Known as the oriental water city, Suzhou has long been famous in the world for its beautiful mountain and water scenery, elegant gardens and time-honored water towns, whose gardens boast of being the best of its kind in China. It’s rather frustrating for the first comers when it comes to visiting the best scenic spots, eating the authentic Suzhou dishes and even get the most out of Suzhou travel with the least spending, and here are some tips for your conveniences during your Suzhou travel.
Suzhou offers more scenic spots than you could attend to, and it’s impossible for visitors to visit them all just in one day. For those visitors who want to explore the essence of Suzhou in one day, you are highly recommended to visit the Humble Administrator's Garden, the Lingering Garden, Guanqian Street, Mudu Ancient Town and the Grand Canal (a section of Beijing -Hangzhou Canal); For those visitors who want to fully taste the beauty of Suzhou, you are also recommended to visit the Garden of the Master of Nets, the Tiger Hill, Suzhou Museum, Hanshan Temple and Zhouzhuang Water Town in addition to the scenic spots mentioned above.
When visiting Suzhou gardens and water towns, you’re highly recommended to avoid the weekends and the Chinese legal festivals and holidays such as the Chinese New Year, the International Labor Day (on 1st May) and the National Day (on 1st October), when the traffics are busy and hotels are hard to book, so it’s advisable for you to book tickets concerned in advance. In addition, the scenic areas of Suzhou are closed early, most (such as Hanshan Temple) closed at 5:30 p.m. and some (such as Suzhou Museum) even closed on Monday, therefore, visitors should schedule time reasonably.
Tips on Suzhou Transport
Suzhou has no airport, however, it’s very easy for visitors to come to Suzhou via Wuxi Shuofang Airport owing to the airport buses shuttling between the airport and Suzhou Bus Station operating every 30 minutes. The buses and trains to the major cities of China such as Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing and Guangzhou are available at Suzhou Bus Station and Suzhou Railway Station respectively. Luxurious and comfortable hotels are dotted near Suzhou Bus Station and Suzhou Railway Station, and it’s very easy for those visitors who have not book a hotel, however, booking in advance is always encouraged just in case. When taking a taxi in Suzhou, you’d better bargain with the driver and should never take the unlicensed one for your own safety.
Tips on Suzhou Weather
Suzhou belongs to northern subtropical monsoon climate region, which features a moderate climate and distinctive four seasons, and spring is the best time of the year to visit Suzhou, wheather on a sunny day or on a rainy day. Suzou gardens take on different looks in different time of year weather the green trees providing dark shades or the flowers blooming like pieces of brocades, which will greet visitors with beautiful scences.
If you visit Suzhou in early spring or late autumn, you’d better prepare a coat with you just in case. In addition, visitors can taste various kinds of fruits in different season in Suzhou, including loquats, waxberries, lotus roots and peaches.
Tips on Suzhou Shopping
The specialties of Suzhou are highlighted by, tea, wood carvings, cembroideries, silk and Su-style candies and sweets, and you’re highly recommended to purchase sweet brands such as Cai Zhi Zhai, Dao Xiang Cun and Ye Shou He. The popular shopping streets of Suzhou include Guanqian Street, Shilu Commercial Street, Nanmen Commercial Street, Shiquan Street, Fengqiao Avenue, Nanhao Street and Huqiu Bridal Veil Street.
Tips on Financial Issues
The major credit cards such as Visa, Master Card and American Express are accepted in the major star-rated hotels, departments stores and even railway stations, and you’re highly recommended to carry some changes with you because credit cards can not be used in small stores and vender stalls in some rural areas. Foreign currencies such as US dollars, Britain Pound and Euro can be exchangeable at all the banks of China, some star-rated hotels, departments stores and few jewelry stores.
Helpful Numbers in Suzhou
If you are at risk (such as threatened by thieves), please call 110; If you need to see a doctor, the following hospitals are highly recommended owing to theri popularity among the locals.
1. The 4th People's Hospital of Suzhou
Address: No. 16, Baita West Road, Suzhou
Tel: 0512 -67273853
2. The 2nd People's Hospital of Suzhou
Address: No. 26, Daoqian Street, Canglang District, Suzhou
Tel: 0512 -69009090
3. The 1st People's Hospital of Suzhou
Address: No. 296, Shixin Street, Canglang District, Suzhou
Tel: 0512 -65223637
4. The 3rd People's Hospital of Suzhou
Address: No. 242, Guangji Road, Pingjiang District, Suzhou
Tel: 0512 -67273853
Tips on Suzhou Hotel
Suzhou is dotted with star-rated hotels, and the hotels below are highly recommended according to theri ranks in tripadvisor.com.
1. Suzhou Hotel
Address: No. 345, Shiquan Street, Canglang District, Suzhou
2. InterContinental Suzhou
Address: No. 288, Wangdun Road, Suzhou
3. Crowne Plaza Hotel Suzhou
Address: No. 168, Xinggang Street, Suzhou
4. Marriott Suzhou Hotel
Address: No. 1296, Ganjiang West Road, Gusu District, Suzhou
5. Shangri-La Hotel Suzhou
Address: No. 168, Tayuan Road, Suzhou New District, Suzhou
Tips of communication apparatus in Suzhou
Wifi and broadband access are available in the star-rated hotels lobbies, cafes and banks, and you’re recommended to be careful when dealing financial issues in public wifi. For foreigners, its’ very easy to purchase a SIM card on the street, but the international call fees are rather expensive, so you’re recommended to dial a free international call in some star-rated hotel.
As for visitors who want to send a mail or letter to friends abroad in Suzhou, you’re highly recommended to send them in China Post Office branches, and here are some post offices in Suzhou for your reference.
1. Suzhou Yangyu Lane Post Office
Address: No. 33, Yangyu Lane Post Office Branch
Tel: 0512 -65221128
2. Suzhou Dongbei Street Post Office Branch
Address: No. 266, Dongbei Street, Suzhou
Tel: 0512- 65576678
3. Suzhou Lvmen Post Office Branch
Address: No. 87, Guangji Road, Suzhou
Tel: 0512 -65331818
4. Suzhou Sanxiang Road Post Office Branch
Address: No. 102, Sanxiang Ro2ad, Suzhou
Tel: 0512 -6826276
Tips on Suzhou Festivals
Suzhou is very rich in festivals, which almost has a unique festival each month, and the major festivasl of Suzhou (in addition to the traditional festivals such as the Spring Festival, the Mid -Autumn Festival and the Dragon -Boat Festival) are listed as below:
1. Suzhou International Tourist Festival held from April to May each year
2. Welcoming God of Wealth at Xuanmiao Taoist Temple on 5th of May
3. Taihu Lake Plum Blossom Festival from the 1st to the 10th of March
4. Tiger Hill Flower Fair from March to May
5. Azalea Fair at Humble Administrator's Garden from March to June
6. Luzhi Water Town Fashion Culture Festival in April
7. Immortal Temple Fair on Nanhao Street in May
8. Lotus Flower Fair at Humble Administrator's Garden from July to August
9. Tiger Hill Temple Fair from November to October
10. China Suzhou International Silk Tourist Festival from 20th to 25th of September
11. Suzhou Tianping Mountain Red Maple Festival in November
12. Listen to the 108 peals of the Hanshan Temple bell at the New Year Eve.