Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang Province in East China, is one of the more modern and prosperous cities in China, about 100 kilometers (60 miles) southwest of Shanghai.
Famed for its natural scenery, Hangzhou and its West Lake have been immortalized by countless poets and artists. The city was the capital of the Southern Song Dynasty from 1127 until the Mongol invasion of 1276, during that time the city's population is estimated to have been as high as one million, making it the largest cities in the world. Even Marco Polo claimed to have passed through, calling it "beyond dispute the finest and the noblest in the world".
Hangzhou has a temperate maritime climate with four distinct seasons. June and September are the rainiest months. It is occasionally hit by typhoons in August or September. Summer is quite hot, with an average of 33ºC in July and August. Winter is cold at just above freezing on average, and it snows sometimes. Spring is a good time to travel to see the peach blossom on the Su Causeway across West Lake, but October provides the best combination of mild temperatures and little rain.
Suzhou is located in the south-east of Jiangsu Province. The Grand Canal, which flows from Beijing to Hangzhou (the capital of Zhejiang Province), has irrigated Suzhou aiding its illustrious culture and turning it into prosperous land. It is of little surprise that Suzhou is called ''Heaven on Earth''.
Built in 541BC by He Lv, the King of Wu, 2500 year old, Suzhou is the birthplace of Wu culture. The city is bustling with historical remnants and culture, thus placing Suzhou third behind Beijing and Xi'an for its historical and cultural significance. In 1997, Suzhou caught the world's attention by having its classic gardens placed on the UNESCO list as a World Cultural Heritage site.
Suzhou is a key silk production centre in China and the embroidery school here is ranked in the "top 4" for the whole of China. The attractiveness of Suzhou is also evident in its performing arts (folk songs of Wu), Kunqu Opera and storytelling, as well as stele carving, calligraphy and painting.
Wuxi is in southern Jiangsu Province, some 128 kilometers away from shanghai. As the second largest city in Jiangsu province, it is a city of affluence and fascinating natural scenery. Wuxi is characterized by abundant beautiful rivers, idyllic lakes, unique-shaped caves, bamboo forests and tea gardens.
Standing by the Grand Canal, Wuxi is a significant historical city and has been an important trade center in the area for centuries. Tai lake, the largest fresh lake in china, is the highlights in Wuxi.
Wuxi has a mild and humid climate with four distinct seasons. Spring is the best time to travel. May and July are the rainy seasons. Summer is hot and the highest temperature can occasionally reach 39 centigrade during daytime. Winter is cold and it snows sometimes.