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2 Days In-depth Suzhou Culture Discovery Tour

All Suzhou Features Covered

Suzhou, described as a paradise city, can be traced back to 2,500 years ago. After the completion of the Grand Canal During the Sui Dynasty (581~618), it began to thrive as a shipping center. By the 14 center, the flourishment of silk industry make Suzhou the leading silk-producing city in China. Lots of merchants, scholars and artisans came and constructed their gardens which became treasured cultural heritage of the world. Till now, Suzhou enjoys enough pockets of cultural highlights to warrant several days’ exploration, and canal culture, silk culture and garden culture well present the most splendid parts of Suzhou culture. .

This 2 days Suzhou tour involving visiting its exquisitely-designed garden, boating along the Grand canal, walking on the antique canalside street, and most importantly, exploring the discovering the mystery of Suzhou silk, will help you get a better understanding of Suzhou culture from different perspectives. The itinerary can be tailor made according to your own interests and needs. Why hesitate? Just join us to unveil the cultural experience and get fully entertained and educated in this beautiful city.

  • Type : Private Tour
  • Tour Code : CD-SZCT-02
  • Price : from Request ()
    1. 1. This price is for one person, based on a group of 2 adults sharing one double-bed room in a 4-star hotel and traveling in low seasons;
    2. 2. This price is subject to change according to your traveling season, group size, hotel class, change of activities and possible fluctuation of currency exchange rate.
  • Theme : Culture / History / Garden
  • Physical Demands :

HIGHLIGHTS OF THIS TOUR

  • Take a close sight of the manufacture of Suzhou silk, and participate in some fascinating steps of making silk, like picking mulberry leaves and unraveling the cocoons,
  • Experience Suzhou garden culture by enveloping yourself in the contracted nature hidden in Lingering Garden, where the architectures, waterscape, rockeries and plants combine faultlessly;
  • Enjoy a cultural cruise journey along the old rivers which divide Suzhou into a checkerboard, with a moving picture of whitewashed houses and back and coming and going people on the bank;
  • Be awed at the leaning octagonal Tiger Hill Pagoda standing atop Tiger Hill and learn the legendary story of the founding father of Suzhou, He Lu, who also finally rested in the park,
  • Feel the charm of “water town” while strolling on Shantang Street which offers a great view of small arch bridges, old building hung with red lanterns, painted pleasure boat…
  • Take a close sight of the manufacture of Suzhou silk, and participate in some fascinating steps of making silk, like picking mulberry leaves and unraveling the cocoons.
Itinerary Day by Day (Can Be Customized)
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Day 1 Suzhou Arrival & Tour

Start with an interesting visit to Lingering Garden, one of the Four Greatest Gardens in China as well as the perfect representative of traditional Suzhou Gardens. The Lingering Garden has synthesized almost all the classic features of Suzhou gardens. It is composed of residential areas, shrines, family temple and garden, making full use of the changes between big and small, bend and straight, bright and dark, tall and low, tight and disperse, with the surrounding landscapes, such as plants, lakes, sky, etc. as backgrounds to create an ingenious system of space. Stepping into the garden, you will find the architectures, rockeries, corridors, pavilions, ponds and trees in Lingering Garden are all standing in the best place, neither too crowded nor too sporadic. The most incredible thing is that, in the same place, looking from different angles, you can enjoy different scenery. Making a step, you will get another feeling of another kind of scenery. After the visual treat in the amazing landscape, turn to the Performance Palace of Lingering Garden to enjoy one 20 minutes' local opera (might be Kunqu Opera, Suzhou Opera or Wuxi Opera) which adding much fun to your garden trip.

After visiting Lingering Garden, move on to next site Shantang Ancient Street, a wonderful place for a relaxing walking. It used to be an important trade and culture center during Ming and Qing Dynasties, and now is famous as “the miniature of old Suzhou and the window of Wu culture”. Enjoy the ornate water-town style architectures, marvel at the bustling streets and savor at local snacks.

