Wuxi Tourist Attractions
Because of its fertile soil and mild climate this region, one of China's major rice trading centers, is known as the ''Land of Fish and Rice''. Wuxi is a well-known health resort with several sanatoriums dotted around Lake Taihu.
The town is also a leading manufacturer of textiles, electronic goods, precision instruments and so on. Silk and cotton manufacture has a long tradition, and painted terracotta figures have been made here for over 400 years, the raw material coming from Mercy Mountain (Huishan) in the west of the town.Wuxi is one of the oldest Chinese towns west of the Changjiang river. During the Zhou dynasty (11th-3rd C. BC) it was called Youxi (''has tin''), because of its tin deposits. Back in the early Han dynasty, in the 2nd C BC, it was already a major urban settlement. From then onwards it became known as Wuxi (''without tin''), which suggests that by then the tin deposits had already been worked out. Many of the writers of the Tang period (618-907) waxed poetic about the town's streams. Shortly after the opening of the Grand Canal in the 7th C Wuxi became a major center for trade in rice and corn. In the early 20th C the first textile factories soon opened up, and since the 1930s it has developed into a commercial and transport center.
Lake Taihu lies a few miles south of Wuxi. It is 2200sq.km/850sq.mi in area, making it the fifth largest lake in China. It snuggles between wooded hills on the slopes of which crystal-clear springs bubble forth and beautiful gardens have been laid out.
Garden of Plums
The Garden of Plums (Meiyuan) on the northern bank of Lake Taihu is particularly attractive in spring, when thousands of plum trees are in blossom.In the middle of the garden stands the Pagoda of Plums (Mei Ta), built in the traditional style.
Sea-Shell Garden (Li Yuan), 5km/3mi east of Turtle Head, is known for the artificial hills built on it. They are made of rough blocks of stone dug out from the bottom of Lake Taihu; such stones are also used in many other gardens in China.
Turtle Head Peninsula
Turtle Head Peninsula (Yuantouzhu) - its shape is rather like a turtle's head - forms the tip of a peninsula in the north of the lake.The landscape here is quite fascinating, with steep cliffs and winding paths.
Three Hill Isle
Three Hill Isle (Sanshan Dao), 3km/2mi west of Turtle Head, is a small garden floating on the water.
Park of Tin and Mercy
The Park of Tin and Mercy lies in the west of Wuxi at the foot of two charming hills, Tin Mountain (Xishan, 75m/246ft) and Mercy Mountain (Huishan); hence its name. The park covers an area of 46ha/115acres and is home to numerous interesting historical monuments.
The Imperial Canal, also known as The Great Canal, which flows through Wuxi is the oldest and longest canal in the world. The construction of the first few sections began as early as 2400 years ago. In the 13th C the Imperial Canal finally linked Hangzhou with Beijing, and thus attained a length of almost 2000km/1242mi. Today long stretches of the Imperial Canal are silted up and it is only navigable south of Wuxi.
Garden of Delight
The Qianlong Emperor found the Garden of Delight (dating from the Ming period 1368-1644) so entrancing that he used it as a model for the ''Garden of Harmony and Pleasure'' which he had built at his summer palace in Beijing.
Mercy Mountain Spring (Second Most Beautiful Spring under the Heavens)
This spring, on the mountain of the same name, is also known as ''The Second Most Beautiful Spring under the Heavens'' (Tianxia Dierquan).
There are several attractions in the Wuxi surrounding area.
Map of Wuxi Attractions