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Often described as “The Paradise on Earth”, Suzhou is a bustling city that is famed for its spectacular gardens. Located in the centre of the Yangtze Delta, it is praised for its immeasurable number of streams and ponds, which resulted in the city being identified as “The Oriental Venice”. These picturesque lakes add a sense of serenity to the city, which blends flawlessly with its liveliness to create an idyllic destination for the discerning traveller. Visitors are able to explore the best of both worlds, from its plethora of exquisite gardens to the hustle and bustle of its commercial centre in Guanqian Jie.
One feature that can be palpably seen when strolling around the streets of Suzhou is its ancient architecture, displaying the city’s unfathomable importance on heritage and culture. Displaying exceptional characteristics of the past is the West Garden Temple, which retains its original allure and appeal. Preserved with great prudence, its lingering charm is evident as one enters its magnificent premise, displaying splendid statues and impressive halls. The most popular sculpture is Avalokitesvara with One Thousand Hands, carved in scented camphor wood.
Built during the Yuan Dynasty, the West Garden is indubitably one of the main highlights when visiting the temple. Enveloped by lush greenery, cleansed by the calm breeze, the garden has a scenic pond that holds great significance to Buddhist worshippers. The beautifully landscaped pond is home to a myriad of fish species, along with soft-shelled turtles, first bred in these ponds during the Ming Dynasty.
For the traveller in search of a well-appointed serviced apartment in Suzhou, an ideal option would be residing at the contemporary Citadines Xinghai Suzhou, strategically located in close proximity to the city’s major attractions.