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Suzhou City Moat

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Suzhou City Moat (Chinese: 苏州护城河)

Suzhou City Moat

Brief Introduction
Suzhou's ancient city moat, the Panmen Scenic Area and unique classical garden-style hotels are must-see sites for visitors to the city. The moat stretches more than 15.5 kilometers around the ancient city, which was also known as Gusu centuries ago. One of the first things tourists often do in Suzhou is take a boat ride on the moat to enjoy the city's classical and modern beauty. 

After disembarking from the boats, people can wander around the Panmen Scenic Area. The area is home to Suzhou's three best-known landmarks, Ruiguang Pagoda, Wumen Ancient Bridge and Land and Water Gate. And Grand Canal, the longest artificial waterway in the world, was included on the World Heritage Sites list in 2014. The Suzhou part of the canal covers a range of cultural heritage sites including the Panmen Scenic Area. 

With a history of 2,500 years, Suzhou has still preserved its ancient hydro-system, which is also vividly depicted as one with a circular ring, three horizontal lines and four vertical lines.

In Suzhou, 42%of the area is covered by water. Most part (four-fifths) of the Taihu Lake, one of the four major freshwater lakes in China and the famous ancient wonder, the Grand Canal, both traverse the city. The Yangtze River skirts the city, too. The Jinji Lake in the eastern part of the city shows Suzhou's modern image, while the city moat forms a boundary line of the old town. Apart from these, numerous unknown small lakes and rivers make Suzhou a water city in the true sense of the word. 

With abundant cultural and natural resources, the scenic area is not only a tourist spot, but also an ideal venue for festivals and events. For example, the Blossom Hill Suzhou, a hotel inside an ancient building, is part of the Culture and Tourism Development Group's endeavor to renovate the plethora of old buildings in the city. The city wall museum, also one of the group-operated projects, showcases stories of the city wall during its 2,500-year history. 

The Function of City Moat
Located outside the city wall, the moat played an important defensive role in times of war. It kept the invaders at a distance, and prevented them from getting close to the wall with their mobile wooden towers. Attackers had to construct bridges from their wooden towers in order to reach the top of the wall, thus exposing themselves to the defenders of the city. 

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Highlight

Suzhou International Tourism
The ancient City Moat will be open to sightseeing cruises during the Suzhou International Tourism Festival from April 12 to May 3. Thirty boats will cruise on the moat during the period. Tourists can get on the boat at Xumen Gate and Xiangmen Gate. A round-trip ticket costs 60 yuan while a one-way ticket costs 50 yuan. 

More than 10 floats, representing Malaysia, Taiwan, Macao, Shanghai, Nanjing, Zhangjiagang, Zhouzhuang and Suzhou, will join the opening ceremony parade of the festival and will cruise on the moat twice a day during the festival.

Boat schedule:
April 11, leaving Xumen Gate at 8pm; leaving Xiangmen Gate at 7:30pm

April 12-May 3, leaving Xumen Gate at 2pm-3pm, 7pm-8pm every day, more boats available at 10am-11am on weekend; leaving Xiangmen Gate at 2:30pm-4pm, 6pm-7pm every day, more boats available at 10am-11am on weekend

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