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Updated by Juliana Roberts on Aug 24, 2016
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9 Expert Tips for Travelling in Suzhou – route to a distinctive Chinese civilisation

The banner of its glorious past still hangs over Suzhou like a dazzlingly designed painting. Situated in southern Jiangsu Province of Yangtze Delta, Suzhou invites you to the heart of the action.

1

Suzhou Railway Station

Visiting the Suzhou Railway Station could be the charming beginning of a poignant journey. Walk into this railway station with your eyes wide open, for it is filled with history. Built in 1906, the station has now donned a more modern style. The trains that speed through the station will take you to Shanghai in a matter of 24 minutes.

2

Walk into a genuine Buddhist monastery

Three miles west of Suzhou lies the route to a true Buddhist monastery. Built alongside a temple, this monastery can be traced back to the 8th century. If you want to travel there, it might be a good idea to travel there by public transport, as several buses are available: Nos 3, 6, 9, 17, 21, 31, 301 or Y3. Get into any of these buses and then disembark at Feng Qiao Station.

3

Currency

The Chinese currency has two terms in local speak: Chinese Yen and Renminbi (RMB). You can convert your US Dollar into local currency at any Chinese bank. Make sure you carry your passport with you for the currency exchange. If you are not going to stay in Suzhou for long, you do not have to convert a large amount. On the other hand, most hotels and serviced apartments such as Ascott Midtown Suzhou and others accept payments in US Dollar. Credit cards are also accepted.

4

Children in tow

Entertainment for children is no luxury in Suzhou. Walk into Suzhou Amusement park, and your children will be taken to the heights of adventurous thrill with its zipline ride (a dancing water fountain show held during the weekend) and Ferris Wheel (ranked to be the tallest in the world). While all that keeps your child busy, you can delight in the scenery of the lake and skyline above the park.

5

Silk Mill

Ever wondered how mulberry leaves end up as a rich harvest of silk? In Suzhou, you can go beyond imagination and witness that process with your own eyes. That visit to No 1 Silk Mill in Suzhou will take you to an enchanting realm where genuine handmade Chinese silk embroidery is produced.

6

Yunyan Pagoda

Well, you are not allowed to enter the premises of this pagoda (as the tower is a little tilted). That, however, does not keep you from enjoying the titillating view of the pagoda perched on Tiger Hill. The tilting nature of the pagoda earned it the moniker: the Leaning Tower of China.

7

Humble Administrator's Garden

This garden fuels your passion for gardening. Humble Administrator's Garden is not a solo garden as you would imagine. It is a combination of nine gardens – quite traditional, at that! Located a few metres away is the Suzhou Museum, home to a number of Chinese artefacts.

8

Chinese calligraphy

With a good dose of intricately designed stone bridges, temples where serenity is quite present, and pagodas that guarantee spiritual solace and colourful canals, calligraphy comes as no wonder at all. As you reach Tiger Hill, you will see carved calligraphy representing the hikers who have been visiting here for millennia. Tiger Hill is not hard to locate. It is located within the reach of a few kilometres of many serviced apartments. Suzhou draws a huge influx of tourists owing to the existence of Tiger Hill.

9

Suzhou dialect

Simply speaking, the Suzhou dialect is termed as Suzhounese. Those who speak in Suzhounese would call Chinese as 'Wu'. But do not worry too much about having to master Suzhounese. If you are familiar with basic words of Mandarin or Cantonese, that will suffice.