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Historic Chinese City of Suzhou Featured in Article by BBC Travel

Suzhou Tourism Bureau
2015-11-23 19:08 1928

SUZHOU, China, Nov. 23, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- On November 16, 2015, BBC travel published an article about the enchanting Chinese city of Suzhou, which lies just 100 km to the west of Shanghai. Famous among Shanghainese as a place to escape the hustle and bustle of one of the world's biggest cities, the culture of Suzhou has had a significant influence on China's history. An extract from BBC travel journalist Eva Rammeloo's article follows:

"Founded in 514 BC by King Helu of the Kingdom of Wu, Suzhou is one of the oldest and most prosperous cities in southeast China. Its position between the Yangtze River in the north and Taihu Lake to the west meant that the city always had an abundant water supply, which fed the canals and classical gardens that Suzhou is world famous for.

"The first gardens were built in the 6th Century BC, but at the city's heyday (roughly from 1500 to 1700), Suzhou had more than 800 of these tranquil spots, designed by scholars to replicate the natural environment on a smaller scale. Today there are 60 left to explore, nine of which are recognised as Unesco World Heritage sites."

To read the full article visit, http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20151112-where-china-goes-to-relax

Similar to Suzhou, Chinese water towns like Zhouzhuang, Tongli, Mudu and Luzhi are noted for their profound cultural background, beautifully preserved ancient residential houses, elegant rivers and strong traditions and customs. A symphonic combination of rocks, water, trees and pavilions perfectly reflects the Chinese appreciation of balance and harmony.

Suzhou is also famous for the melodies of the Kun Opera and Pintan, which have spanned hundreds of years. In 2001, Kun Opera received the honour of being named one of UNESCO's Intangible Heritage arts and traditions of the world, recognising its significance and impact on international culture. The graceful and haunting voice and rhythm of Kun Opera or the distinctive performing skills consist of storytelling, loud laughter and music-playing, and singing of Pintan was favoured both by emperors and locals alike in the past.

To walk in the city's gardens and along its canals, watch a Kun Opera in the Kunqu Theatre or just to indulge in the serenity of an old water town is to truly appreciate the slow pace of Suzhou.

For more information about Suzhou, please visit http://www.bbc.com/travel/bespoke/specials/suzhou-city-of-classical-charms/index.html

Source: Suzhou Tourism Bureau
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