Suzhou Map & Geography
Flanked by droves of meandering waterways and breathtaking gardens, the 2,500-year-old city of Suzhou is located along the southeastern edge of Jiangsu Province in eastern China. Suzhou is bordered by the Yangtze River in the north, Shanghai to its east, Zhejiang Province to its south and Lake Taihu in the west.
Distance from Suzhou to:
|Wuxi||29 miles||46 km|
|Shanghai||70 miles||112 km|
|Hangzhou||76 miles||122 km|
|Nanjing||139 miles||224 km|
|Taipai||436 miles||703 km|
|Hong Kong||736 miles||1,186 km|
|Beijing||738 miles||1,189 km|
|Chengdu||1,176 miles||1,893 km|
Known as the “Venice of the East,” Suzhou indisputably lives up to its canal-city name. Resting 13 feet (4 m) above sea level, almost half of the 3,276-square-mile (8,488-sq-km) city of Suzhou is covered by water — 42.5 percent to be exact — making it a top-ranking, water-rich Chinese destination.
Taihu Lake, nestled in southwestern Suzhou, covers a vast area of 902 square miles (2,336 sq km), making it China’s third largest body of fresh water. The Yangtze River, the largest river in China and one of the most spectacular rivers in the world, runs along Suzhou’s northernmost boundary and empties into the East China Sea. Another main waterway — the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal — holds the title of longest canal in the world. This UNESCO World Heritage Site flows from north to south and remains a vital trade route and popular tourist attraction.
Suzhou’s immense expanses of water bless the area with ideal conditions for growing, fishing and farming. More than 712,058 acres (288,160 hectares) within Suzhou’s boundaries are used for cultivation. Fifty-five percent of Suzhou’s landscape is made up of gently sloping, low-lying plains, while a mere 2.7 percent of the land is graced by mountainous terrain.
Suzhou is divided into ten sections — six districts and four county-level (satellite) cities. The districts surround the old town and city center, while the cities line the outer edge of Suzhou. All sections are located within Suzhou’s jurisdiction and abound with culture, festivals and attractions.
The Wujiang District, positioned on the southeastern bank of Taihu Lake, is home to the thousand-year-old water town of Tongli, famous for hundreds of well-preserved gardens, temples and mansions.
The Wuzhong District is located along southern edge of Suzhou’s old town and the eastern shore of Taihu Lake. Adding to the district’s lure are the scenic zones of West Hill, East Hill and Guangfu, along with Qionglong Mountain and the charming water town of Luzhi.
The District of Xiangcheng lies just north of Suzhou’s two industrial zones. This district is home to the 1,200-year-old Huang Luo Temple and one of the largest collections of lotus flowers at the Lotus Pond in Moonlight Wetland Garden.
Moving towards the city center is the Gusu District. Formerly the Pingjiang, Canglang and Jinchang districts, this newly merged district is famed for its rich roster of culture. From the Silk Museum and Humble Administrator’s Garden to the Hanshan Temple and the Lingering Garden, this district is home to an incredible wealth of Suzhou’s delicate history dating back thousands of years.
It's all fun and games at Suzhou Industrial Park District. Identified as SIP, this district (or zone) is home to Suzhou Ferris Wheel Park, an amusement park with a bevy of thrill rides, among them Asia’s largest Ferris wheel, which overlooks scenic Jinji Lake.
Attracting major industries and tech-savvy crowds is the Suzhou Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone, shortened to Suzhou New District. A vast contrast from the historical relics that surround it, SND is an up-and-coming ultramodern oasis. When development completes, the zone will feature soaring architecture, verdant gardens and tree-lined parks.
Changsu City, one of Suzhou’s four county-level cities, sits northeast of the Yangtze River. Among its natural wonders are the Shanghu Lake Scenic Zone — home to 63 species of birds — and the Shajiabang Reed Marsh Scenic Zone on Kuncheng Lake.
Neighboring Kunshan City is best known for Zhouzhuang, a landmark water town that dates back to the Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties. Visitors enjoy exploring the area by way of boat, with its winding canals, elegant stone bridges and magnificent architecture, all enriched by more than 900 years of history.
Taicang City is Suzhou’s westernmost city, bordering the Yangtze River in the east and Shanghai in the south. At 2,400 years young, this countryside locale is often frequented for its fresh, local fare and elegant South Garden.
