Suhzou, China

Suzhou, near Shanghai, is one of the prospering cities of China which has kept its charming character. Due to its channels, Suzhou is also called “Venice of the East”. Suzhou is about 120km from Shanghai and can be reached by regular bus-lines, taxis or trains. Suzhou is not only an interesting destination for Academia. The Suzhou Industry Park (SIP) it is the largest cooperation project between China and Singapore Government. The SIP has in total a jurisdiction area of 288 sq km and is one of the upcoming areas of China.

What to do

  • Visit some of the classical gardens, temples and museums of Suzhou. Your hotel will have a list of most recommendable locations.
  • Go to Shanghai and see how rapidly a city can develop (or at least change). In Shanghai, you will find skyscrapers, such as the Shanghai World Financial Center, but also streets in colonial style. Do not miss the place where the Communist Party of China has its roots. For relaxing, we recommend one of the old traditional gardens, such as Yuyuan Garden. If you still need some presents, go to Nanjing Road for shopping and no wishes will remain open. Do miss the opportunity of visiting the Expo 2010 in Shanghai.
  • For getting some culture, make a trip to Tongli Town, which is a bit like Shuzou but without industrialisation. The town still appears to be in the good old time where no fine-dust pollution discussions where necessary. The lovely water channels and gardens are famous places and absolutely worth the trip of 19 kilometers. The forty-nine stone-bridges will lead you to different architectural styles and give you a good insight into the history of the region.
    Is it not like in Venice?

    Is it not like in Venice?

    Want a boat trip?

    Want to make a boat trip?

    Some members of a mobile fishing Community

    Some members of a mobile fishing Community

  • Make a trip by bicycle through the old part of city. There are lovely ways along the water channels and lakes.

Where to stay

  • The Sheraton Hotels and Towers is pleasantly located close to Ruiguang Pagodain the middle its surrounding park. The hotel has a fully equipped conference centre which offers some synergies to your trip.

    The backyard of Sheraton Suzhou Hotel & Towers

    The backyard of Sheraton Suzhou Hotel & Towers

    Yes, it is conference centre ;-)

    Yes, it is a conference centre ;-)

    Who said that conference places have to be for nerds only?

    Who said that conference places have to be for nerds only?

Getting around

  • When going from Pudong airport to Shanghai city-centre, think about using the Maglev high-speed train. One trip in the second class costs about 50 RMB, which are around 5 €. The train is able to speed up to 450 km/h on its way into the centre of Shanghai. However, you will usually not get fast than 300 km/h, which increases the travel time by only a few minutes. Germans may wonder that they have seen that train before in Northern Germany and they are right. The train is a German Transrapid which is just used on an experimental course in in its home country. When being in China, take the chance and make a trip in German High-Technology which will never be used at home. Cheers to the German taxpayers :-)

    Welcome to Maglev train station

    Welcome to Maglev train station

    Welcome to China and German technology

    German technology in China

    And here comes the Chinese Transrapid

    And here comes the Chinese Transrapid

  • For sightseeing, rent a bicycle. It will cost you around 1 € per day and bikes are often not in the best shape. However, Chinese people are dealing with it everyday and you will surely survive in the crowded streets when acting carefully.
  • For short distance trips, use one of the official cabs as they are obliged to take regular prices. You may notice that many other “taxis” will try to get you on board and if you do not have agreed on a fixed price beforehand and have an evidence, you may have to pay like a fortune for a few meters. Good hotels will assist you by instructing the driver and give you a business card that you just need to show to the driver to be brought back to the hotel.
  • For longer distances, use the railways which have affordable prices (around 2,5 € for 100 Kilometres in average). Seats have normally to be reserved in advance which makes it comfortable to travel in crowded masses. However, take into account that many Chinese are not necessarily familiar with English and they may not understand where you want to go to. Check whether your hotel offers a ticket service – it may be worth to pay a few bucks before getting lost. By the way: Getting on board of trains is a bit like boarding at airports in China. The gate to the train opens shortly before the train arrives and the whole crowd starts to run, regardless whether you are old, carrying luggage or not familiar with that procedure. Try to protect yourself by being in front of the line.

    When you see the train, you nearly did it :-)

    When you see the train, you nearly did it :-)

    Ready for boarding at the train station

    Ready for boarding at the train station

    Who might be the first at the train?

    Who might be the first at the train?

Where to eat

Who dares wins :-)

Who dares wins :-)

  • Many people form the western hemisphere will have their problems with spicy Chinese food. However, go out and find a trustworthy looking restaurant with many Chinese people in it and try your luck. We can recommend hot pot restaurants with all facets of local food, such as chicken feet and other interesting things that would never end up on a European table. Most things taste wonderful, even you would normally never try it. Well, you are in a foreign country and you should try what they offer.

What to bring home

  • Bring some delicious Chinese tea with you.
  • Why not buy a traditional Chinese fan with old fashioned paintings? You could easily use it in overcrowded conference rooms for your own pleasure or put it at the wall at home. If you have invested more than 2 €, you did your good deed of the day to the dealer :-) .

Maps

  • Think about bringing a mapping gps-device with you. Otherwise improve your Chinese beforehand.
  • Google maps

Current weather

  
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5 comments to Suzhou, China

  • InOutSider

    If you visit Shanghai by night, I can recommend “Cloud 9″ bar on the 87th floor of Jin Mao Tower. You need to change the elevator on the 54th floor. Spectacular view from above is included …

  • InOutSider

    Before tasting freshly prepared Jellyfish, make sure that your hepatitis immunization is up-to-date…

  • Tom Kazanski

    I think Shanghai would also be an interesting destination. Are you guys preparing an article on that as well?

  • Dear Tom,

    a team of authors is currently preparing an article on Shanghai. Stay tuned

  • iku

    i hope i may go there soon, coz one of my lovely friend Jing Jing is invited me.

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