From embroidered silks to sandalwood fans and a type of green tea called Biluochun, Suzhou has a number of locally produced goods well worth taking home. Our cheat sheet includes tips on where to find them.
For Chinese Silks: Though silk is available at countless shops around Suzhou, particularly in the old town, head to the Suzhou Embroidery Research Institute for exceptionally high quality silks—and visitors can watch local artisans make them here, as well. Be sure to see the Mountain Villa with Embracing Beauty garden while you’re there.
For Food: The retail areas of Guanqian and Pingjiang roads in old town are good places to snack on local specialties and to find some packaged take-home treats. Guests at Ascott Midtown Suzhou can take advantage of a personal grocery shopping service, as well.
For Global Brands: Though street markets carry plenty of knock-off fashion, head to one of Suzhou’s major malls to find the real thing. Armani, Kate Spade, and Gucci are among the notable international fashion brands at Suzhou Village, located at the Suzhou Industrial Park. InCity Plaza, also in SIP, is another popular mall focused on such mid-range brands as H&M and Uniqlo. Both malls have international supermarkets, too.
For Souvenirs: Running alongside a tranquil canal in the middle of old town, Pingjiang Road is a short, cobbled street lined with lovely cafés, teahouses, and boutiques selling local handicrafts, silks, teas, and other perfect souvenirs. It’s particularly fetching at night.