Suzhou City

Su zhou, China

Photo 1:Suzhou, China

        Suzhou is located in the Yangtze River Delta Plain in the southeast of Jiangsu Province. It borders Shanghai in the east, Zhejiang in the south, Taihu Lake in the west, and the Yangtze River in the north, with transportations
extending in all directions. Suzhou is one of the most important historical and cultural cities and scenic tourist cities in China. Suzhou is rich in water resources, with numerous lakes and rivers. The Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal runs through the north to the south. Suzhou has about 90% area of the Taihu Lake, known as“Oriental Venice”.

        Suzhou has a subtropical monsoon climate, mild and humid with four distinct seasons. The annual average temperature is 15-17°C. Generally speaking, Suzhou is a place without cold winter and hot summer. The climate is pleasant in all seasons, and every season has a different beauty. It is very suitable for  travelling all year round, and it is better to visit Suzhou in spring and autumn.

Su zhou

Photo 2: Suzhou, an Ancient City with a History of Over 2,500 Years

        Suzhou City was built in 514 BC and has a history of more than 2,500 years. During the Spring and Autumn Period, Suzhou was the capital of Wu State. At that time, it was called Helv City. Because Gusu Mountain was in the southwest of Suzhou city, Suzhou was also known as Gusu City. So far, there are still many historical sites about Xi Shi and Wu Zixu. It was first called Suzhou in the 9th year of Emperor Kaihuang in the Sui Dynasty (AD 589) and it is still used today. The ancient city of Suzhou City is still situated on the original site, maintaining the double chessboard pattern of “water and land are parallel, rivers and streets are adjacent”, the river system of “three verticals, three horizontals and one ring” and the unique style of“small bridges and flowing water, white walls and dark tiles, historic sites and famous gardens”in ancient times.

Su zhou

Photo 3:Suzhou, the Capital of the World Gardens

        Suzhou is a marvelous place with rich resource and outstanding people, it has been praised as“a paradise on earth” because of its prosperous culture and economy that has flourished and developed from ancient times to the present. Suzhou is also known as the “the Capital of Silk” and “City of Gardens”.

Su zhou

Photo 4:Suzhou, with Features of the Ancient Water City—Small Bridges and Flowing Water

Zhouzhuang,

Photo 5:The Ancient Village of Zhouzhuang Has Unique Charm of the Water Town

        Suzhou has both the beauty of gardens and the beauty of mountains and rivers. Classical gardens such as Humble Administrator’s Garden (Zhuozheng Garden), Lingering Garden (Liu Yuan), Lion Grove, Surging Wave Pavilion and Master-of-Nets Garden, thousand-year-old towns such as Zhouzhuang, Tongli, Mudu, Jinxi, Luzhi, Guangfu are like dazzling pearls scattered around the ancient city and its surroundings. Lingyan Mountain and Dongting Mountains are dotted on the shore of Taihu Lake, forming magnificent lakes and mountains rich in Jiangnan style.

Humble Administrator's Garden

Photo 6:Humble Administrator’s Garden, Lingering Garden, the Summer Palace of Beijing, and Chengde Mountain Resort are Known as China’s Four Famous Gardens 

        Suzhou has the reputation of “the gardens in Jiangnan(south of the Yangtze River) are the best in china, but those in Suzhou beat all the other”. Suzhou Garden concentrates the essence of Jiangnan gardens architectural arts of the Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties, integrating architecture, horticulture and sculpture. Nowadays, Suzhou has become an international metropolis with “gardens in the city”, “city in the garden”, it integrates mountains, waters, city, forests, gardens and towns, combines classical style and modern style perfectly and develops harmoniously.

Squirrel-shaped Mandarin Fish

Photo 7:Squirrel-shaped Mandarin Fish, One of Representative Dishes in Jiangsu cuisine

        Suzhou’s diet culture has a long history. Suzhou is the eastern catering culture center, and the development place of the Su food culture, one of the three major food cultures in China. In the long-term practice, it has accumulated rich experience in cooking and gradually formed Su-style dishes with unique local characteristics. The characteristics of Su-style dishes can be summarized as fastidiousness in four aspects, that is, pay attention to seasonality, pay attention to material selection and workmanship, pay attention to color, aroma,flavor and shape, and pay attention to varieties. Famous Su-style dishes include: Squirrel-shaped Mandarin Fish, Shark’s Fin in Clear Soup, Watermelon Chicken. The main food streets in Suzhou include Eunuch Lane(Tai Jian Nong), Shiquan Street, Xueshi Street, Ligong Causeway(Ligongdi) and Phoenix Street(Fenghuang Street). Suzhou snacks are famous worldwide. Suzhou snacks, Nanjing Qinhuai snacks, Shanghai Chenghuang Temple snacks and Changsha Fiery Palace snacks are also known as China’s Four Snacks.

        Suzhou is a beautiful place endowed with human talents and rich resources. Since ancient times, it has been a place of  comprehensive humanism and culture. Suzhou’s painting and calligraphy art has a long history and numerous famous artists,occupies an extremely important position in the art history of the Chinese nation.

Suzhou Pingtan

Photo 8:Suzhou Pingtan, Known as the “Jiangnan Pearl”

Kunqu Opera

Photo 9:Kunqu Opera, One of the Oldest Genres of Drama in China, is Known as “the Mother of China’s Hundred Operas”

        Suzhou Pingtan and Kunqu Opera have long enjoyed a high reputation, and they are two wonderful flowers in the spring garden of Chinese Quyi . Suzhou Pingtan is known as the most beautiful voice, while Kunqu Opera is known as the gem of opera arts.

Suzhou Embroidery

Photo 10:Colorful Suzhou Embroidery, One of “the Four Famous Chinese Embroideries”

        Suzhou handicrafts are one of Suzhou’s four culture pillars. They are famous, among which the most representative are Suzhou Embroidery, silk, Taohuawu woodcut printed New Year pictures and Song Brocade.

        The profound historical and cultural heritage, rich tourism resources, unique food culture and time-honored humanistic art make Suzhou distinguished among Jiangnan water towns.

 

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