My Suzhou: A Love Letter

I lived and worked in Suzhou for almost eleven years beginning in 2004 and in that time grew to love my adopted city. Every year I saw newcomers arrive and begin to explore, but often they had little idea of where to start or what to look for. Occasionally I was asked for advice. Then in 2013 an old friend from France came to visit and stayed for three weeks. Almost every day we went out to see another part of the city, and I began to imagine this web site: a personal guide, with all my favourite spots and enough background information to help people understand something about what they are looking at.

Where a conventional guidebook for tourists attempts to describe everything, My Suzhou selects less than a dozen outings, each no longer than half a day. It’s the guidebook I wish I had had when I first arrived in 2004. It’s a love letter to a place where I arrived as a stranger, and departed as a son, a brother, a lover of a marvelous place and its people.

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2 Responses to My Suzhou: A Love Letter

  1. Judy says:

    I look forward to your report on Tiger Hill, which I just saw this morning & loved.

    • Eric T. MacKnight says:

      Hi Judy! So glad that you have enjoyed “My Suzhou.” I have been to Tiger Hill several times, and enjoyed it. When I sat down to put together “My Suzhou,” however, I decided to leave it out. First, it is (along with the Humble Administrator’s Garden) one of the best-known and most-visited places in Suzhou, and I wanted to focus on places (where possible) that were perhaps a bit less known, or less commonly visited by people coming to Suzhou for a brief stay, or living there as expats. Second, Tiger Hill is not one of my favorites, and not a place I visited frequently; so if I take the “My” in “My Suzhou” seriously, Tiger Hill doesn’t quite make the cut.

      However, I’m sure you can find several excellent descriptions of Tiger Hill elsewhere, some of them by famous folks going back quite a ways in history.

      Thanks again for your comment!

      Best wishes,


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