what to eat
Steamed White Fish
White fish, as its name implies is white in colour and it is a good dish after it has been well prepared. The fish for the dish should be carefully selected, weighing around 0.5 kilogram (the best). The dish is usually prepared with shredded ginger with red and green pepper being delicately used. This dish has a good taste, pleasant texture and an aromatic smell.
Water Shield with Egg Flakes
The water shield is believed to help enrich people's blood, nourish the lungs, and relieve internal heat. The soup is made of water shield with added egg flakes. It is tasty
Songshu Guiyu (mandarin fish, stewed and fried)
which was praised by Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) is considered to be the ultimate Suzhou dish, and it is highly recommended that you try it during your visit.
what to buy
Suzhou embroidery, multi-colored and gorgeous, is regarded as a pearl of Chinese art. The vivid descriptions of animals, people, landscapes and flowers are popular themes of Su embroidery. Contemporary embroidery in Suzhou is blended with fashionable elements, yielding a unique style of embroidery that is popular all over the world.
Su Embroidery Museum
Suzhou jade carvings are well-known for their exquisite workmanship. There are two types: plain or three dimensional. The designs are made based on the different shapes of materials and fine carvings are done with appropriate skills.
Suzhou Jade Carving Department Store
Besides the function of cooling people down, Suzhou fan has another function of giving people a chance to appreciate the great charm of traditional Chinese culture. Well known for its long history and refining craftship, Suzhou fan is a kind of folding fan which attractes many experts to write poems and draw pictures on it. The "Old Fan Face", well-known for its fine, strong, even and endurable quality, is the best among all the Suzhou fans. The area of Peach blossom Shipyard of Changmen has been the centralized place for Suzhou fan ever since.
The marketplace of Sandalwood fan, Suzhou
Biluochun green tea is well-known for its smooth shape, fresh color, fragrant aroma and mellow taste. The best Biluochun tea leaves are usually picked during March and April, and the prepared tea leaves are curled like screws and covered with white fuzz. Production of authentic Biluochun tea is very limited, making it quite expensive and hard to find.
what to see in the evening
Kun opera (Pingtan)
Wearing Chinese traditional dresses, two singers sit on the stage narrating various stories while accompanied by two Chinese traditional string instruments- this is a typical scene from a Pingtan performance in various teahouses and theatres found in East China's Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Shanghai. Pingtan usually performs long stories, which are divided into many parts. One part is performed over the course of a day and the whole story telling may last for weeks. There are also some stories of medium length and shorter ones. Traditional tales often follow a historical theme with heroic and epic stories.
Suzhou is located in a subtropical monsoon zone, so the weather is mild and moist with four distinct seasons. It's best to visit Suzhou between January and April because the temperature is not too low and the flowers are in full bloom until June. The Plum Rain Season of June is followed by a hot July. After July, a harvest autumn arrives. Both the fresh fruits and the seafood will surely whet your appetite.