Suzhou is located in southern Jiangsu Province in the center of the Yangtze Delta. Shanghai lies to the east, Zhejiang Province to the south, Wuxi City to the west and the Yangtze River to the north. The city is divided by the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal from north to south. Since 42% area of the city is covered by water, including a vast number of ponds and streams, it is praised as the 'Venice of the Orient'. Built in 514 BC, this is an ancient city with over 2,500 years of history and numerous points of interest. The unique characteristics of the past are still retained today. The double-chessboard layout of the city, with 'the streets and rivers going side by side while the water and land routes running in parallel', is preserved intact.
The mild climate makes the city a desirable destination all year round. Touring the wonderful ancient water towns in the vicinity or lingering in the exquisite classical gardens in the downtown area, you will truly know the charm of a 'paradise on earth'. As the saying goes - 'Gardens to the south of the Yangtze River are the best in the world, and Suzhou gardens are the best among them'. These gardens attain their high reputation not only for their vast numbers, but also for their charming natural beauty and harmonious construction. At present more than 60 gardens are kept intact in the city, and some of them have been listed in the World Heritage List.
Humble Administrator’s Garden
Humble Administrator’s Garden was built in the early years of Zhengde in the Ming Dynasty (in the early sixteenth century), with a history of over 500 years. It is one of the representative works of classical gardens south of the Yangtze River. The Humble Administrator’s Garden was listed as National Key Cultural Relics Protection Unit by the State Council in 1961, known as “Four Famous Gardens” in China together with the Beijing Summer Palace, Chengde Mountain Resort and Suzhou Lingering Garden. In 1991, it was regarded as National Special Tourist Attraction by the State Planning Commission, the Tourism Bureau and Ministry of Construction. In 1997, it was approved and included in the “World Heritage List” by the UNESCO. In 2007, it was approved as one of the first AAAAA-class Tourist Attractions by the National Tourism Administration.
IF want to know more, please visit: http://www.szzzy.cn
Suzhou Museum was founded in 1960 and originally located in the national historical and mark, Zhong Wang Fu palace complex, Suzhou Museum has been a highly-regarded regional museum with a number of significant Chinese cultural relics. A new museum designed by world famous architect I.M.Pei was completed in October 2006, covering over10, 700 square meter and located at the cross of Dongbei Street and Qimen Road. The design of this new museum visually complements the traditional architecture of Zhong Wang Fu. The new museum houses over 30000 cultural relics --- most notably for excavated artifacts, Ming and Qing Dynasty paintings and calligraphy, and ancient arts and crafts.
IF want to know more, please visit: http://www.szmuseum.com
Tongli was built in the Song dynasty and till now, it has a history of more than 1000 years. According to records of Annals of Tongli of Jiaqing of the Qing dynasty, Tongli has already been the strategic town of central Wujiang since Song, Yuan and Ming Dynasties. Tongli was listed as one of the national-level Taihu scenic spots in 1980 and one of the provincial-level cultural relic protection units in 1982. In 1992, it was listed as a provincial-level cultural relic protection town. Its famous scenic spot “Tuisi Garden” was listed into the world cultural heritages by the UNESCO. In 2010, it was evaluated as a national 5A tourist attraction by the National Tourism Administration.
As a famous thousand-year historical and cultural town, Tongli is the only ancient town listed into the provincial-level cultural relic protection units at town level. There are many kinds of cultural relics and historic sites in the town, including the 650000-square-meter well-preserved architectures of Ming and Qing dynasties, which occupy 61% of the general building areas.
IF you want to know more, please visit: http://www.tongli.net
Lingering Garden was listed from the first as cultural relics of national importance in 1961. With an area of 23,310 square meters, it is celebrated for its artistic way of dealing with the spaces between various kinds of architectural form. Buildings make up one third of the total area of the garden, the hall of which being the most remarkable in Suzhou. The garden is separated into the middle, eastern, northern and western parts. The ancestral temple and the house lie to the south of the garden. Featuring man-made mountain and lake scenery in the west and garden courts in the east, the middle part of the garden is the original site of the Xu's East Garden and the Liu's Hanbi Villa, and is regarded as the best part of the whole garden. The eastern, northern and western parts are the extensions of the Sheng's Garden. The eastern part is noted for its strangely shaped lime stones, the northern part is noted for idyllic scenes, and the western part is noted for the delights of woody hills.
IF you want to know more, please visit: http://www.gardenly.com/EN