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City profile

Located in the southeast of Jiangsu Province, Suzhou is a historical city lies in the center of Yangtze Delta. The city is widely known for its classic gardens, canals, silks, lakes, operas, legends and museums.

In 1997, the Classical Gardens of Suzhou were declared as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Today, Suzhou has become a core city of China's Yangtze River Delta economic zone, given its high GDP contribution to China. More recently, it has been a silk trade center.

Gardens and canals in Suzhou enjoy nationwide reputation, Suzhou's ancient heritages, like beautiful gardens and courtyard parks, have been preserved. This ambitious city, however, is not going to trade upon its past in order to meet the future. Wandering into the old neighborhoods is a pleasant experience.

So come prepared to feel a bit betrayed by the guidebooks singing the praises of a quaint thousand year old city. On XiBei Road thoroughfare, every other storefront advertised foot massages. It seems that half the city are masseur/masseuses and the other half are potential clients.

At the same time, Suzhou has grown into a major center of joint-venture high-tech manufacturing and currently boasts one of the hottest economies in the world. It is the world's largest single producer of laptop computers. The Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP) in the east, and the Suzhou New District (SND) in the west, are home to factories from numerous North American, European, East Asian, and Australian companies.

Major industrial products include microchips, flash memory systems, electronics, computer equipment, telecommunications components, power tools, speciality chemicals and materials, automotive components, pharmaceuticals, and much more. This makes for a sense of stark contrasts, the outskirts of town were farmland just ten years ago. Now there are four lane highways connecting the city to Shanghai.

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Kunqu(also called Kunju Opera)has a history of 400 years and is called the Mother of Chinese Opera. It was named by UNESCO on May 18th of the year 2001 as a"representative work of human being's oral and non-substantial heritage". Ballad Singing is an art of talking and singing in Suzhou dialect,and has spread as a popular form of entertainment across Jiangsu,Zhejiang,and Shanghai for over 300 years. The local arts and crafts in Suzhou have long been famous all over the world.
As an ancient town with more than 1000 years history and very convenient transportation,Tongli features typically the water county of South China. In 1981 and 1982 Tongli was ratified as one of the thirteen national standard tour towns of Taihu Lake region and the sole provincial standard cultural relic protection town of Jiangsu Province successively,and was ratified as the first batch of famous historical and cultural town of Jiangsu Province in 1995.Now,there are many imposing dwellings and spacious courtyards and building of the Ming and Qing Dynasties and 35 cultural relic protection spots in Tongli.
Each course is individually prepared and the emphasis is on the use of quality ingredients and attention to detail meaning the dishes are all unique in color,aroma,shape and taste. There are many signature dishes of Suzhou that make up a formal banquet Suzhou style and which are renowned throughout China. The second dish of a typical Suzhou banquet is Whitebait Soup. In addition to these formal banquet dishes,Suzhou also has food from Taihu Lake with a difference. There are now 13 magnificent boat restaurants along the fishing harbor offering wide varieties of fresh seafood.