Travel Planning
Travel Planning

Suzhou at a Glance

Suzhou grew up as a prosperous merchant town filled with whitewashed houses, hundreds of canals and a famous collection of gardens. Marco Polo found Suzhou one of the most beautiful cities in China and its sheer number of canals earned it the moniker "Venice of the East." Today this city of canals and gardens has a significantly busier vibe. Most of the canals have been paved into roads and while important gardens remain, many have been built over. That's not to say that you can't enjoy the remaining gardens or the beautiful areas of open canal.

Suzhou rose to prominence due to its fine silk industry. Today, tourists often visit silk factories, take tours and look at the beautiful silk products available for sale. A silk museum and endless roadside silk boutiques are other ways to learn about and acquire Suzhou's famous silk.

What to Expect
High Season
May - September
Low Season
October - April
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Language: Cantonese, Mardarin Chinese
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      Getting There
      Major Airports
      • Major Airport Shanghai Pudong International Airport
      • Major Airport Sunan Shuofang International Airport

      Passport / Visa Requirements

      Visitors to China need a passport with at least six months of validity remaining and a visa appropriate to the type of visit they are making. Travelers will need to visit the website of the Embassy of the People's Republic of China to learn their exact requirements and to prepare the appropriate documents. The process is a bit complicated and the requirements must be met in full in order to enter and exit the country successfully. Once in China, all visitors must register with the state.  American citizens can find out more about the process through the U.S State Department's website. 

      Need to Know

      Severe Weather and Seismic Activity China has earthquakes so be aware of earthquake safety when traveling. Summer in China can be blisteringly hot. During intense heat, stay cool and drink enough water to reduce the risk of heat related illness. Pay attention to weather updates for the region you are in. 

      Safety Concerns Petty criminals and pickpockets target foreigners. Keep your money and valuables out of sight while on the street and consider putting little used valuables in a safe at your hotel, or in a money belt.

      Health Concerns Smog is a concern in China and many residents wear face masks when out in the streets. Check air-quality ratings before you go out and plan accordingly. Visitors to China should drink bottled water or boil or purify the local water. Only eat fruits and vegetables that can be peeled and be sure to wash food using the purified water.