Departing early we head for the train station and arrive in Suzhou mid-morning. Built in 514BC Suzhou is a remarkable ancient city in the Yangtze Delta approximately 70km from Shanghai. A Chinese Venice, this 2500 year-old cultural city which together with the canals also possesses a stunning collection of UNESCO-listed gardens and is famed for its silk.
Start the tour with a cruise along Suzhou’s grand-canal. Ranking alongside the Great Wall as China’s greatest engineering achievement the canal is the longest man-made waterway in the world and the view from the deck will remind you that this is the original source of the ‘sea’ Silk Road.Next, a visit to the well-reputed 80yr old No.1 Silk Factory, take the chance to witness the technical processes involved in silk manufacture - From silkworm raising and cocoon sorting, to silk reeling, rewinding and packing.
After stopping for lunch in a local restaurant visit the beautiful and tranquil Garden of the Humble Administrator. This garden best represents Chinese classical gardens, and was constructed in the Ming dynasty. Comprising of ponds, pavilions, terraces, chambers, and towers and divided into three parts with the largest being the most famous. A pleasure to visit, even for those without green-fingers, it is an opportunity to relax and revel in the natural beauty of this beautiful park. Don't miss the Garden Museum - actually don't miss any of these lovely places!