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Updated by Joanna James on Jul 13, 2023
Headline for 5 Reasons Why Suzhou, the Venice of China Belongs in Your Bucket List - Top Five Reasons to Add Captivating Suzhou to Yo
Joanna James Joanna James
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5 Reasons Why Suzhou, the Venice of China Belongs in Your Bucket List - Top Five Reasons to Add Captivating Suzhou to Yo

While global cities the likes of Paris and London earn a spot in everyone's travel list, there is a Chinese equivalent that most travellers are woefully unaware of. Called the Venice of China, the breathtaking city of Suzhou deserves to be on your travel list due to the following reasons.


Exquisite Gardens and the Leaning Tower

One of the main reasons travellers head to Suzhou is to explore its iconic classical gardens. Dating back to the 11th century, these picturesque horticultural hubs have earned their status as UNESCO World Heritage Sites as they all display the classic features of Chinese gardens. Cultivated and beautifully maintained for centuries, every garden combines the elements of water, stones, plants and architecture to create serene and lush enclaves like that of the Humble Administrator's Garden and the Lion Grove Garden. What's more, the Leaning Tower of China is also found here and is located atop a Buddhist temple that dates back to the 18th century. The tower, which is higher than Italy's own leaning tower also began leaning in the Ming Dynastic era.


Pagodas and Historic Canals

Marco Polo famously wrote "In this city there are 6,000 bridges, all of stone, and so lofty that two ships together could pass underneath them," and it's not just the impressive overpasses that warrant a visit to Suzhou. The old canals down Shangtang Street are not only engineering marvels for the ages but also one of the best excuses to dine on seafood dishes served in the neighbourhood's restaurants. The pagodas of this historic city are equally captivating as are the tea shops down Pingjiang Road where one can catch a conventional Kun Opera performance that was perfected and developed in the city when the Ming Dynasty was ruling the land.


Best of Both Worlds

If travellers peg Suzhou to be a city full of pagodas and classical gardens, they are sadly missing the city's cosmopolitan attractions. From the Suzhou Industrial Park to the Suzhou Center Mall, and the light and music show that takes place on Jinji Lake each evening, Suzhou is very much a city tourist hotspot while being a historic heritage city in China. Often compared to Singapore due to its modern cityscape, the waterfront theatres and luxurious shopping centres offer visitors the best of both worlds.



The water town of Tongli alone is reason enough to add Suzhou to your ultimate holiday destination list as the 1000-year-old town resembles Venice to such a degree that visitors can even enjoy a gondola ride along its Grand Canal. Lined with museums, tea houses and old fashioned restaurants, the tree tunnels and other centuries-old elements of this traditional Chinese village are charming, to say the least.


The Tourism Infrastructure

As one of the most affluent cities in China, tourists will not be hard-pressed to find excellent accommodation options, transport facilities and other tourist commodities in Suzhou. So the question of where to stay in Suzhou has a myriad of satisfactory answers as major hotel chains including Citadines Xinghai Suzhou and others have set up headquarters in the city due to its thriving economy and tech industry.