Geography and Climate
Suzhou is the second largest city in Jiangsu province, southeast China. It borders the renowned Taihu Lake to its west and is the southern estuary of Yangtze River. Having a written history of more than 4000 years, the city is one of China’s first batch historical capitals. Suzhou is the central city in the Yangtze Delta, only 80 km west away to Shanghai; the location advantage has made Suzhou the political, economic and logistics center of Jiangsu province. Located in the temperate zone, the city has a moderate climate with distinct seasons and abundance of rainfall. The annual average temperature is 15.5 centi-degrees with the mean precipitation of 1100 millimeters.
History and Culture
Since the city was built in 514 BC by the famous deserter minister Wu Zixu as the capital of Wu Empire Suzhou has experienced 2500 years’ ups and downs which left the present-day capital with numerous historical heritages. The city still retain the double chessboard layout from ancient times with the streets and rivers lie side by side and run in parallel. Since 42% area of the city is covered by water, including a vast number of ponds and streams, the city is renowned as the ‘Oriental Venice’.
Suzhou is the birthplace of the famed Wu Culture and also a main resource of Chinese Culture. It is a city with up growth traditional culture and profound history. Nowadays, there are two national-level historical cities (Suzhou and Changshu), along with another three famous historical towns (Zhouzhuang, Mudu, Tongli) as well as numerous old towns and cultural lovely villages. In any historical township of Suzhou, a number of Ming and Qing dynasty preserved architectures can be viewed, the harmonious blend of natural sights with human works enhance the gorgeousness of the city. Suzhou also enjoys a reputation for its delicacies. Authentic Suzhou cuisines and snacks can be tasted in the Guanqian Street. Pingtian, Kun Opera and Suzhou Opera are something you won’t miss when you visiting Suzhou, these forms of art are praised as the ‘three flowers’ in the cultural history of Suzhou.
The most famous tourism spots in Suzhou are its splendid gardens. Known as the best gardens in the world, Suzhou Gardens attain their reputation not only for their vast numbers, but also for their charming natural beauty and brilliant manmade views. At present, there are more than 60 gardens opened for tourists while among these gardens, the Garden of Master of Nets and the Lingering Garden are regarded as the tops. The two gardens have been listed in the World Heritage List.
Suzhou bureau has possessed a stress on developing tourism industry, and thus has made great improvement to its basic facilities and tourist function. The convenient public transportation system together with numerous star-rated hotels has made Suzhou an attractive destination for tourists from all over the world.
There are numerous of famed universities in Suzhou, the most famous local university is the Suzhou University which is a comprehensive university among the top 20 according to the national ranking. Many other national reputed universities like Nanjing University and Xi’an Jiaotong University has located their graduate schools in Suzhou either.