shangtang Street carries wider waterways for Chinese gondolas to sail through.
Drink Tea in Suzhou Teahouses
After days of sightseeing, you should consider to visit Pin Von Teahouse on Pingjiang Road, a quaint street with classical architecture. This teahouses serve a selection of Suzhou-style dim sum and a wide variety of tea. Suzhou’s Green Spiral tea is China’s No. 2 imperial tea so you can try it.
Watch Opera Shows
Suzhou is the hometown of the Pingtan opera which is a unique opera style sung in Suzhou dialect. Pingtan is famous for its story-telling about historical romance and epic heroes, joke cracking, music playing and aria singing.
Kunqu Opera is another famous and oldest Chinese opera which is said to have originated in the 14th century in Suzhou’s Kunshan area. You can head to Fu Xi Qin Guan or Pingtan Teahouse for a traditional opera show plus drinking tea. If you want to learn more about Suzhou operas, you can go to Suzhou Opera Museum.
Appreciate Suzhou Classic Gardens
Classical gardens in Suzhou is very famous. During Ming and Qing dynasties, it is heyday of garden buildings and there were more than 200 private family gardens. Till now a dozen of them are still in good condition, including the top four classic gardens – the Fisherman’s Net Garden, Lion Grove, Humble Administrator’s Garden and Lingering Garden. You should not miss these gardens during your Suzhou travel.
Although Suzhou is an all-year-round travel destination, the best time to visit there is from April to October because of pleasant weather and beautiful scenery during this period.
In spring (from March to May), Suzhou is decorated with beautiful flowers and green trees. The temperature is around 15°C and tourists can wear spring clothes but you can take a coat or sweater for sharp changes of temperature. Summer is hot and humid in Suzhou. Summer sometimes can push temperatures above 35 °C. Tourists can pay a visit to some indoor attractions like Suzhou Museum and classical gardens. Autumn is a comfortable season to visit Suzhou. It is neither cold nor hot. But during China National Day (October 1st), it is crowded in Suzhou so foreign tourists should avoid this 7-day off holiday. Winter is cold and damp but rarely snows. It is not the best time to visit this city. But Suzhou presents a completely different scene so some young tourists can consider this city for their winter holiday.