Wuxi is an old city, founded 2000 years ago. It can be an interesting place to visit with its network of canals and cobbled streets. The major attraction is TAI LAKE and THE GRAND CANAL. The canal passes right through the center of Wuxi. If you have already visited Hangzhou and Suzhou, you might want to skip the gardens here. In fact, while this city has charm, if your time in China is limited, this is the city to eliminate, because you can have the Grand Canal cruise in Suzhou.
PLUM GARDEN (MEI YUAN) and LI GARDEN: Each garden has its own charm, but neither is particularly memorable…especially after the gardens elsewhere.
XIHUI PARK: Here are the remains of Hui Shan Temple dating from A.D. 420. The Hui Shan Spring was known as far back as the 9th century and is considered the second-best spring in China. The JI CHANG GARDEN is over 400 years old and is laid out in a manner similar to the gardens of the Summer Palace in Beijing.
BOAT TRIP ON LAKE TAI: Lake Tai is one of the largest lakes in China and is fed by four rivers. There are almost 100 islands on the lake. As your boat cuts through the water, you will encounter mists where water and sky appear to be the same. You will pass numerous islands, and will probably stop at YUANTOUZHU. This island is closest to shore and is connected to land by the BAOJIE BRIDGE. There are pleasant walks among gardens and pavilions on the island.
GRAND CANAL CRUISE: The Chinese compare this to a cruise on The Grand Canal of Venice. In many ways it is, but instead of faded palaces, you see the reality of China. The buildings do appear to be right on the water, and you can see inside many of them for a glimpse of the daily lives of the Chinese. You’ll also see many types of boats maneuvering along the canal, some of which are floating homes. It is very interesting.
VISIT TO A COMMUNE: No trip to China is complete without a designated visit to a commune. In Wuxi, you’ll be greeted by the Mayor, and then taken to the home of a Manager…probably for lunch. Depending on the personality of your group and the personality of the Manager, this can be a sensational experience. After lunch, you’ll probably visit a school where delightful children will perform for you…sometimes-in English, and sometimes forcing you into the act. After the school visit, you’ll probably be shown silk worms and told how they’re cared for.
HUI SHAN CLAY FIGURINE FACTORY: If you’ve never seen clay figures produced, you’ll probably be fascinated. The figurines are not liked by everyone, but you will be amazed as you watch the young girls paint the delicate details.