Next, you will enjoy a cruise trip from Shantang Street to Tiger Hill. It is the best way to see the authentic local life and truly get a good idea what is going on in the old town of Suzhou. You can also enjoy the Pingtan - a musical/oral performance art form popular in Suzhou. Then, you will go to explore the iconic historical site in Suzhou – Tiger Hill. The hill is only 36 meters in height, but covers about 3.5 acres areas with a number of historical sites some of which have history over 2,500 years. The most famous sites include the Yunyan Pagoda which is an over-1000-year-old pagoda with seven stories in height and famously leans much like the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and the Sword Pool where the King of Wu, He Lu, tested and buried his treasured swords about 2500 years ago. Apart from the history, the Tiger Hill is also an amazing place to go for a walk, enjoy natural scenery and experience local custom.

Stay overnight in Suzhou.

  • One Corner of Lingering Garden One Corner of Lingering Garden
  • Tiger Hill Spring Tiger Hill Spring
  • Shantang Street Shantang Street

Day 2 Suzhou Tour & Departure (B, L)

Today's highlights: Suzhou Museum, Taihuxue Sericulture Cultural Park

Today after breakfast, you guide and driver will pick you at your hotel to visit the most outstanding museum in Suzhou - Suzhou Museum which is the masterpiece of the world-famous architect I. M. Pei who has built Louvre's pyramids in Paris, Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas, the Miho Museum in Japan and many extraordinary buildings all over the world. While he was designing the Suzhou Museum, he combined the features of classical Suzhou Gardens with modern and fashionable characteristics. The museum has collected more than 40,000 decent items of ancient Chinese art, ancient Chinese paintings, calligraphy, porcelains, jade wares, handmade crafts, etc., from bronze ages to Ming and Qing Dynasties.

Next, drive about 45 minutes to Taihuxue Sericulture Cultural Park to explore the silk culture and experience interesting activities. On the theme of sericulture and silk, it perfectly exhibits the history the traditional silk-making process of growing mulberry, breeding silkworm, unraveling cocoons, reeling silk and making silk products. In the exhibition hall, you can obtain enough knowledge about cocoons and get amazed by the charm of Suzhou silk. Then, you will pick mulberry leaves in the Mulberry Garden and feed the silkworms (only available in April and May). After that you will join a cocoons-unraveling class under the guidance of a skilled teacher and experience an interesting step of silk-making by yourself.

After the tour, your guide and driver will escort you back to your hotel in Suzhou City or directly to take your train/flight to the next destination. Our service ends.

Optional Activities: 1) paint on the cocoons and make them a beautiful decoration at home; 2) take part in a batik class and learn to dye a white silk handkerchief; 3) take a box of silkworms home if you are interested in rearing them.

  • Taihuxue Taihuxue Sericulture Cultural Park
  • Suzhou Museum Suzhou Museum
  • Suzhou Museum Courtyard Suzhou Museum Courtyard

Recommended Add-on Options

+2 more days to explore the heavenly city - Hangzhou

Explore the heavenly city - Hangzhou.

Spend two days to collects the essence of Hangzhou natural scenery and profound history, including cruise leisurely on West Lake to enjoy the tranquil lake views as well as the ancient pagodas, traditional arched bridges, tree-lined walkways, beautiful hills, green islands and lush gardens; experiencing the peaceful Buddhism atmosphere and breath the fresh tranquil air at Lingyin Temple; learning about authentic traditional Chinese tea culture and enjoy a cup of best Dragon Well Tea...

West Lake Cycling Experience

The quotation for this trip is from Request Per Person

1. This price is for one person, based on a group of 2 adults sharing one standard double-bed room in 4-star hotel and traveling with our private tour in low seasons.
2. This price is subject to change according your traveling season, group size, hotel class, change of activities in your itinerary and possible fluctuation of currency exchange rate. If you want a lower price, you can get more people to join you, or use economy class hotels.
3. This price is only valid to March 31, 2022.
4. Reference exchange rate of USD 1= RMB 6.65. The final quote is based on current exchange rate. It may change according to the currency fluctuation, while the RMB quotation will be remained the same.

