• We returned from our holiday last Wednesday and I just wanted to say a big thank you for organising our tours in Beijing last week.
  • Thank you for making possible an enjoyable trip for us. We learnt about Shanghai’s people, history and culture.
  • I am writing to you to thank you very much for our wonderful trip to Xian. The tour that you organised was fantastic.
Shanghai Sights and Sounds
Master of the Nets Garden

Master of the Nets Garden

Stroll around Suzhou’s smallest classical garden with its pools and pavilions. Dating back to the Song Dynasty (960 – 1279), the garden got its name when the government official who lived there remarked that he would rather be a fisherman than a bureaucrat.

read more ...

The Master of the Nets garden may be the smallest residential garden in Suzhou, but it is well worth a look, especially for the evening performances that are hosted there. The gardens date back to the Song Dynasty (960 – 1279). It got its name when the government official who lived there remarked that he would rather be a fisherman than a bureaucrat. The night show happens in one of the pavilions attached to the garden, and on the adjoining terrace. Split into eight parts each lasting 10 minutes, the performance is a treat for the senses. It includes traditional Chinese opera, instrumental music, dance, and singing from a troupe of incredibly talented performers. Set against the backdrop of the old pavilion with its twinkling lights, intricate wall-hangings and carved wooden window frames, it is a great introduction to traditional Chinese music and dance.

tl_files/city-tours/suzhou/master-of-the-nets-garden.jpg
Humble Administrator’s Garden

Humble Administrator’s Garden

Explore the winding walkways and narrow paths of this traditional garden built in 1509. Built in the Ming Dynasty, the garden gets its name from the retired government official who decided to spend the last years of his life there tending the plants instead of living the high life. The garden covers a massive 52 thousand square meters and is classified as a World Heritage Site. Its design is typically Ming, with winding walkways, eye-catching rock formations, pavilions, and pools.

read more ...

Suzhou is famous for its beautiful traditional gardens, and the Humble Administrator’s is the largest and best loved. Built in 1509 during the Ming Dynasty, the garden gets its name from the retired government official who decided to spend the last years of his life there tending the plants instead of living the high life. The garden covers a massive 52 thousand square meters and is classified as a World Heritage Site. Its design is typically Ming, with winding walkways, eye-catching rock formations, pavilions, and pools.

The garden is split into three sections. The largest is the central area, which is two-thirds water. It holds quiet courtyards, pavilions, and the Hall of the Distant Fragrance surrounded by lotus ponds. The hall’s long windows offer a beautiful view of the flowers. The Small Flying Rainbow Bridge is the only one in the garden that you can walk across. The eastern section of the garden is made up of steep hills, streams and bamboo groves, and is home to Lanxiang Hall and the Celestial Spring Pavilion. A map on the south wall shows the layout of the whole garden. In the western part of the Humble Administrator’s Garden is a stately hall that is split into two sections – the Hall of 18 Camellias and the charmingly named Hall of the 36 Pairs of Mandarin Ducks. Look out for the pagoda that appears to be floating on the water. It’s an optical illusion, but impressive nonetheless.

The garden hosts regular flower festivals. The bonsai garden in the western section holds regular displays, and the central area’s Elegant Stone House shows precious gems.

tl_files/attractions/suzhou/garden-of-the-humble-administrator-suzhou.jpg
cruise on the Grand Canal

Grand Canal

A cruise on the Grand Canal is one of the best ways to explore Suzhou. Take in the beautiful single span bridges that cross the water, and admire the traditional houses that lean towards each other over your head. Suzhou’s main waterway is part of the longest canal in the world. Stretching 1,776 kilometers from Beijing in the north all the way to Hangzhou in the south, the canal’s route through Suzhou was responsible for the city’s economic growth.

read more ...

A cruise on the Grand Canal is one of the best ways to explore Suzhou. Take in the beautiful single span bridges that cross the water, and admire the traditional houses that lean towards each other over your head.

Suzhou’s main waterway is part of the longest canal in the world. Stretching from Beijing in the north all the way to Hangzhou in the south, the Grand Canal passes through Hebei, Shandong, Jiangsu and Zhejiang Provinces on its 1,776 kilometer path. The canal’s route through Suzhou was responsible for the city’s economic success, making it the economic center it is today.

The canal was begun way back in the 5th century BC, and finally completed some time in the Sui Dynasty (581 – 618 AD). It has been admired by visitors through the ages, including Italian missionary Matteo Ricci. The section of the canal that flows through Suzhou is known as the Jiangnan Canal.

tl_files/attractions/suzhou/grand-canal-in-wuxi.jpg
Silk Museum

Silk Museum

Suzhou is the silk capital of China. During the Tang and Song Dynasties it grew in importance as a center for making and weaving the fabric. By the Ming Dynasty, the city was supplying the emperor and his household with most of his silk. The Silk Museum traces the history of silk from Neolithic times through to the modern day by way of displays and demonstrations.

read more ...

Walk down an ancient street, watch silk being spun, and find out why Suzhou is so famous for silk at this diverse and interesting museum.

Suzhou is the silk capital of China. During the Tang and Song Dynasties it grew in importance as a center for making and weaving the fabric. By the Ming Dynasty, the city was supplying the emperor and his household with most of his silk. The Silk Museum traces the history of silk from Neolithic times through to the modern day by way of displays and demonstrations. According to legend, it was Lei Zu, wife of the Yellow Emperor, who first started to raise silk worms. The practise has changed very little since then, with worms being fed on mulberry leaves. The museum has silk worms of its own (unfortunately the real ones were replaced by models in 2009), as well as looms where silk is woven while you watch. Girls in costume from various periods demonstrate different styles of loom, while replica Ming and Qing Dynasty streets help to set the atmosphere of Suzhou’s buzzing silk trade.