Suzhou, China

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Gaze over the outskirts of this ancient and beautiful city and 10 years ago you might have seen the saturated farmland feeding the city’s famous canal and garden network. You now would marvel at the brand new highways leading to the industrial and technology parks that have made Suzhou the largest producer of laptops and a technology powerhouse to rival Silicon Valley.

Known as the ‘Venice of the East’, Suzhou, nestling amongst the estuaries and inlets at the delta of the Yangtze River, has historically been a meeting place for skilled craftsmen, healers, scholars, and artists. The great river of China flows into the city’s extensive canal system which in turn gives life to the city's famous gardens: tranquil zones of rock, creeks, and flora designed to mimic and represent the balance of nature and life. The gardens, in truth, have now been knocked off their pedestal by the rise of the technology companies which have transformed Suzhou from a quaint horticultural settlement into a growing economic and business nucleus setting the pace for the rest of China.

The beautiful scenery merges with the new burst of activity to create a serene and fascinating city which holds its illustrious past in tandem with its promising future.

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