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Suzhou Health Insurance Guide

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Moving to a massive, fast-moving city like Suzhou can be overwhelming no matter where you are from. Feeling confident about your medical coverage is imperative so that you can get settled into a new place. The experienced professionals at Expat Insurance Suzhou can help you find the right coverage for individuals, families, and groups.

Expatriate Health Insurance Suzhou
Whether you are a national relocating for your job or an expatriate moving to or traveling in Suzhou, your time abroad will be much more enjoyable with the security of reliable medical insurance. With all of the varied concerns that come with any big move, choosing your coverage doesn’t have to be stressful.

The plans that Expat Insurance Suzhou will arrange for you include benefits that are vital to have while you are living outside of your home country. Services like emergency evacuation, hospitalization benefits and repatriation of mortal remains are standard in any expatriate medical insurance plan in Suzhou. In many cases, your plan also comes with a lifetime guaranteed renewal. Our Health Insurance advisors can help find the Medical plan that exactly suits your situation, and Expatriate Health Insurance Suzhou can help you choose a Health Insurance Plan that will cover all the needs of your new life abroad.

Professional Health Insurance Service you can trust in Suzhou
Expat Insurance Suzhou will be with you for the duration of your health insurance policy. We offer additional customer services that include claims advice, emergency contact numbers and medical advice lines. We also maintain a comprehensive list of Suzhou hospitals/doctors. Most of our clients are expatriates so we maintain a list of Embassies in Suzhou.

Medical insurance for expat families living in Suzhou can get very expensive very fast. Let’s look at a few numbers.

Let’s say you are a family of 4 living in Suzhou, and you are in the market for comprehensive medical insurance that covers both inpatient and outpatient services. One international insurance provider offers coverage to China expats at 3 levels of service. The mid-priced package provides hospitalization, outpatient services, health checks, emergency medical evacuation, and a variety of other features that expat families in China would care about. It does NOT cover the US, except for emergencies.

How much can you expect to pay for this kind of coverage?

If you were a single 34 year old living in Suzhou, your annual premiums would be just a bit over US $1500 (as of November 2007). You first child would cost you an extra $700 or so, and your second child would add another $ 550. So for the whole family, you can expect to shell out around US$ 4,250 for a year’s worth of comprehensive medical insurance in China. (Being in China will cost you around 10% more.) It’s worth it to have piece of mind – but even better if you can get your company to foot at least part of the bill!

BUT, you can lower your premiums significantly by opting for a “deductible” or “excess”. (US providers say deductible, UK and international say excess. Same thing.) If you select a $100 deductible, then the first $100 in medical expenses each year are your responsibility, and you must pay out of your own pocket.

In the case of this fictional company, a $100 excess will save you around 5%, a $400 excess will cut your premium by 15%, and a $1,600 excess will save you 30%.

Every company is different, and you will have to sit down with an advisor to get the facts for your unique situation. But expats and international Chinese in China can expect to see these kinds of premiums for high-quality comprehensive medical insurance.

We recommend Asia Health for China Health Insurance plans for expats living in Suzhou, get quotes from various health insurers and compare the best plans for you and your family.

Best Hotel Dining in Suzhou

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An updated list of best hotel restaurants in Suzhou

Your lust for gastronomic adventure might see you feasting on street foods from roadside carts and slurping down hearty noodle soups from dingy alley stalls every once in a while. But sometimes, even foodie thrill seekers need a night off from barbeque skewers and takeaway boxes. If it’s a special occasion, we even think it’s a worth a splurge at a fancy restaurant. Most of the time, the best dining establishments in Suzhou can be found in the city’s premium hotels. Hotel restaurants may charge prices that are a little higher than in your average city joint, but when it comes to food quality and service standards, they’re probably hard to beat.

