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Quick Facts

Get up to speed about the region

Suzhou, known as the “Venice of the East,” has more than 2,500 years of rich history and is the gateway to many sites of historical interest. The city’s canals, pagodas and meticulously designed gardens have contributed to its status as one of the main tourist centres in China. The classical gardens of Canglang Pavilion, Lion Grove Garden, the Humble Administrator’s Garden and Lingering Garden have deservingly been recognized as UNESCO World Heritage sites.

In addition to Suzhou’s traditional culture and art, the city has enthusiastically embraced modernity, providing a wealth of high-tech business-friendly amenities, supported by modern infrastructure. Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP), where Shangri-La Hotel, Suzhou Yuanqu is located, has become a successful model of modern city development.

Visas

All international travellers require a visa. Bruneian, Japanese and Singaporean passport holders can enjoy access to mainland China without visa for up to 15 days.

Many Chinese embassies and consulates can issue standard 30-day, single-entry visas within 3 to 5 working days. These visas must be used within 3 months from the date of issue. Long-term visas are often difficult to obtain.

For further details, consult your travel agent, China International Travel Service, China Travel Service or any Chinese embassy or consulate.

View visa requirements from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China


Currency

The Chinese currency is known as Chinese Yuan (CNY). Credit cards are accepted at major hotels and shopping malls.

Here are the most recent exchange rates for some common currencies.

RMB 1.00 equals:

Exchange Rates Currency
1 Chinese Yuan Renminbi (RMB)

Taxes

All hotel services, such as accommodation, food and beverage and spa treatments, plus relevant service charges, will be subject to tax at the prevailing rates.


Tipping

Many high-end restaurants include a service charge, which varies between establishments. Officially, tipping is considered inappropriate and is discouraged.


Business Hours

Bank Hours 

9am – 5pm, Monday through Friday

Some banks are also open on weekends.

Office Hours 

9am – 5.30pm Monday through Friday

Shopping Hours 

Department stores are open from 10am to 10pm every day.

Opening hours may vary.


Public Health

Visitors entering China are required to complete a health declaration form. Check with your local doctor or healthcare professional about vaccination requirements before you plan your trip.

We do not recommend drinking water from the tap. Bottled drinking water is available in every hotel room.


Dress

Casual attire is encouraged in Suzhou except on social, diplomatic or government occasions, when a suit and tie are appropriate.

Winter requires heavy clothing, including coats, hats, and gloves, as temperatures can drop below freezing with strong winds. Light clothing is appropriate for spring and summer.


Weather

Suzhou has a temperate climate with 4 distinct seasons. Mid-winter temperatures can drop below freezing. Spring (March to mid-May) and autumn (late September to mid-November) are the ideal times to visit. In the summer, expect hot and humid weather with temperatures as high as 40°C in July and August.

Local Climate
Month High Low
Jan 8ºC 1ºC
Feb 9ºC 2ºC
Mar 13ºC 5ºC
Apr 19ºC 11ºC
May 24ºC 16ºC
Jun 27ºC 20ºC
Jul 32ºC 25ºC
Aug 32ºC 25ºC
Sep 27ºC 21ºC
Oct 22ºC 15ºC
Nov 17ºC 9ºC
Dec 11ºC 2ºC
Facts

Population
10.7 million

Language
Mandarin

Time Zone
GMT +8 hours

Measures
Metric System

Plug Type
 

Mobile Phones
GSM 900/1800/1900