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.