What's included?

  • Professional licensed English-speaking guide;
  • Admission tickets for all attractions listed in the itinerary;
  • Accommodation as listed in the itinerary (4-star standard);
  • Necessary vehicle transfers as listed in the itinerary;
  • Domestic flights (economy class) and high-speed trains (second class) as listed in the itinerary;
  • Airport (and train station) pick up and drop off;
  • Luggage Transfers: between airports (railway station) and hotels;
  • All meals as listed( “B” for Chinese and Western breakfast buffet in your hotel; “L” for Chinese Lunch in local restaurant; “D” for Chinese dinner in local restaurant.);
  • Accident insurance;
  • Our service charge, including tour planning, handling, operational and communication charges.

What's excluded?

  • China visa;
  • Personal expenses;
  • Accommodation not listed in the itinerary;
  • Single Room Supplement;
  • Tourist sites which are not listed in the itinerary;
  • Recommended optional activities;
  • Flights or trains not listed in the itinerary;
  • Excess Baggage Charges;
  • Optional tips to guides, drivers, etc.

Check What our Customers Say...

Hi Lyn,

Sorry for the slow reply. The cruise was really good; considering how few foreign passengers were on board the staff really went out of their way to look after us.

Andrew - 2021.06.28‚ UK, June 28, 2021

Thanks Leo for organising this trip. We had good time;

Huangshan: we loved the place but felt sad that this was not the right season for it.. So while booking you can just inform us on the same.. I had checked the weather before going, I knew it was raining but I thought it like shenyang rain.. Light.. Not that heavy.. So if possible just give an info on that to people..

Driver and vehicle: good

Guide: very good

Hangzhou: good place.

Driver: very rude. Not even accommodating a small requirement of stopping at a supermarket.

Guide:Very good.

Shanghai and around: good

Driver: Kind and helpful.

Guide: very friendly, helpful and good.. Appreciate that she helped us for booking food online..

Guides were supportive at all places.. Thank you!! But again a feedback for your company: Try being little flexible when you are doing a customized trip. Customized trip is not just booking hotels or car. Clients need more flexibility in terms of everything when we know we are paying more than just for the trip expense

Nagaveni - 2021.06.27‚ India, June 27, 2021

Hi Rosalyn,

The tour was wonderful and Shirley a great guide. We enjoyed it a lot.

Thanks a lot for the organization.

Verena - 2021.06.22‚ Germany, June 22, 2021

Hi Wonder, back to Shanghai, it was an amazing trip, and the driver is just a great guy who really help us from the beginning to the end. Thank you for everything.

Here is my review about the trip to Guilin, it’s just our point of view so there is nothing bad about what I will say.

At first we had an amazing driver, friendly and always helping us for everything, and very good and safe drive.

Day one was great, not really a lot of things to see or do in Huangluo Yao village, but it’s ok, by the way the restaurant the driver bring us there was very great, best Chinese food we had in China. Ping’an Village is just wonderful, walking in the middle of the rice terrace with an amazing view was perfect. The hotel was nice too (sorry to disturb you this day, but after I realize the woman playing with a kid on the terrace was working for the hotel, at the beginning I thought she was a client), by the way, it was great, she really took care of us, and again excellent food, the view from the room is great too.

Day two was great too, thousand layer terraces is a place to see, and the cable car is very useful, Ping An is better cause we really are in the middle of the rice terrace with all the farmer around, it’s really local, 1000 terrace is more for the view and we really enjoyed it.

Visit of the Tea farmer was interesting.

Then back in Guilin, we went to the city to the pedestrian street near a lake with two beautiful towers, and also went to a park near a hill. Guilin is a nice city but it stays a city, the hotel was great too, but all was a little bit too much “metropole”. I think it should be better to stay in a more local place like small village close from Mopanshan. Nothing bad about this Wonder, but we come from Shanghai who is a big city, and when we go out from a city it’s nice to be in the country side. The hotel was perfect too, but it’s the kind of hotel I go during some business trips, by the way we know Guilin now.

