Suzhou

Things to see and do Suzhou Jiangsu Province China
Canal street just off Shantang Street, Suzhou. December 2018.

Life in China as an expat can be tough, make no mistake. But for me.. as a veteran of sorts… most of the associated frustrations and challenges are like water off a duck’s back, I’ve become somewhat numb to it. The one time of year that is still really difficult for me is Christmas. I just want to be home with the people who know me best and to indulge in all those childhood treats that my vagabond lifestyle denies me. Unfortunately for Christmas 2018 I couldn’t get back to The UK so I did as best I could under the circumstances by booking a five-day trip away from Ruian, the nondescript Chinese city I live in. 

With the scope of reachable places I haven’t already been to rapidly closing in on me, the highly-rated city of Suzhou stood out as an obvious choice. Affectionately nicknamed “the Venice of China”, this buzzing metropolis on the edge of Shanghai is home to a major section of the country’s Grand Canal and is the gateway to a fascinating collection of handsome water towns. It also has some of China’s best preserved gardens, traditional shopping streets and a hugely impressive ancient, stone arch bridge among countless other delights.

Humble Administrator's Garden Suzhou Jiangsu Province China

To find out how I distracted myself from the disappointment of yet another Christmas away from home, check out my articles on:

Humble Administrator’s Garden Part I

Humble Administrator’s Garden Part II

Pin Von Restaurant

Pingjiang Road Part I

Pingjiang Road Part II

Pishi Street

Precious Belt Bridge

Shantang Street

Suzhou Canal Cruise

Suzhou Museum

Tonggui Bridge 

Leighton Literature travel reports short stories travel blogger