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Suzhou's must-see sites

By Fu Chao (China Daily) Updated: 2015-04-29 07:39

 Suzhou's must-see sites

The Suzhou Culture and Tourism Development Group operates waterway tours with eight boats.

Suzhou's ancient city moat, the Panmen Scenic Area and unique classical garden-style hotels are must-see sites for visitors to the city.

The moat stretches more than 15.5 kilometers around the ancient city, which was also known as Gusu centuries ago. One of the first things tourists often do in Suzhou is take a boat ride on the moat to enjoy the city's classical and modern beauty.

The Suzhou Culture and Tourism Development Group is the only State-owned company that operates waterway tours. The company has eight sightseeing boats, which have had famous visiting political figures aboard during their visits.

After disembarking from the boats, people can wander around the Panmen Scenic Area. The area is home to Suzhou's three best-known landmarks, Ruiguang Pagoda, Wumen Ancient Bridge and Land and Water Gate.

In 2014, China's Grand Canal, the longest artificial waterway in the world, was included on the World Heritage Sites list. The Suzhou part of the canal covers a range of cultural heritage sites including the Panmen Scenic Area.

With abundant cultural and natural resources, the scenic area is not only a tourist spot, but also an ideal venue for festivals and events.

The Blossom Hill Suzhou, a hotel inside an ancient building, is part of the Culture and Tourism Development Group's endeavor to renovate the plethora of old buildings in the city.

The hotel opened in November 2013 and offers high-quality service and the experience of living in ancient Suzhou.

The city wall museum, also one of the group-operated projects, showcases stories of the city wall during its 2,500-year history.

Suzhou also has a museum dedicated to zhuangyuan - scholars who achieved the best scores in the highest level of Chinese imperial examinations during ancient times. The city was renowned for its top scholars.

The museum is housed in an old garden renovated by the group and showcases relics related to the imperial examinations. It opened in November 2014 and is free of charge to visit.



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