Boasting a pristine natural environment, pleasant climate all year round and relaxed way of life, its no wonder that the city of Suzhou in Jiangsu province is described in a famous Chinese saying being "paradise on Earth".
According to official statistics, 42 percent of Suzhou is covered by water, with numerous lakes, canals and streams. The biggest of which is Taihu Lake, one of the four largest fresh water lakes in China. The Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal also passes through the city.
Suzhou Taihu National Tourism Vacation Zone and Dayang Mountain National Forest Park are popular among visitors for their abundant natural scenery.
Linhu town' Liushe village in Wuzhong district has attracted a large number of tourists because of its characteristic homestays. The income of local residents is increasing because local authorities have taken a series of measures to improve the environment and expand tourism offerings.
Currently, Suzhou is home to six national 5A-rated scenic spots - the highest rank in the national tourists attraction rating system. There are another 36 4A-rated scenic areas in the city and two national nature reserves.
This year's extended May Day holiday from May 1 to 4, saw a record 4.35 million tourists visit the city, up 11 percent year-on-year.
The city is not just a pleasant place for visitors but also for those who live there.
In recent years, the Suzhou government has taken steps to ensure local elderly residents receive quality senior care services.
Yiyang Senior Apartment, established in 2013 by Suzhou Pension Industry Development, aims to provide a comfortable, multilevel, sustainable and comprehensive one-stop senior care service platform for the elderly in the city.
The center has various functional areas, such as a gym, swimming pool and multipurpose screening hall, as well as painting and calligraphy room and dance studio.
Cai Guolan, a local senior citizen enjoys playing the piano in her spare time at the center.
"My determination to move in was supported by my son and daughter, who are busy with their work. They are happy that I can be taken good care of and enjoy my retired life here," Cai said.
(China Daily 05/20/2019 page7)