Speaking purely in terms of history, Suzhou has always been synonymous to elegance and high culture. This also justifies why generations of writers, artists, scholars and high society in China have been driven by the exquisite forms of art and the delicate beauty of the gardens.
Like the other modern Chinese towns, unfortunately Suzhou has undergone way too much destruction of its heritage which has seen replacement only in the form of large arbitrary chunks of modern architecture.
Having said that, Suzhou has still managed to retain sufficient pockets of charm to warrant a minimum of two or three days’ exploration either on foot or via bike. More so the gardens which are the principal tourist attraction of Suzhou are a symphonic amalgam of water, trees, rocks and pavilion which reflects the Chinese appreciation of harmony and balance. Adding to the potential charm of the city are the magnificent museums, humpbacked bridges, surviving canal scenes and pagodas. The gardens here in particular are flocked by people, both locals and tourists, during the weekend, so it is better if you could avoid visiting them on weekends or public holidays, if possible.