Suzhou’s northernmost county-level city, Zhangjiagang City, is a hotspot for international cuisine, a thriving nightlife, shopping along Walking Street and more.
Featured Tour Packages
15-Days : Mandarin Sunrise
Travel a full circle in China over 15 days, discovering temples, tombs, palaces and cities along the way on this amazing adventure. Start in Beijing, travel to the Terracotta Warriors in Xi'an, take a city tour of Shanghai, and enjoy a cruise on the Grand Canal in Suzhou.
8-Days : Eastern China Private Tour: Shanghai, Suzhou, Hangzhou and Huangshan
From Shanghai, make a day excursion to Suzhou and admire waterfront views on a boat ride on the Grand Canal. Then, visit one of the largest and most renowned classical gardens in Suzhou – the Humble Administrator’s Garden. Explore its natural landscape and marvel at the Ming Style temples, pavilions and bridges. To end the day see the Pan Men (Coiled Gate), which is Suzhou’s only remaining city gate.
8 Night: Private China Classic Tour
Popular choice for most first time visitors to see the Great Wall in Beijing, Terracotta Warriors in Xian, modern Shanghai and beautiful gardens of Suzhou.
Humble Administrator’s Garden is one of China’s finest, the centerpiece of a UNESCO World Heritage Site that comprises nine classical Suzhou gardens. Visitors during spring and summer may attend the azalea or lotus festival. Adjacent, the Suzhou Museum is the latest masterpiece of China’s most famous architect, I.M. Pei. For transportation, take tourist buses No.1, 2 or 5.
Traveling with children? Don't miss the Suzhou Amusement Park at Junji Lake with zipline ride, a dancing water fountain show on weekends and one of the world's tallest Ferris Wheels. The 60 cabins carrying a total of 300 passengers take 20 minutes per rotation, providing great views of the lake and the Suzhou skyline.
Currency in Suzhou, and throughout China, is abbreviated as CNY for Chinese Yen or as RMB for Renminbi. Along with 13 other major currencies, US dollars can be exchanged at all the outlets of the state banks of China at the same rate. Bring a passport to make any transaction.
Known as the "Silk Capital of the World", those keen to see silkworms in action can be guided through the process from mulberry leaves to finished product at Suzhou No. 1 Silk Mill. The region's temperate, subtropical zone that's ideal for deciduous mulberry trees has supported 5,000 years of silk cultivation.
Picturesque canals, stone bridges, temples, gardens and pagodas make the ancient city of Suzhou one of China's top tourism destinations. Calligraphy carved onto Tiger Hill rocks indicate that it has attracted visitors for thousands of years. A Song Dynasty poet, Su Shi, said, "It is a lifelong pity if having visited Suzhou you did not visit Tiger Hill."
In Suzhou, the regional Chinese language is called Wu, the subgroup is called Taihu, and the local dialect, one of nine, is known as Suzhounese, considered one of the most elegant, flowing in all of China. Most people are bilingual in Mandarin used in schools, because Suzhounese is not mutually intelligible with either Mandarin or Cantonese.
Atop Tiger Hill, the Yunyan Pagoda, nicknamed the Leaning Tower of China, stands as a symbol of Suzhou. Completed during the Song Dynasty in the year 961, the 1,000-year-old pagoda is taller than the Leaning Tower of Pisa and has become a symbol of Suzhou. The 3-degree tilt means that since 2010, visitors are no longer permitted entry.
Visit an authentic Buddhist monastery and temple just 3 miles west Suzhou old town. The temple has been well-known since the Tang Dynasty of the 7th and 8th centuries. Take bus No. 3, 6, 9, 17, 21, 31, 301 or Y3 and get off at Fengqaio Station.
Suzhou Railway Station, one of China's busiest, dates back to 1906. Now throughly modernized, the fast train connection with a design speed of 217 miles per hour covers the 52 miles to Shanghai in a journey of only a 24 minutes.
One of the best ways to tour the "Venice of the East" is from a front row seat on a hand-steered canal boat. Afterwards, stop into 130-year-old Pin Von Teahouse for exotic teas served in private booths on the second floor. It overlooks Pingjiang Lu, an 800-year-old lively pedestrian street, one of China's "National Historic and Cultural Streets."