Explore the lifestyles, traditions and scenic natural beauty that have shaped the lives of Suzhou's people for centuries during a full-day tour of this ancient town.
Depart the pier for the scenic, 2-hour drive through the countryside to Suzhou, a picturesque 5th-century town highlighted by verdant gardens and orchards. Upon arrival, you will proceed for a visit to the exquisite Garden of the Master of the Nets, the smallest but most impressive of the Suzhou residential gardens. Designed during the Song Dynasty (960 - 1279), the garden shows an impressive use of space, creating the illusion of being much larger than its actual size. The inner garden, which is approximately 660 square feet, has the distinction of being the model for the Ming Hall Garden at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
Next, you will proceed to the Silk Embroidery Research Institute to learn more about this region's important contribution to the silk and textile industry
After lunch at the Bamboo Grove Hotel, enjoy a boat ride on the Grand Canal which reveals the beauty of Suzhou - whitewashed houses with gray tile roofs, old stone bridges spanning a spider web of waterways, women washing clothes in the river, and children playing nearby. Your visit to Suzhou will conclude with a stop at Panmen Gate. With a history over 2,500 years, the gate remains as the only water and land gate still existing in China.
Following your visit, you will re-board your coach for the return drive to the pier and ship
Please note: The drive to and from Suzhou is approximately 2 hours in each direction. This tour involves approximately 2 1/2 hours of walking, and many steps along the way. This tour is not recommended for guests with limited mobility and guests who utilize a wheelchair.