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Suzhou, a cultural and historiacal city, is located in the south of Jiangsu province, some 50 miles west of Shanghai, along the old Grand Canal.
Suzhou is best known for its landscaped gardens, over 150 of them. Suzhou’s gardens are not known for their size, but their delicate designs, containing hills and ponds, terraces, corridors, towers, and almost everything that is needed in an “imperial garden.” According to a Chinese proverb says: “In heaven there is paradise. On earth there are Suzhou and Hangzhou.” The city is dotted with lakes and ponds connected by a spider's web of canals. And all the canals are lined with whitewashed houses with gray-tiled roofs.
Suzhou is not only a famous cultural city and a city of gardens, but also the silk capital of China. During the Tang (618-907) and Song (960-1279) dynasties, it was the silk producing center; in the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties most of the high-grade silk produced for the royal families was made by Suzhou silk weavers.

Tourist Highlights
Lingering Garden
Covering an area of 2.3 hectares, the Lingering Garden is the best preserved among all the Suzhou gardens. It is also one of the four most famous gardens in China, (the other three being the Summer Palace in Beijing, the Mountain Summer Resort in Chengde, and the Humble Administrator's Garden in Suzhou).
Built in the Ming Dynasty, it was renovated and expanded in the early 19th century during the Qing Dynasty. The garden is divided into four sections: artificial hills in the west, pastoral scenery in the north, hall and pavilion structures in the east and hills and waters at the center. A winding corridor of over 1,000 meters links them.

Humble Administrator’s Garden
The Humble Administrator's Garden, the largest, occupies four hectares, as well as one of the four most famous classic gardens in China (the others are: Summer Palace, Mountain Resort of Chengde and Garden for Lingering in Suzhou). It was built in 1522 during the Ming Dynasty. Water accounts for three-fifths of its total area. All the major buildings face the water. Centering on the pool, bridges and corridors harmoniously link up isles, rockeries, pavilions and towers. The garden shows a natural and flowing artistic style.

Garden of the Master of the Nets
Sometimes the smallest package can contain the most magnificent gift. The Garden of the Master of the Nets is a clear example of this. It is the smallest of the Suzhou residential gardens, yet it is the most impressive because of its use of space which creates the illusion of an area that is much greater than its actual size. Even more than the architectural achievement is the mood of tranquility and harmony that this humble garden embodies.

Tiger Hill
Tiger Hill is 36 meters high, 630 meter in perimeter with a total area of 20 hectare (200,000 sqm). Formed about 150,000,000 years ago, Tiger Hill's history can be traced back to 2500 years ago, the same time with the ancient Suzhou city. It is recorded that it was the very place of the tomb of Wu King Helu in the Spring and Autumn Period (770 B.C-476 B.C). In 496 B.C., Wu King Helu died in the war between Wu Kingdom and Yue Kingdom, his son then buried him under the Tiger Hill with his excellent sword.
On top of the hill is an imposing structure--the pagoda of the Yun Yan (Cloud Rock) Temple built in 961. It is listed as one of the special historical sites under State protection. The temple courtyard is the highest point on the hill and commands a grand view.

Hanshan Temple ( Cold Mountain Temple )
Hanshan Temple is located in the west outskirts of Suzhou. The temple was first built in the Tianjian period of the Liang Dynasty (502-557). A famous monk, Hanshan, was said to have been in charge of the temple during the Tang Dynasty (618-907) so it was named after him. There is a famous poem about the temple by the Tang Dynasty poet, Zhang Ji, "Away from the town of Suzhou stands Hanshan Temple, the chime of its midnight bell reaches as far as my boat."

Surging Wave Pavilion( Canglang Pavilion)
Celebrated for the delights of the wilderness of mountain and forest scenery, the Surging Wave Pavilion is the oldest among the existing classical gardens of Suzhou. It is also one of the four most famous gardens in the city. The area used to be the private garden of a Prince of the Five Dynasties (907-960). During the Northern Song Dynasty, the scholar Su Zimei built a pavilion in this garden and named it Canglang Pavilion. The garden has been rebuilt many times but most of the present garden buildings, simple and plain, date from the Qing Dynasty ( In addition to its mountains and water, the garden is also famous for its unique latticed windows. There're about 108 kinds of latticed windows with impressive designs, possessing extremely high artistic value. They are uniquely designed and elaborately made, and enjoy a high reputation among all the gardens in Suzhou).

Zhouzhuang, one of the most famous water townships in China, situated in Kunshan City which is only 30 kilometers (18 miles) southeast of Suzhou. It is noted for its profound cultural background , the well preserved ancient residential houses, the elegant watery views and the strong local colored traditions and customs.
In an area of half a square kilometer (124 acres), 60 percent of the Zhouzhuang's structures were built during the Ming and Qing Dynasties, which is from 1368 to 1911. Taking the most convenient form of transport in Zhouzhuang, a gondola, we will present some of the breathtaking sights one by one.

Ancient Canal
The Grand Canal is the longest and earliest manual-canal in the world, and also a very famous place of tourist interest. Starting at Beijing, it passes through Tianjin and the provicnces of Hebei, Shandong, Jiangsu and Zhejiang to the city of Hangzhou linking the Yellow River and Yangtze River. The total length of the Grand Canal is 1764 km. The canal section in Suzhou is one of the oldest parts of the Grand Canal. Standing on the boat, viewing the sceneray on both river sides, learning history from the soft voice of this southern city, the boat trip on Suzhou Canal is intoxicating.
Ancient Canal

Suzhou embroidery
With a history exceeding 2,000 years, Suzhou embroidery is considered the "pearl of oriental art" for its beautiful designs, varied stitches, superb workmanship and elegant colors. 
Early in Song Dynasty, it was already given the reputation of being "delicate and close in stitch and meticulous and wonderful in colour"; and up to Qing Dynasty, Suzhou embroidery has developed into a period of great prosperity, and "embroidering fair" became one of the flourishing scenes of Suzhou.

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