Suzhou’s Gardens and Silk Journey
and Silk Journey
The former capital of the Wu Kingdom, the ancient centre of Wu culture and now a city that
moves forwards in a fast way but without forgetting its past: Suzhou’s imperial gardens
and silk industry importance form the backbone of a full-day exploration.
WHY THIS TOUR?
Its impeccable imperial gardens; its museums; wandering roads where you have the chance to get lost in a UNESCO-protected atmosphere, and all this within easy reach of the organized hectic lifestyle of bustling Shanghai. We’re talking Suzhou, and when we talk Suzhou, it is blending the ancient and historically treasured with its deeply-rooted Chinese culture.
This city is a treat for the culturally-minded once you tread away for the growing modern and forward-thinking Chinese development plans. It still boasts its charms for a full day exploration when looking to grasp a sense of what still may linger in the Suzhou’s moving dynasty eras.
08:00 - 16:00
As soon as we leave Shanghai, the world changes from one of the world’s largest metropolis to a satellite city that boasts some of its lauded treasures. We commence with heading over to one of the main attractions of the city; two of its imperial gardens. Once the secluded grounds of government officials and the aristocracy, they are now accessible to the public as a representation of China from a bygone era. The Humble Administrator’s Garden, once the private garden of a former government servant and now, is a well-maintained and balanced-out collection of water features, rock formations and pavilions, dating back to the Ming Dynasty. Secondly, the Garden of the Master of Nets may not topple the list as one of the most extensive one, but its compact size has drawn crowds for its space and the illusion of making it feel larger than it actually is and still keeps a tranquil aura within Suzhou. Lunch will be enjoyed at a local restaurant.
After lunch, we admire the finest treads in life as we pay a visit to the Silk Museum of Suzhou. A time-honoured presence in Suzhou is dedicated to the work done by both silkworks and artisans, who have kept the traditions alive. It also marks the importance of Suzhou in the silk industry since weaving was introduced to the city during the 12th century.
Finally, we enter Pingjiang Road, the most recognizable historical street of Suzhou. A gateway when trade was still more tradition, this landmark in its own right is located in the North-eastern side of Suzhou. Only 1606 meters in length, it once formed the main trading aorta for commerce and transportation. We leave Suzhou and head back to Shanghai at the end of the afternoon; with ample mementoes that form a lineage to the dynasties, this city has still some spirit in itself, not going to trade upon its past to meet the future.