Located in the middle of the Yangtze Delta on the Grand Canal just west of Shanghai, Suzhou is noted for its classical gardens and traditional handicrafts (silk embroidery and tapestry, mahogany furniture, regional pottery, etc.). When Marco Polo visited Suzhou in the 13th century, he called it the beautiful city of 6,000 bridges. Westerners have often called it the “Oriental Venice” because of the canal system and bridges still evident in the old city. Of the more than 100 magnificent gardens in Suzhou originally created by retired officials or literati, a dozen are now open to visitors.
Visit the Garden of the Humble Administrator, a classical Ming garden with a pool patterned with islands and bridges. Suzhou’s gardens represent a physical embodiment of concepts contained in the traditional view of Chinese landscape painting that have been practiced in various forms for over a thousand years. Indeed, as we wander through the garden, we will examine the philosophic concepts and ideas of Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism, the romance of ancient painting, prose and poetry that had such a direct influence on the garden’s creators. Take a leisure walk along Pingjiang road, which because of its ancient style has become the symbol of Suzhou.
The next day explore Tongli Water town, established in the Song Dynasty with a history over 1,000 years. After lunch at a local restaurant, transfer to Nanjing and visit the Confucius Temple. Confucius taught philosophy in China 2,500 years ago and is considered the most important figure in shaping of ancient Chinese civilization. On the final day, visit two historic sites in Nanjing, the Mausoleum of Dr. Sun Yat-Sen, respected as the father of modern China, and the Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall, before transferring back to Shanghai.
“…the inner city of Suzhou has preserved much of its character of an earlier time.” – Sp’15 Voyager
- Transfer to Suzhou (~2 hours)
- Visit Humble Administrator’s Garden, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Take a relaxing Canal Cruise
- After lunch at a local restaurant, walk along Pingjiang Road
- Spend the morning exploring Tongli Water Town, a quaint water village near Suzhou
- Transfer to Nanjing in the afternoon
- Visit Confucius Temple and Qinhuai River
- In the morning visit the Mausoleum of Dr. Sun Yat-Sen, respected at Father of Modern China
- Visit the Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall
- Transfer back to Shanghai and arrive at the ship
2 hours driving from Shanghai to Suzhou
3 hours driving from Suzhou to Nanjing
4 hours driving from Nanjing to Shanghai