An unforgettable blend of history, tradition and natural beauty
Wuxi may not be one of China’s marquee destinations, but it’s only a matter of time before that changes. This lovely lakeside city ticks so many travel boxes, you’ll wonder why you haven’t heard of it.
For one thing, you’re never far from a gorgeous view, thanks to its picturesque setting on the banks of the enormous Lake Taihu. Many of Wuxi’s key attractions are located by the lake, while a network of walking trails along the water’s edge offers some seriously scenic strolling. Adding to the aquatic vibe is the aptly named Grand Canal. This ancient waterway dates back to the Yuan Dynasty and runs through the heart of the city. Admire it from the Qingming Bridge then wander the surrounding neighbourhood to get a sense of its long history.
Like its more famous neighbour Suzhou, Wuxi is dotted with beautiful parks and gardens. Escape the big-city bustle among the ponds, pavilions and lotus blossoms of Li Garden, the serenity of Xihui Park, or one of the many other verdant, landscaped oases.
Further afield, the magical Yixing Bamboo Forest, Suzhou and even Shanghai are easy daytrips.
Prepare to be wowed by Wuxi!
Things to do: Wuxi
Enjoy the views from Yuantouzhu
For the best views of the massive (2,338km2), magnificent Taihu Lake, head to Yuantouzhu – otherwise known as Turtle Head Isle. Named for its resemblance to a giant turtle’s head emerging from the water, Yuantouzhu’s stunning natural landscapes and traditional buildings make it a must-see. Wander the classical Chinese garden, stroll the cute bridges, check out the pavilions and temples, and soak up that amazing scenery! From rolling hills to breathtaking lake views and glorious cherry blossoms in spring, Yuantouzhu’s natural charms live up to the hype. Bus route K1 or K87 will get you there.
Pay tribute to the Grand Buddha
At a mighty 88 metres tall, the Lingshan Grand Buddha is one of the world’s tallest Buddha statues and, since its construction in 1996, a much-loved symbol of Wuxi. Climb the ‘Ascending Cloud Avenue’ to pay tribute to the towering bronze deity and visit the fascinating museum inside its pedestal. Several other Buddhist landmarks form part of this sprawling precinct, including the elaborate Nine Dragons Bathing Sakyamuni fountain, a giant sculpture of Buddha’s Hand, the ancient Xiangfu Temple and the exquisite Brahma Palace. Set aside a day to explore this scenic, spiritual area.
Time travel to Three Kingdoms City
Until someone invents a time machine, a visit to Three Kingdoms City makes a fine substitute. Built by China Central Television for its epic period drama ‘Romance of the Three Kingdoms’, this huge replica city takes you back to the Han Dynasty (206BC-220AD). Check out historically accurate temples and towers, palaces and arenas, warships and gardens, and watch the daily duelling performance. Films and TV are still made here, so you might see a production in progress. Take bus route 82.
Experience another era in Huishan Ancient Town
Speaking of history, Huishan Ancient Town is the real deal. Often described as an open-air museum, this small, beautifully preserved neighbourhood is a living glimpse of old Wuxi. Stroll its gorgeous gardens and cobbled streets, watch a traditional tea ceremony and wander the Qing Dynasty ancestral halls. With more than 80 Chinese family names represented, the halls are a popular pilgrimage spot for Chinese visitors. Huishan Ancient Town is also renowned for its great food, so bring your appetite!
Fall in love with Suzhou
With a rich history dating back to 514 BC, and more attractions than you can poke a camera at, Suzhou is an essential (and easy) day trip for any visitor to Wuxi. Your challenge? Deciding where to start! From its excellent museums to 60-plus exquisite classical gardens (nine of which are UNESCO World Heritage sites) and the spectacular Hanshan Temple, Suzhou’s charms are almost overwhelming. Be sure to join a gondola tour of its famous ‘Water Towns,’ the historic canal neighbourhoods that give the city its nickname, the ‘Venice of the East.’ A high-speed train will get you there in less than 20 minutes (with one-way tickets costing around CNY ¥11).
Distance to city centre 16km
Taxi You can grab a taxi from outside the domestic terminal. It should take 20-30 minutes to Wuxi, and cost around CNY ¥85
Metro Take Line 3 (there is a station at the airport) into Wuxi. It takes about half an hour to reach Wuxi Railway Station. Ticket price varies on the distance you’re travelling, but shouldn’t cost more than CNY ¥6 to get to the city.
Bus A shuttle bus operates between the airport (leaving from Platform 1) and Wuxi Railway Station and takes about 45 minutes. It costs about CNY ¥5.Back to top
When to go
Wuxi has a subtropical climate with four distinct seasons. Winter (December–February) is cold and predominantly dry, with maximums averaging around 8°C. Summer (June–August) is hot, humid and rainy. Autumn (September–November) and spring (March–May) are the best times to go for pleasant, mild weather.
For an insight into the region’s rich traditional culture, time your trip to coincide with the huge Taibo Temple Fair in February. Wuxi’s famous flowers burst into bloom in March: celebrate plum blossoms at the popular Plum Culture Festival, and peach blossoms at the Peach Blossom Festival. The city is also a great place to experience China’s famous Dragon Boat Festival (late May-early June).Back to top
Wuxi’s Metro network has four lines which provide extensive coverage. Ticket prices start at CNY ¥2 for trips of less than 5km. There are also many buses servicing the city and further afield. Routes 20 and 80 pass several scenic spots. Some knowledge of Mandarin is helpful when using the bus. The Leyou Wuxi sightseeing bus operates from Wuxi Railway Station Central Station, with 200 free tickets available daily – get in early! Taxis are plentiful.Back to top