Your lust for gastronomic adventure might see you feasting on street foods from roadside carts and slurping down hearty noodle soups from dingy alley stalls every once in a while. But sometimes, even foodie thrill seekers need a night off from barbeque skewers and takeaway boxes. If it’s a special occasion, we even think it’s a worth a splurge at a fancy restaurant. Most of the time, the best dining establishments in Suzhou can be found in the city’s premium hotels. Hotel restaurants may charge prices that are a little higher than in your average city joint, but when it comes to food quality and service standards, they’re probably hard to beat.

Bacio
The ubiquitous ‘Italian-in-a-5-star-hotel’ has become such a fine dining cliché, one imagines there must be some kind of industry-wide template to follow when embarking on such a venture. Thankfully, the people behind Bacio (Italian for ‘kiss’) at the recently opened DoubleTree by Hilton in SIP have steered clear of any such rules, creating a homely and welcoming environment that serves fuss-free Italian dishes at competitive – for a hotel – prices. In fact, the marble-effect flooring and walls is the only concession to luxury in an otherwise unpretentious setting that seems well suited to both large parties and romancing couples.

The menu is equally inviting. Sure, there’s the obligatory pastas and pizzas, but also an appetizing array of seafood on offer, including grilled fillet of snapper with bitter greens and caramelized red onion (148RMB), and pan-fried king prawns with basil and beetroot cous cous (168RMB); for our money two of the better value dishes. The kitchen is open, the lighting is moody, and the music is smoochy classics by the likes of Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett. We suspect this restaurant is one kiss that will linger on the palate.

China Spice
This restaurant lacks the size that one usually expects at a hotel establishment, but at China Spice we think that’s a good thing. The premises may be small, but the setting is by no means shabby. The interior décor is classic yet modern, and the restaurant bathes in a pleasant, soft glow under the reflection of warm lighting against dark wood partitions. In addition, the restaurant layout, with booth seats and private spaces, allows your dining experience to remain cozy and intimate. The food is also good, with the menu featuring a selection of Cantonese dishes as well as local and regional specialties. A cozy restaurant and good food. We think it’s a great place to bring a date.

Danny’s Kitchen
Danny’s Kitchen is a lovely find in Suzhou’s dining scene, one of a rare breed of restaurants that makes eating out feel like a sinfully indulgent experience. The kitchen serves some clever interpretations of popular classics: think thick, creamy, foamy mushroom soup served in a cappuccino coffee cup, or a seafood-risotto-inspired dish adapted to local tastes. Instead of the usual Arborio rice, this dish is cooked with orzo, a short-cut pasta with a tender texture. Other French and Italian dishes on the menu include caramelized foie gras with candied fruit, and braised rack of lamb. Desserts are just as decadent. The soufflé with ice cream is fluffy and pillowy soft, and a hint of orange zest provides a delightfully refreshing lift to the flavors. Prices are reasonable considering the quality of food. Set dinner menus are priced from ¥588, and lunch sets are available from ¥168.

Hua Chi 88
The Chinese restaurants in the Hyatt brand of hotels are widely recognized for serving some of the best roast duck you could find in China. In Suzhou, this is no different. A seven-ton brick oven imported from Beijing fires up these succulent morsels, and for ¥288, diners get a whole bird that’s deliciously roasted to perfection, with crispy, thin skin wrapped around plump, juicy flesh. While the duck is certainly the star of the restaurant, it’s also worth noting that the establishment is also known for a range of Chinese culinary delights that focus on fresh, seasonal ingredients. We recommend bringing a dining party of at least six to eight; this will allow you a generous sampling of the restaurant’s best dishes.

Nishimura
Japanese dining options are aplenty in Suzhou, but quantity is seldom a substitute for quality. Nishimura happens to be one of the very few Japanese restaurants in the city that makes good on its promise of fresh ingredients and authentic flavors. Our favorite order at the restaurant is the fresh sashimi platter. Each slice is always cut to the perfect thickness. Service here is top notch. Waiters are warm and friendly without being obsequious, and they are attentive enough to notice when a tea cup needs to be refilled. After dinner, linger around and knock back a few glasses of sake. Additional tip: the restaurant gets its delivery of fresh fish every Wednesday morning, so this is probably the best day to make a reservation.

