Suzhou, a city in Jiangsu province of China, famed for its beautiful gardens and waterside architecture is a haven for many artists. Renowned as a center of the silk trade with magnificent natural scenic has drawn many tourists to the “Venice of the East”.
The natives speak mostly Mandarin or dialect of Wu Chinese. English is not widely spoken; to enable better communication with taxi drivers, do ask the concierge at your hotel to write out the name of your destination in Chinese . Make sure to add your own notes so you know what the translation is.
Health and Safety:
The weather can be hot and muggy especially during summer time. Do hydrate with plenty of water and avoid tap water consumption in China. Due to the warm and humid environment, insect repellent is essential to prevent receiving “love bites” by the mosquitoes.
Take extra precautions to the belongings since the streets can be crowded and physical contact with strangers is unavoidable. It is a good practise to be wary of locals who approach you unsolicited as there are cases of scam artists.
Keep your cash exchange receipts to enjoy better conversion rates in comparison to currency conversion out of China. Tourists can convert up to half of the amount of Renminibi reflected on the cash exchange receipts prior leaving China.
Get your Visa ready:
To travel into China, most nationalities will require having their visas ready. Do consult with the respective embassy located in your nation on the required documents and duration. The usual recommendation to apply for visa is 1 – 2 months prior to the travel. It is not advisable to mention Tibet within the itinerary section of the visa application form.
For first entry into China, the usual validity of a tourist visa is 3 months from date of issue.
For a business or work related visa, you will need to have an invitation/ introduction letter from the business counterpart or Chinese firm to endorse the trip is business related.