THE TOURNAMENT: ATP CHALLENGER 2016 China International Suzhou
Date: From 24/10 to 30/10
Money prize: $ 75,000
Surface: Hard Outdoor
How to get: Suzhou does not have an airport. The closest airports with flights of use to most travelers are the two in nearby Shanghai. The airport in Wuxi is closer, but it is relatively small and serves mostly domestic flights. Nanjing and Hangzhou are other alternatives; both are large airports with a range of flights and easily reached from Suzhou.
Recent Past Winners: 2015 Dudi Sela
Top 10 Players: Yen-Hsun Lu (Tpe) – Taro Daniel (Jpn) – Sergiy Stakhovsky (Ukr) – Hyeon Chung (Kor) – Tatsuma Ito (Jpn) – Stefan Kozlov (Usa) – Ze Zhang (Chn) – Di Wu (Chn) – Alexander Kudryavtsev (Rus) – Andrew Witthington (Usa)
Sūzhōu is a city in Jiangsu province, famed for its beautiful gardens and traditional waterside architecture. The town has many canals and has been called the Venice of the East. An older romanisation was “Soochow”. In Imperial China, Suzhou was a popular destination for retired scholars and officials, many of whom built classical Chinese gardens around their homes; even lesser houses and some commercial buildings often have lovely small gardens or courtyards. The Classical Gardens of Suzhou are on the UNESCO World Heritage List. For Lonely Planet: “Historically, Sūzhōu was synonymous with high culture and elegance, and generations of artists, scholars, writers and high society in China were drawn by its exquisite art forms and the delicate beauty of its gardens. Like all modern Chinese towns, Sūzhōu has unfortunately endured much destruction of its heritage and its replacement with largely arbitrary chunks of modern architecture.
Having said that, the city still retains enough pockets of charm to warrant two to three days’ exploration on foot or by bike. And the gardens, Sūzhōu’s main attraction, are a symphonic combination of rocks, water, trees and pavilions that reflects the Chinese appreciation of balance and harmony. Adding to the charm are some excellent museums, surviving canal scenes, pagodas and humpbacked bridges. The gardens in particular can get busy, so avoid visiting at the weekend or during public holidays, if possible.“
TOP 3 THINGS TO SEE:
- The Humble Administrator Garden
- North Temple Pagoda
- Shantang Street
BEST PLACES TO STAY:
- The Glance Black Garden Hotel. Wonderful *** hotel at just 400 metres from Guanqian Street. Gu Su District is a great choice for travelers interested in museums, botanical gardens and ancient landmarks. This hotel has rated 9.1 on Booking. The price for a 35 mq2 junior suite is 79€ per night . Free wifi is available in all hotel areas.
- Novotel Suzhou Sip. Fantastic **** accomodation, rated 8.2 on Booking, this hotel enjoys a central location in Nanku district. Guests can enjoy the on-site restaurant. Price for a superior king room of 38 mq2 is 99€ per night with breakfast and wifi and parking included.
- Crowne Plaza Suzhou. Luxurious ***** hotel ideally located in Suzhou Industrial Park, against the scenic backdrop of beautiful Jinji Lake. Inside guests can enjoy a spa, a fitness centre, a pool and a restaurant. Parking and wifi is free. Hotel offers 42 mq2 deluxe double rooms at 156€ per night in b&b.