Riva Steak House
This is indisputably the best steakhouse in Suzhou. The restaurant boasts an open kitchen, and design magazine-worthy interiors of brick and plush leather. The main attraction, however, is the steak. Once you’re seated, you’ll first get to choose a steak knife. After you’ve selected your choice of meat, it’s brought to the table piping hot on a butcher’s block, then branded with the Riva logo. The lovely juices of the meat sizzle into a huge cloud of charred smoky awesomeness, and at this point, you’ve become quite delirious with the anticipation of beef, beef and more beef. But save space for dessert. The homemade chocolate flower pot sundae is a perennial favourite. It looks like a potted flower, but the entire creation—even the pot itself—is actually made from ice cream, chocolate, cookies, gummies and mint. Truly decadent!

TBoat
This is one of the few casual restaurants in Suzhou you can trust to cook up decent versions of classic Western meals. The interiors are bright and spacious, with full length floor-to-ceiling glass windows that allow a pleasant view of the gardens outside. There’s also an outdoor patio if you choose to dine outside. Service is brisk but friendly, and we like the semi open kitchen that allows customers to watch the chef at work. During the evening, the restaurant transforms into a sports bar, with live screenings of sports games and events. TBoat serves some regional Asian dishes, but we feel that the restaurant does better with classic bar favorites. There is also a range of American craft beers, as well as more famous brews from Germany and Belgium. Overall, a good place for a casual, after-work dinner catchup with friends.

The Fireplace
It’s seldom you meet a chef as affable as the one at The Fireplace, and we dare say that his big personality is a large part of the restaurant’s success. Rather than hide behind his team, Ahmet is fond of popping out of the kitchen from time to time to talk and interact with his guests. Originally from Turkey, Ahmet Bilgen oversees a kitchen that serves some delicious international classics. We cannot get enough of the lobster bisque, a bowl of golden orange liquid with all the sweet, rich flavors of a freshly harvested sea crustacean. Other must-orders include the Wagyu beef sirloin and the cod in seven-herb salt crust. Leave room for dessert. The tiramisu is one of the best we’ve tried. If you’re looking for some drama, however, try the baked Alaska. It’s undoubtedly a visual treat—layers of ice cream wrapped in sponge within a shiny, glossy Italian meringue. Even if you don’t have much of a sweet tooth, it’s still a great conversation piece to round off the evening.

WUGU Restaurant
This newly opened restaurant is worth at least a visit to view its beautiful interiors. WUGU Restaurant is the latest offering in the host of dining establishments at Fairmont Yangcheng Lake, and we dare say it is by far the most striking. The concept of the restaurant is refreshingly modern and progressive: the kitchen uses only ingredients sourced from within a 150-kilometer radius, and this helps to reduce the restaurant’s carbon footprint and ensure environmental sustainability. The restaurant serves affordable local and regional dishes that are themed around wugu, or the five grains used in traditional Chinese home cooking: rice, wheat, millet, barley and soybeans. Dare we say it? We think this restaurant will likely become one of Suzhou’s favorite culinary hotspots. Visit before the crowds descend!

Xiu
If you love Chinese food for the dimsum, Xiu is probably your best bet for satisfying those siewmai cravings. We all love buffets. But all-you-can-eat dimsum? We say, bring it on! There is a total of nearly 50 items available at this buffet, which also includes a choice of fruit juice, and fresh and soya milk. Must-orders include steamed shrimp dumplings, deep-fried spring rolls stuffed with shredded chicken, and of course, barbecued pork buns. Each serving comes in small portions, making it easy to sample a great many dishes in just one gluttonous feasting session. We think the buffet dimsum is hands down the best in Suzhou. But if you prefer, the restaurant also offers an a la carte menu featuring both Cantonese and Suzhounese regional specialties.

