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Hangzhou VS Suzhou, Which Is Better to Visit

Hangzhou and Suzhou are praised as HEAVEN UNDER EARTH, which totally tells their beautiful sceneries has won so many loves. I guess that is why you want to have a tour plan to this two beautiful places, but limited by tour days, you are thinking about choosing one over another. Now let me help you discovery this two cities, and make your choices.


Table of Hangzhou VS Suzhou

(Above picture/Hangzhou City View)

  Hangzhou Suzhou
Best place to visit West Lake Humble Administrator's Garden
Attractions Lingyin Temple, Feilai Peak, Nanxun Water Town Hanshan Temple, Tiger Hill, Zhouzhuang Water Town
Show Impression West Lake Show  
Silk Hangzhou Silk, China National Silk Museum Suzhou Silk, Suzhou Embroidery Musuem, Suzhou Silk Factory
Tea Longjing Tea, China National Tea Museum, Meijiawu Tea Village Biluochun Tea
Distance from Shanghai 120 km, about 50 mins by high speed train 90 km, about 30 mins by high speed train



Choose Hangzhou Over Suzhou

West Lake
(Above picture/ West Lake)

Top reasons for your pick of Hangzhou as tour destination:

1. Hangzhou West Lake, a beautiful place and a relaxing place for all of you.

2. If you are a photographer, or liker of taking photos, or interested in natural sceneries, Hangzhou won’t let you down.

3. If you like drink green tea, Hangzhou has Longjing Tea to cater your taste. Hangzhou also has China National Tea Museum an Meijiawu Tea Village for you to know more about Chinese tea.

4. If you are a concertgoer and a fan of live performances, Impression West Lake Show is tailor-made to you.

5. If you want to visit original China water town, Nanxun Water Town are good for you.

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Choose Suzhou Over Hangzhou

Humble Administrator's Garden
( Above picture/ Humble Administrator's Garden in Winter)

1. Suzhou would be your favorite in the following situations:

2. You have great interest in Classic Chinese Garden, and Suzhou has 6 famous ancient gardens for you to learn, especially Humble Administrator’s Garden.

3. You are desired to visit the most famous water towns in China, Zhouzhuang Water Town and Tongli Water Town. This two water towns not only have great village sceneries but also have night live performances for tourists.

4. You are a big fan of Suzhou Silk and Suzhou Embroidery(Su Xiu or Su Xiu Embroidery), and you could visit Silk Factory in Suzhou and Suzhou Embroidery Museum.

5. If you are in a winter vacation, Suzhou is definitelly recommended to you, because Suzhou gardens are gorgeous when they are covered by snow.

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Hangzhou Ace Card: West Lake in Hangzhou

West Lake
(Above picture/ Hangzhou West Lake)

In Hangzhou, we have to say West Lake, it is the highlight of Hangzhou highlights. West Lake is not just a lake, but a huge lakes circled by mountains in three sides, itself circles islets. West Lake as a famous landmark in Hangzhou, it has a history of thousands of years, and has splendid buildings in scattering here and there. In West Lake, you could have a relaxing bike tour, have a slow walk along the causeways, take a boat in the lake, and watch The Impression of West Lake Show at night.

Lingyin Temple
(Above picture/ Hangzhou Lingying Temple)

Except West Lake, we also recommend Lingyin Temple, Six Harmonies Pagoda, Feilai Peak, China National Tea Museum, Meijiawu Tea Village, Nanxun Water Town, Wuzhen Water Town, and Xitang Water Town. Among those water towns,  Nanxun is less trodden, and more original, and it would be a good choice.

More Readings: Hangzhou Attractions


Suzhou Ace Card: Ancient Gardens, Classic Chinese Gardens

Humble administrator's garden
(Above picture/ Humble Administrator's Garden)

Suzhou is a hub of Classic Chinese Gardens, where you could find several beautiful gardens under well preservation, Lingering Garden, Lion Grove Garden, Master of Nets Garden, Couples’ Retreat Garden, Surging Waves Pavilion and the most famous one- Humble Administrator’s Garden. Humble Administrator’s Garden is a must visit place, as one of the Four Gardens in China, it has great value in Garden Building and Chinese culture. In America, you may have seen Chinese garden in a museum, but it is just a copy, why do not see the real one? For your in-depth understanding of ancient Chinese garden, there is a garden museum telling details.

zhouzhuang water town
(Above picture/ Zhouzhuang Water Town)

Other attractions worthy of visiting are Hanshan Temple, Panmen Gate, Tiger Hill, Tongli Water Town, Zhouzhuang Water Town, Luzhi Water Town. For  so many gardens, Humble Administrators’ Garden and Garden Museum are highly recommended to you, if you have great interests in Chinese garden, you may visit others too. For water towns in Suzhou, Tongli and Zhouzhuang Water Towns are very famous, and the latter are much more well-trodden.