Day 3 was very very very great, the cruise is amazing, the bamboo boat very great too and the country side of Yangshuo is just wow, so beautiful, we have rented a motorbike from the hotel and wend around in the afternoon, just beautiful, we really enjoyed. The hotel was perfect too, all the staff speak English and are very friendly. In the restaurant, Chinese and Western food was nice too, in the evening we went to see a show in Yangshuo, they knew we should come back late and they manage everything so serve us after 10pm. Very great hotel with a so beautiful view. This is the point, at the hotel at Ping An village or Yangshuo, in the evening we can enjoy the view from outside on the balcony of the room, drinking a glass and smoke a cigarette, it’s just empty out mind and we really enjoy this moment, thing we cannot do in Guilin for example.

Day 4, back to Guilin and go to Elephant Hill, it’s just a park like the 100 parks we have in Shanghai, nothing special to see, especially after seeing the rice terraces around Ping An and the beautiful landscape from Li River and Yangshuo. Reed Flute cave was just wow too, so so beautiful, that was the first time in my life I saw a so beautiful cave, really love it.

This trip was the best one we did in China, we both love it, just wish to have one more day in Yangshuo. If I need to give a note I will give 9/10, Thank for your great work.

David - 2021.06.18‚ France, June 18, 2021

Thanks for all your help Jack, we really enjoyed our trip! Would definitely recommend to friends in the future, our driver was excellent.

Cherice - 2021.06.18‚ USA, June 18, 2021
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After sending us an inquiry, one of our travel consultants will get back to you within 0.5~23.5 hrs. In the next few days, he/she will be working closely with you to formulate a customized tour plan, as well as providing professional suggestions based on your travel interests, time, and budget.

Beside, he/she will keep in contact with you during your entire tour in China, continually checking if everything is going well as planned.

We're working at Chengdu Bamboo International Tours, local based in Chengdu.

Local Tour Guides

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Our local guide in every destination is not only very friendly, enthusiastic but also very informative and knowledgeable.

Once you arrive in the destination, the patient and punctual guides will pick you up and take you to get under skin of the city at your own pace. By in-depth discovery and explanation, they’ll show you more about the history, culture, customs and authentic local life. Throughout the journey, they're not only expert guides who take care of all the details but also fellow travelers who are dedicated to help you explore in comfort and style.

Our guides are passionate about what they do, and it shows all the way!

Local Drivers & Vehicle

Using our private transfer service makes you comfortable, relaxed and worry free all the way!

Our private service includes licensed drivers with many years’ driving experience and air-conditioned, non-smoking, clean and well-maintained cars/vans. Drivers are local, polite, friendly and helpful, taking you to your tourist sites, hotels, airport/train stations in safety. All kinds of vehicle are offered, and yours depends on the size of your group. Usually, we offer sedan cars, SUVs, business vans (MPV) and different types of buses, all with extra space for your luggage.

Our private transfer service guarantees you the highest comfort!

Comfortable & Homelike Hotels

China Tour

In each destination, you’ll enjoy a comfortable stay in a great location!

The hotels we choose are based on star rating, great locations, well-equipped facilities, cozy bed, high quality service and guests’ feedbacks. Choices are a lot ranging from luxury 5 star, comfortable 4 star to budget 3 star. You could decide where to stay to best suit for your budget and likes. Generally, the hotels have both Western and Chinese breakfast with a wide choices.

If you have already got an ideal hotel, please feel free to tell our travel consultants and they'll book the hotel for you.

Have good sleep in our well-selected hotels in all the destinations of China.

Meals & Dining

China Tour

We can satisfy all the dietary requirements no matter you want Chinese local food, western food, vegetarian food or muslin food.

The restaurants we will take you for lunch or dinner are all designated tourist restaurants approved by local tourist administration bureau. They have very good sanitary conditions and the food is prepared fresh and clean.

