中国((Zhōng guó )城市((chéng shì)——苏州(Sūzhōu)、杭州(Hánghōu)、桂林(Guìlín)
In China, there is an old saying, 上(shàng)有(yǒu )天堂(tiāntáng)，下(xià)有(yǒu )苏杭(SūHáng), meaning up above there is Paradise, down here there are Suzhou and Hangzhou.
苏州(Sūzhōu) is famous for its numerous classical gardens, big or small. Among them the top four are the most famous ones and all of which belong to the world cultural heritages. The top four are 拙政园(Zhuōzhèngyuán)、狮子林(Shīzilín)、沧浪亭(Cānglàngtíng)、留园(Liúyuán). Each of them has its own characteristic.
杭州(Hángzhōu) is renowned for 西湖(Xīhú) (West Lake), a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Now it is also leading an important role in the hi-tech and Internet because the headquarter of Alibaba is located there.
There is another old saying, 桂林(Guìlín)山(shān)水(shuǐ )甲(jiǎ )天(tiān)下(xià)，meaning east or west, the scenery of Guilin is the best. 桂林(Guìlín), a typical karst landform area, is a historical and cultural city as well as a tourist wonderland of world fame. It literally means “cassia tree forest”, named for the local cassia trees, whose scent wafts through the city in autumn.
It is also a multi-national city with 11 ethnic groups of the Han, Zhuang, Miao, Yao, etc. The diversity in dresses and social customs of different ethnic groups offers colorful folklife.
© Shanghai International Studies University