Suzhou is an amazing city spread on the shores of Lake Taihu and the Yangtze River in China. The city is known primarily for its centuries-old gardens and parks, canals and bridges. Merchant and traveler Marco Polo called the city "East Venice".
The city was founded back in 514 BC. e. as the capital of the kingdom of U, at that time the city was called Helyucheng. Only after a millennium in 589 did the city get its current name Suzhou, in honor of Mount Sushan. Life has been boiling here since ancient times. Caravans of merchants came for the finest silk that was made here. The city became very rich, officials and traders put money into gardens and parks for themselves and for the population. In the 7th century, the construction of canals and a system of locks passing throughout the city began. During construction, labor of over five million people was used. These channels still work, attracting millions of tourists annually.
Travelers go to Suzhou, first of all, to see the most beautiful gardens, which are very many here and each has a name. The most famous: the garden of the Lion's Cave, the garden of the master of fishing nets, the garden of a modest official, the Park of blue waves, the Garden of a quiet pastime. They were built as places for leisure and recreation. In the gardens, miniature landscapes imitated natural landscapes. Over the years, gardens in the courtyard of officials have become the norm, and each official tried to make his own unique garden, in which all the little things were thought out, and the device itself obeyed the canons of his philosophical views.
The historical part of Suzhou is completely covered with picturesque canals. Houses are usually built, so one part is facing the channel and the other to the street. A walk around the city is perfect for romantics. After all, here you can safely ride through river channels on a boat, ride a bike rickshaw, reflect in numerous gardens to the sounds of the wind, try amazing local cuisine. Local sweets will surprise even the most avid gourmet. To get to know the kitchen, it’s better to go to the market. It is imperative to bargain in the market, this will significantly reduce the price of goods. Here you will be offered traditional sweets from rice flour, halva, sweets with pine nuts. In numerous restaurants, baked ducks, furry crabs, shark fin soups and swamp turtles, and mandarin fish are served on the table.
Suzhou is considered the center of the silk industry, here is the largest textile factory in China for the production of silk products exported to all parts of the world. You can get to the city most quickly from Shanghai. If you are in no hurry, it is better to sail on a ferry, examining the surrounding landscapes.