Ancient Canals and Classical Gardens
Often referred to as the Venice of the East, Suzhou is situated in the fertile Yangzi basin and boasts some of the most famous classical Chinese gardens, many of which are on UNESCO’s World Heritage list. Ancient statues and stone engravings can be found in most garden complexes, making a garden meander all the more interesting. Take a relaxing boat trip down the city’s inner canals (where no motorized transport is allowed) or even along the Grand Canal, which links Suzhou to the other water towns in the region. There are also several museums and temples that may entice older kids; one of the best in the city, the Silk Museum offers a bilingual exhibit on the city’s 4,000-year-old silk industry. True silk fiends should consider visiting in September, when the Suzhou Silk Festival takes place.