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Updated by Joanna James on Jul 13, 2023
Headline for 6 Things to Do in Suzhou, China- A Water Colour of Imperial Times
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6 Things to Do in Suzhou, China- A Water Colour of Imperial Times

A timeless mosaic of water towns, dynastic architecture, and antique gardens, the "Venice of the East" is full of romantic allure and whimsical adventure ideal for every brand of traveller. Here are some unmissable Suzhou experiences you need to soak in.

1

Travel Back in Time

An old-world microcosm at the cusp of cutting-edge modernity, Suzhou is full of heritage intricacies with undertones of futuristic allure that represent a poetic contrast no matter your calibre of wanderlust. From lush green islands of skyscrapers and historic enclaves floating in jewel-toned waters to 1100-year-old canals weaving through the cobbled-stoned Old Town with its picturesque grunge, Suzhou is a living memorial of the past with all the sophisticated comforts to ease the transition. The Museums of this uncanny city are not just for history and culture enthusiasts; for instance, the feat of incredible engineering that is the Suzhou Museum is a visionary masterpiece treasuring a trove of legendary relics, while the ivory-and-gold Silk Museum is an ethereal tribute to the elaborate native craft of high-grade silk making.

2

Visit an Imperial Garden

There's plenty of excitement to be found in this deceptively tranquil city, from indoor ice-skating rinks and spectacular over-water theatricals to gargantuan Ferris Wheels, deluxe eateries, and skyscraper light shows. However, there's never far to go if you crave a rejuvenating dose of nature-kissed ambience. The Humble Administrator's Garden, for instance, lets you roam through dreamy vintage bowers and drink in the exquisite details of intricate Shaoxing architecture while you have the choice of quizzing your guide about classical storylines or simply letting your senses slip into a daze of blossom-scented bliss.

3

Roam Pingjiang Road After Dark

A prowl around moon-and-lantern-lit canal streets is quintessential to truly experience the spirit of Suzhou, stopping for a behind-the-scenes glimpse into ancient traditions and imperial graces at iconic spots, such as the Fuxi Tea House, where you can sip tea and watch artisans prepare their ancient craft, as well as roam rustic galleries, quirky boutiques, vintage bookshops, and traditional neighbourhoods with their black and white patterned homes that characterise Pingjiang Road. If you're looking for top-notch Suzhou accommodation proffering prime access to its chief enticements, venture no further than Somerset Suzhou Bay Suzhou.

4

Explore the Canal Towns

Portals back to a time were human design complimented and did not corrode nature, the water towns of Suzhou are a rippling dream of spilling blossoms, heritage architecture, and storied residences of merchants and celebrities, which can all be thoroughly explored via a quaint yet hardy traditional wooden boat.

5

Get to Know Shantang Street

Whether it is operas dating back to the 14th Century, atmospheric thoroughfares that once pivoted powerful dynasties, or river cruises through mazes of antique buildings blurred golden with lamplight, Suzhou is a love letter to the multi-faceted elegance of rich history. If you're interested in stepping into a vibrant tapestry, Shantang Street is a painted silk world of gilded halls, artefact stores, memorial archways, and ancestral homesteads ribboned by the sleepy canals.

6

Try Out Local Delicacies

Whether it's unforgettable dishes like Squirrel Mandarin Fish drenched in decadent sweet and sour sauce, aromatic savouriness of Noodles in Red Soup, or the legendary thin and crisp wanton with its juicy meat filling, Suzhou has no shortage of gastronomic delights to tantalise your tastebuds!

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