Suzhou is purportedly the the "Venice" of China. We chose this excursion for our last day in Shanghai and it was a relaxing day, though very hot. The bus ride took about 2 hours each way and the obligatory silk factory and shopping took at least another hour. The lunch at the factory restaurant was the worst of the trip. Not only was the food not to my liking, the service was poor. One more lazy-susan meal tonight and we're done with that. The first part of the canal was very nice, but once we got on the main canal there was not much to see. If I had to do it all over again, I would have spent the day in Shanghai in the Old City or following one of the many street vendors enticing us with laminated cards of Rolex watches and Coach bags.
This summer I am traveling to China, touring Beijing, Xian and Shanghai. My most recent trip was to Southeast Asia in July 2008, where I traveled to Vietnam, Cambodia and Bangkok, Thailand.... full info