"Suzhou" Top 5 Page for this destination Suzhou by Paul2001

Suzhou Travel Guide: 346 reviews and 1,115 photos

Suzhou has been billed as the "Venice of the Far East". Travelers expecting to find anything resembling Venice by way of canals will be very disappointed. In fact on some of other China related pages, I have bemoaned the fact that the new China is being built at the expense of the old. I found that no other city symbolizes this problem better that Suzhou. This is not say that I disliked Suzhou because this is not the case. I actually was rather fond of it. This is a city full of pleasant neighborhoods, famous gardens, and fine temples. The problem is that much of the old historical city was torn not without the locals realizing what the did or perhaps even caring. Most of the city is very modern. The famed canals are actually scattered about the city and few in number to justify any comparisons to Venice. Another interesting feature of the city is that it was the first city in China outside of Beijing that I visited that Western-like bars in any number. This is because of the large ex-pat populations. They were lots of fun and worth dropping in on. Finally to get real impression of what Suzhou must of looked like centuries ago you must visit Tongli which is a suburb of Suzhou. Here there are many fine old canals lined by centuries old buildings. It is an excellent daytrip from Suzhou. I have included all my tips on Tongli on this page.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Many historical monuments. Nice clean city streets
  • Cons:Overpriced. Overrated.
  • In a nutshell:One of China's most charming cities.
  • Last visit to Suzhou: Nov 2006
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (13)

Comments (3)

  • deecat's Profile Photo
    Nov 5, 2007 at 7:02 PM

    Loved all the descriptions of the many gardens. As always, Paul, your pages are filled with great information, attention to detail, honesty, and terrific photographs.

  • traveldave's Profile Photo
    May 24, 2007 at 2:47 PM

    Looks like a beautiful and interesting city. However, maybe they should have called it a garden city rather than the Venice of the East.

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Mar 7, 2007 at 3:07 PM

    Another interesting China page. The Humble Administrator's Garden looks beautiful and in any case that's a great name for a garden.


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