Last updated on: Apr 16, 2021
Located on the lower Yangtze River about 100 kilometers west of Shanghai, Suzhou is known for its beautiful bridges, canals, and gardens. Dubbed the “Venice of the East”, here are three of the best things to do in Suzhou, China.
With nine UNESCO World Heritage gardens, Suzhou is a great place to wander around. I visited the Master of the Nets garden, a classical garden that was first constructed in 1140 during the Song dynasty.
Since I love gardens, I really enjoyed spending time here. It was so peaceful and pretty! The garden has a 1,000-year old tree, a beautiful moon gate, and several pavilions flanking a grand lotus pond.
Suzhou is also known as the City of Silk, because of its origins along the legendary Silk Road of ancient China. I decided to visit a silk factory to learn how silk is made. And seeing the different steps involved in the processing of silk was truly remarkable.
It all begins when the silkworms eat mulberry leaves, their only food source. After some time, the silkworms make cocoons, from which thread is extracted, dyed, spun, and woven into numerous products from scarves to rugs. Of course, after I finished touring the factory, I had to buy a few products from the silk marketplace. How could I resist buying silk from the source?
Just outside of Suzhou, the water town of Zhouzhuang has a history that dates back more than 900 years. Considered the first water town in China, Zhouzhuang definitely makes you feel like you’ve landed in the Venice of East!
Walking the pedestrian streets of Zhouzhuang is such a vibrant experience. Red paper lanterns adorn the ancient stone buildings and bridges. Shops display everything from colorful souvenirs to exotic street foods like skewered scorpions. With numerous canals to traverse, taking a boat ride is a must, as it’s a very serene way to experience the town. Visiting Zhouzhuang is also a great day trip from Suzhou or Shanghai.
Have you visited Suzhou before? How was your experience?
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