Heaven on Earth
“In heaven, paradise; on earth, Suzhou and Hangzhou”, goes an old Chinese saying. Italian explorer Marco Polo, who supposedly visited Hangzhou in the late 13th century, described the city as the finest and most luxurious in the world. In his book, Marco Polo records that the city was “greater than any in the world”. In the modern-day, which China has emerged as a fast-growing economy, a climate of calm and tranquility still dominates the city of nine million people. It still retains its natural beauty and historical and cultural heritage.
1 hour away by highspeed train is Suzhou, which was synonymous with high culture and elegance historically. Generations of Chinese artists, scholars, writers and high society were drawn to its exquisite art forms and the delicate beauty of its gardens.
Suzhou Gardens and
Hangzhou West Lake
Dating from the 11th-19th century, the Suzhou gardens reflect the profound metaphysical importance of natural beauty in Chinese culture in their meticulous design.The West Lake Cultural Landscape of Hangzhou, comprising the West Lake and the hills surrounding its three sides, has inspired famous poets, scholars and artists since the 9th century. It comprises numerous temples, pagodas, pavilions, gardens and ornamental trees, as well as causeways and artificial islands.
Thanks to its numerous mountains, hills, rivers, and lakes, Hangzhou and Suzhou are characterized as examples of beautiful urban landscapes with unique Eastern flavor.They not only shine thanks to millennia-old landscapes and artistic conceptions, but continues sparkling because of careful maintenance, broad civility and warm humanity
Intangible Cultural Heritages
Suzhou and Hangzhou are considered two cities with the most abundant intangible cultural heritages in China, including Kunqu Opera , Suzhou Embroidery, Fan Making Technic, Chinese Seal Engraving, Oild Paper Umbrella Making, and tea making, etc. The heritages are the direct sources of our cultural experience in the destinations.
Venice of the East
The area of Suzhou and Hangzhou is known as the Venice of the East with water towns surrounded, which are renowned for their pretty whitewashed houses, arched stone bridges, and bustling canal-side streets. Locals in many of these water towns still maintain their waterside lifestyles, using the Yangzi's offshoot rivers and manmade canals to wash clothes, catch food and for transportation.