There will be some meals excluded in your itinerary as you like, and your private guide will be delighted to give you some suggestions and take you to the local restaurants to taste like Beijing Roast Duck, Xian Dumpling Dinner, Sichuan Hotpot, etc., if you are interested in local food tasting.

All the dining options will satisfy your stomach!

Here are recent candid photos of this China trip

  • One Corner of Lingering Garden One Corner of Lingering Garden
  • Tiger Hill Spring Tiger Hill Spring
  • Shantang Street Shantang Street
  • Taihuxue Taihuxue
  • Suzhou Museum Suzhou Museum
  • Suzhou Museum Courtyard Suzhou Museum Courtyard

Most Important Suzhou Travel Notes

1. What are the features of China Discovery’s private Suzhou tour packages?

Our private Suzhou tour package ensures the highest standards for our guests with greater flexibility, better comfort and personalized service so you can experience Suzhou in the way you have always dreamt of it to be. You can decide how your time should be spent and the pace in which your tour is conducted, while we can help maximize every minute of your journey to let you enjoy your Suzhou vacation to the absolute fullest. Before the tour, you will enjoy an efficient one-on-one travel consulting service provided by one of our knowledgeable Suzhou expert. During the tour, you will have your very own personal guide, with a private vehicle and chauffeur, exclusively serving for your party - nobody else. So please do not hesitate to explore Suzhou with our private tour now!

2. Do you need a visa for Suzhou?

Since 2016, China has started the 144-Hour Transit Visa Exemption policy in Yangtze River Delta (Shanghai, Jiangsu and Zhejiang) to offer transit convenience for international travelers. It means that, visitors from the appointed 53 countries, holding the valid travel documents and connecting flight tickets to a third country/region, are allowed to enter and exit from one of the six ports - Shanghai Pudong International Airport, Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport, Shanghai Railway Station, Shanghai Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal, Nanjing Lukou International Airport and Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport, and stay for not exceeding 144 hours in the administrative regions of Shanghai, Jiangsu (Suzhou included) and Zhejiang.

3. When is the best time to visit Suzhou?

Because of the pleasant climate and great natural scenery of Suzhou, it is available to visit Suzhou all the year around. The elegant gardens, old water towns and fine silk will never disappoint you. But if you want to visit Suzhou in the most comfortable weather, you can choose to visit during April to October, especially April and May in spring and September and October in autumn. In spring, colorful flowers can be savored in different gardens, like Humble Administrator’s Garden, Lingering Garden, Tiger Hill, etc. In autumn, the sweet-scented osmanthus and fallen golden leaves make most streets and old lanes so charming.

4. How to Get to Suzhou

The most convenient way to get to Suzhou is by high speed train. There are frequent high speed trains from Shanghai (about 0.5h), Hangzhou (1.5~2.5h), Nanjing (1~1.5h), Wuxi (20min), Changzhou (25~50min), Wuhan (4~4.5h), etc. as well as some c. as well as some high speed trains from Huangshan (about 3.5h), Yangzhou (about 1.5h), Chengdu (12~14.5h), etc. Since there is no airport in Suzhou City, you can take a flight to Shanghai or Wuxi first and then transfer to Suzhou. Shanghai is the best gateway to Suzhou, because it can be reached easily by flights or high speed train and it operates quick transfer to Suzhou.

5. Where to Stay in Suzhou

In spite of the small scale, Suzhou city offers a variety of accommodating choices ranging from 5-star luxuries hotels to 3-star comfortable hotels. The best accommodating areas include Suzhou Old City – the home to the many attractions (like Administrator’s Garden, Suzhou Museum, Pingjiang Road, etc.) and central urban districts (offering quick access to good restaurants, shopping malls, metro lines). If you want to visit the water towns around Suzhou City, you can also choose to accommodate in the town for a great night view. Big towns like Tongli and Zhouzhuang also has some super hotels. Besides, you can also choose to accommodate Shanghai if you plan a day tour in Suzhou.

China Discovery always uses those hotels with convenient amenities, fine services and great reputations. Most of them are 5-star and 4-star hotels located near the downtown.

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