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Updated by Joanna James on Jul 13, 2023
Headline for 5 Must-know Tips for Exploring Suzhou – A well-kept secret of fascinating attractions
Joanna James Joanna James
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5 Must-know Tips for Exploring Suzhou – A well-kept secret of fascinating attractions

Suzhou, for many, is a day-trip kind of place to visit from Shanghai. But on the contrary, there are plenty of attractions and experiences in Suzhou to make you want to stay longer. Read on to learn why you must plan a holiday to the city. Here are some must-know tips for exploring Suzhou.


Enjoy a stroll exploring the vintage corners of iconic Shantang Street

Perfect for the romantic, the culture buff, and anyone enjoying that step back in time experience; Shantang Street is a world-famous attraction. The area consists of a pedestrian path running along the old canal. Established as far back as 1200, this lovely neighbourhood is located in the Old Quarter of Suzhou and stretches approximately 3.8 kilometres along the Shantang River, ending at Tiger Hill. The area is home to restaurants, shops, and little eateries. It is separated in two. The touristy sector is home to Starbucks and boutique shops while the traditional sector is home to Chinese shophouses and local eateries. Shantang Street is less than 30 minutes from popular Suzhou hotels like Somerset Baitang Suzhou. It's an ideal place to look for those comfortable well-located serviced apartments Suzhou has to offer.


Enjoy the 250-year-old cuisine

Suzhou culinary skills date back 250 years. Loved the world over, these delicious traditional dishes are a must-try. You can savour the best on your exploration of Shantang Street, home to long-serving local restaurants. Some must-try dishes include the famous squirrel mandarin fish. And others like stir-fried vegetables and shrimp, as well as sweet and sour fish. Staying at well-located Suzhou hotels will put you within easy access to area restaurants for indulging in a culinary journey of local delights.


Go on a canal tour

A tour along the ancient canals of Suzhou will give you a glimpse into the local lifestyle. Some of the houses located along the river have not been renovated for years and remain as when they were first built, many years ago. Discover the simple lifestyles of locals using the canal for their basic needs of washing clothes, cooking, and bathing. Some of the houses are minus washrooms and are barely holding on; a cultural shock indeed for visitors from developed western countries. But it is an ancient way of life, still followed by these residents.


Enjoy Shantang Street after dark

Shantang Street undergoes a marvellous transformation after dark. The area gets crowded with locals and tourists out to enjoy the evening. Savour the fun vibes, stop for a drink at a roadside café, and be a part of the excitement.


Explore Chaozong Pavilion

This popular and large square is a good place to hang out. By evening, the place is abuzz with lights and happy people. Go there to explore the pretty pagoda occupying one side of the pavilion, while on the other end, you will come across restaurants, little fast-food kiosks, and crowded shopping centres. Exploring Chaozong Pavilion will let you discover how fascinated the locals are with tourists, rewarding you with courteous, friendly gestures.