More Readings: Suzhou Attractions


Big Victory to Hangzhou: Impression West Lake Show

Impression West Lake Show is an amazing live performance, and a sentimental outdoor concert of sings, dances, and acts. This Spectacular Show has underwater stages, beautiful dancing, fantastic music, wonderful combination of lights and colors, and professional actors and actresses, and it is totally worthy of watching.

Impression West Lake Show in the beginning was made for G20 Summit in 2016, then it became a visual feast to tourists and visitors. Impression West Lake Show acts out Hangzhou folktales and legends, and displays West Lake natural scenery and Hangzhou history and culture.


Water Towns: Nanxun Water Town Is Not Well-trodden

Nanxun Water Town
(Above picture/ Nanxun Water Town)

In south China, water towns are similar to each other, and you won’t regret missing the other. Famous water towns are Tongli and Zhouzhuang Water Towns in Suzhou, Wuzhen and Xitang Water Towns in Hangzhou.

Picking one water town is enough, and not well trodden water towns are better for your sightseeing. Nanxun Water Town seems to be a nice choice, where you could original water town, and see how local people live.

Tongli Water Town and Zhouzhuang Water Town both have night live performances for tourists, water town performances would be brand-new and amazing to you.


Chinese Tea: Longjing Tea in Hangzhou, Biluochun Tea in Suzhou

Chinese green tea enjoys a great in the world, and Longjing Tea and Biluochun Tea are two kinds of green tea, popular to tea-drinkers. Longjing Tea and Biluochun Tea both have been planted in China for over 1,000 years, and I can’t tell which one is better in taste, because it is totally personal preference.

Meijiawu Tea Village
(Above picture/ Meijiawu Tea Village)

In Hangzhou, you could go to China National Tea Museum to know more about Chinese tea, its variety, history, tea culture, and how to plant and make tea. Another Recommendation is Meijiawu Tea Village, where you could see a vast field of tea trees, and see how tea is picked and processed.


Chinese Silk: Hangzhou Silk & Suzhou Silk Both Are Great

Hangzhou Silk and Suzhou Silk are in world class, and have big names in the world. Whether you want to buy high-end, tailor-made silk, or wholesale silk for business, Hangzhou and Suzhou are your best choices. In Hangzhou and Suzhou, you could numerous silk stores as many as tea stores.

Suzhou embroidery
(Above picture/ Suzhou embroidery)

Silk is exported to western countries through the Silk Road in the beginning, and it has become popular goods to westerners. Hangzhou Silk and Suzhou Silk have thousands of years in China. In Hangzhou, you could go to China National Silk Museum where you could easily get known everything about Silk, while in Suzhou, there is a silk factory available.


How to Go: High Speed Train to Hangzhou & Suzhou from Shanghai

Hangzhou and Suzhou are close to Shanghai, and most tourists go to Hangzhou or Suzhou from Shanghai. If you do not come to Hangzhou from Shanghai, please take a  flight and land at Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport. If you do not come to Suzhou form Shanghai, you may take train to Suzhou, or go to Shanghai or Nanjing first by flight.

Hangzhou is 180 km from Shanghai,  and it takes about 50 minutes from Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station to Hangzhou East Railway Station.

Suzhou is 90 km from Shanghai, and it takes about 30 minutes from Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station to Suzhou Railway Station.

map of Shanghai, Suzhou and Hangzhou
(Above picture/Map of Shanghai, Suzhou and Hangzhou)

Click here to see Hangzhou on map, Suzhou on map China City Map in English


enlightenedRelated Readings:

Top Reasons to Visit Hangzhou

Top Reasons to Visit Suzhou

Beijing VS Shanghai, Which One to Visit

Hong Kong VS Shanghai, Which One to Visit

Zhangjiajie or Guilin, Which City Do You Prefer to Visit

Chengdu VS Chongqing, Which One to Visit


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