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Master of the Net's garden in Suzhou by Rita Heine
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Nicknamed the "Venice of the East" for its network of canals, historic Suzhou is situated in the lower reaches of the River Yangtze and on the shores of Lake Taihu. As well as its historical and cultural heritage, the city is renowned for its immense natural beauty.
The star attractions here are its 60 magnificent classical Chinese gardens, the most famous of which are the Humble Administrator's Garden, Lingering Garden, and Net Master's Garden.
For more than 800 years Suzhou was the capital of the Wu kingdom and a major centre for China's silk industry, a position it continues to hold today and something which can be explored in more depth at the extensive silk museum. When the Grand Canal linked inland Peking (as it was then) and Hangzhou, on the South China Sea, Suzhou found itself in a position of huge strategic importance. The main artery between northern and southern China was used to transport grain and other commodities, as well as being a conduit for cultural exchange and political integration.
Suzhou is around a two hour drive from Shanghai, or it can be reached via Bullet Train in 30 minutes. It can also be combined with a visit to a nearby ancient water town, such as Tongli or Luzhi.
13 Nights from
Explore eastern China by Bullet Train, with no internal flights. Visit historic Beijing and modern Shanghai and enjoy classic gardens, ancient canals and s…
Day 1 - Fly to Shanghai
Day 2 - Welcome to Shanghai
Day 3 - Highlights of Shanghai
Day 4 - At leisure in Shanghai
Day 5 - Suzhou's Classical Gardens
Day 6 - Bullet Train to Hangzhou
Day 7 - Hangzhou & West Lake
Day 8 - Hangzhou at leisure
Day 9 - Transfer to Huangshan & ancient village
Day 10 - Spectacular mountain landscapes
Day 11 - Bullet Train to Beijing
Day 12 - Special tour - Beijing's past & present
Day 13 - At leisure or optional tours
Day 14 - Hike the Great Wall of China
Day 15 - Return flight to the UK
Considering a holiday to China but not sure where to start? We guide you through the most important choices to help you d…
Wuzhen town by Jakub Hałun
Traditional wooden houses jut up to one another, reflecting in the sleepy canals, which are crossed by a myriad of gracef…
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