Suzhou is one of the prettiest cities in China. You can see why they call it the “Venice of Asia”!
We spent 4 months living in Changzhou, just a few train stops away from Suzhou. Yet somehow we only visited twice! Some quick facts to know about Suzhou:
⋆ It is just outside of Shanghai. Like, maybe a 30 minute train ride away.
⋆ This is where silk was originally invented back in around 2000 BC! This city produced the most high-quality silk in China, most of which was for the royal family. *this is where you suddenly notice that cute silk bandanna tied to my hat*
⋆ It is a great mixture of tourist-y (museums, souvenir shopping, English speakers, easy city transportation) and authentic (where after visiting, you feel like you came to understand the beauty of their culture a little better + catch a glimpse of what ‘normal life’ in China is like)
⋆ It is one of the most enchanting cities in Asia – it’s got to be at the top of your list if you ever find yourself in China! Scroll past the next few pictures to read about my experience.
All of the photos above were taken while walking along the Ancient Grand Canal. You can take a boat ride down the river or walk on the cobblestone roads on either side and do some shopping. This is a great place to get local treats or some Suzhou silk (I got a silk robe and more bandanna than I could count!). They made for perfect souvenirs to bring back for friends and family, didn’t weigh down my luggage or take up space, and it’s unique to the city – after all, it’s where silk was invented! Better yet, they were about $2 each.
Not only does Jinji Lake have a gorgeous view of the city, but there is also a [supposedly] incredible light show on the water! Think Bellagio fountains, but WAY bigger. We were visiting friends in the city and missed the show, but Suzhou locals were raving about it! The traffic on the other hand… not so much.
Then there is the more “wealthy, modern city” side of Suzhou. We spent some time window shopping through these beautiful glass malls, most all of which have entire floors dedicated to food markets, movie theaters, ice skating rinks, etc. I am convinced that the most beautiful malls in the world are in China! I really liked that it was smaller than Shanghai so it didn’t feel quite so congested, but it was also big enough that you could often find signs in English or people who could help you out. Plus night life in the city is always an experience.
I’m trying to be better at posting my travel photo art projects – what do you think?? They don’t always turn out how I picture them but it’s one of those random little hobbies I have.
Thanks for following along!