Suzhou may be "paradise on earth" but this paradise shuts down at 10pm!! To be fair, there are a few decent bars which have opened up across the city in recent years including a great little Indian Bar on Renmin Road and a couple of nice little places on Shi Quan Jie.
However, if it's exciting nightlife you are after, you'd be better off making the ninety minute trip to Shanghai.
That said, Suzhou is a nice place to relax, kick back your feet and soak up some of the atmosphere in the traditional tea houses which are dotted about town.
There is an especially quaint tea house in the City Art Institute on Gangzhou Lu. Check out what's going on at the Sheraton Hotel too, as they often organize parties especially on local or national holidays.
What's more, while the developers are pulling down a lot of the old city, this usually means an influx of western style restaurants and bars.
Locals already boast about the "little Singapore" in the outskirts of town which is an area where vast sums of money are being invested by Singaporean businesses. Investment usually equates with
westernization so look out for some new restaurants and bars shooting up in this part of the city.
For kids, (or the young at heart) there are more options. Suzhou has (until the real thing in Hong Kong opens up), the Chinese version of Disney World! There is no Mickey mouse here but, there is a large selection of high- tech amusement games and rides.
Holiday Water world is another place worth trying and there is even a lake here where you can surf in the summer!