Suzhou, just an hour train ride from Shanghai, is located in the centre of the Yangtze Delta. Suzhou is often referred to as the 'Oriental Venice' due to the fact that over 40% of the area of the city is made up of water – including Taihu Lake, one of the largest freshwater lakes in China! The city is divided by the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal from north to south.
Together with its mild climate, fertile landscape and abundance of produce, it is no wonder that Suzhou is ever popular with both local Chinese and overseas tourists. But more than this, the main reason people flock to the city is for its famed water gardens - including the Humble Administrator's Garden, the Lingering Garden, and the Garden of Master of Nets which are now UNESCO World Heritage listed.
In our opinion the city is overrated (we prefer Tongli) and the only reason to visit is to see the Chinese style gardens and a quick stop at the IM Pei inspired The Suzhou Museum.