The Beauty of Jiangsu Sisters – Wuxi & Suzhou
The modern day Wuxi
was often a city the warring kingdoms of ancient Qin Dynasty were fighting over because of a valuable metal – tin. After years of excavation, the town was stripped of its tin and the locals finally got the peace – Wuxi, no tin. Wuxi is known for its quiet charm and is located just an hour away by the high-speed rail from Shanghai, the more famous destination with tourists.
Arriving at Wuxi, the city looks likes the typical second tier city with a concrete jungle filled with commercial and residential buildings.
Tucked away from the hustle bustle, located northwest of Lake Taihu, lies Taihu Yuantouzhu (太湖鼋头渚) ‘Turtle Head Isle’. We are particularly in awe of this scenic beauty – path dotted willow trees, rocks and pavilions.
For those who appreciate the beauty of Sakura Blossoms, the best time to visit Tai Hu Chang Chun Bridge (太湖长春桥) will be the start of spring (15 March to mid April) when it is at its full bloom.
At the end of summer, in August and September, the water will be filled with water lilies and would be the best time to have some tea and enjoy the quiet moment.
Mount Lingshan Grand Buddha (灵山大佛)
is one the 5 famous Buddhas in Asia. Standing at 88m, it is located at the southwest tip of Wuxi. Famous for the standing Buddha, it sees many visitors paying tribute and giving offerings and incense at the main hall.
Nanchang Street （南长街) – dessert cafes and sports bar with live music line the canal, making it a perfect a nightspot to enjoy a quiet drink after a Chinese dinner.
No visit to Wuxi would be complete without visiting Huishan ancient town (惠山古镇) to explore the ancestral halls along the canal.
Click HERE to see more Wuxi pictures.
Known for its beauty and its modernity, Suzhou will continue to surprise us.
Visiting one of Four Great Gardens in Suzhou, the Lion Grove Garden (狮子林) is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Lion Grove Garden was built in 1342 A.D. and was originally the site of a Zen Buddhist temple.
The garden has a significant importance in history where the Qing emperors Kang Xi and Qian Long visited the garden on many occasions and later had the replicas of the garden built in Yuan Ming Palace in Beijing and Summer Mountain Resort in Chengde, bringing the art of classical gardens of the Yangtze River to North China, which further developed the techniques of the royal garden creation.
Penmen (盘门) is a historical landmark in Suzhou and is known in China for its architecture. It is known for the “three landmarks of Pan Gate”. They are the Ruiguang Pagoda, the earliest pagoda in Suzhou built in 247, the Wu Gate Bridge, the entrance to the gate at that time over the water passage and the highest bridge in Suzhou at the time, and Pan Gate. Pan Gate is part of the ancient city wall built in 514 BCE that surrounded and protected Suzhou, it was the only entrance to the wall that surrounded ancient Suzhou.
Overlooking Suzhou city across the largest inland lake in China, the Jinji Lake Scenic Area (金鸡湖风景区) is a popular gathering place for visitors.
Hanshan Temple (寒山寺) is a Buddhist temple and monastery. On New Year’s Eve every year, the bell in the tower is tolled for 108 times to pray for the happiness and safety of the coming New Year. After the ceremony, visitors can write their New Year wishes on the prayer wall and enjoy a fantasitc show. This festival attracts thousands of tourists both at home and abroad.
Shangtang Street (上塘街), regarded as China’s Number One Ancient Street (as suggested by the name). Many of the shops and structures here have witnessed the passing of time since Tang Dynasty. Preserving the heritage, the modern tea houses and cafes operate out of these shops, you will also find many souvenirs to buy back for friends and loved ones at home.
Like their neighbour Shanghai, a first tier city, Wuxi and Suzhou have their charms and are beautiful, definitely worth visiting. Click HERE to see more pictures.
How to get there
Tigerair Flies to Wuxi 4 times a week now – Tuesday, Thursday, saturday and Sunday.
Please visit Tigerair.com for more information.