Element Fresh @ Xingya Mall, SIP

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It has taken a long time…but we love our first Suzhou location:bright,spacious,on the west side of Jinji Hu.We are open every day for lunch,dinner,and anytime in between.And all-day breakfast on the weekends… We look forward to welcoming you at Element Fresh Suzhou…and of course we would appreciate if you pass this news to your friends in Suzhou…

If you want your food to do you good as well as taste good, this venue is an excellent choice. Element Fresh are known for their green salads, sandwiches, juices and smoothies.

Their menu options are centred around lean meats, light sauces and fresh vegetables. The chain updates their menu every six months, so you will always have something new to try out.

Key Facts
Deputy General Manager: Mars Su
Address:No.308 Suya Road, Xingya Mall, Suzhou Industrial Park
Telephone: 0512-62533610
Fax : 0512-62533619
Opening Hours:
Monday – Thursday 11am – 10pm
Friday 11am – 11pm
Saturday 9am – 11pm
Sunday 9am – 10pm
Smoking:
please use our out door area for smoking
Nearest subway station: Xinghai Square station (Line 1, Exit 4)
Free wireless available

Hotel Soul Boutique Hotel in Suzhou

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Cool and ConnectedHotel Soul is a treat for the senses. Visually, it’s striking – nowhere more so than in the lobby and public areas, where the interplay between man-made and natural materials conjures drama and surprise. Guest rooms are warmly lit and a full set of in-room designer amenities refreshes both body and mind.
Communications connectivity gets the guest fully wired-up with onsite roaming Wi-Fi easily enabled. Also essential to guest well-being is the team of courteous well-trained staff, who are multi-lingual, Suzhou savvy and well informed on the needs of the international traveller.

Nestling in the epicentre of one of China’s last ancient cities that is still criss-crossed with canals, is the new Hotel Soul.

Built to inspire guests with its thematic décor, guaranteed comfort, good food and amiable service, this experience-driven boutique hotel, with 219 rooms, is a place to encounter little miracles, whether visitors are here for business or leisure.

Touch Spa at the DoubleTree by Hilton Wuxi

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It’s easy for us to neglect our health due to the busy social lives we lead.

Often, with extreme pressure from our working life, taking time to keep fit and develop a good lifestyle is becoming more and more important in our daily lives, Some people like sports and enjoy the easing of pressure this brings. Some people prefer to visit a SPA, releasing tension that way. But we need to remember that better health means a better life. If you now want to improve your fitness, then you are welcome to come along to the Double Tree by Hilton Wuxi.

With an area of approximately 2100m2 the fitness centre is built with transparent glass walls six meters high. The comprehensive recreational facilities include a 220m2 gym equipped with state-of-the-art DoubleTree Fitness equipment with personal TV screens and a 25m-long indoor heated swimming pool overlooking the hotel garden. Treadmills, elliptical trainers, comprehensive function training devices and the classical abdomen chairs are part of the indispensable equipment in the gym. Through the glass windows on one side, a grand elevated highway is in the picture along with the flow of traffic, and you can watch the world go buy as you take part in your exercises. The gym also has an independent yoga room. Weekly yoga courses can help relax your mind and body. As for the 25m-long indoor heated swimming pool, it is definitely a wonderful place to shape your body and soothe the pain of fatigue and tension, especially for those who spend much of their time sitting at their desks.

The staff at the Touch SPA have a deep knowledge of the expertise needed to help you enjoy your life more. This is a treat you should not miss. Cooperating with international five-star hotels, the Touch SPA is currently a high-end hydrotherapy brand in China. Once you enter the SPA centre, the light fragrance of essential oils and the soothing music will calm you. For the ultimate pampering, head to the luxurious SPA and beauty salon which featured 13 private rooms offering a full range of treatments to rejuvenate the body and mind. Another option is to relax in the sauna and steam room. All the SPA products here are natural and contain pure plant essential oils; the facial projects are using French ‘Decleor’ products. At the moment, the Touch SPA is launching a promotion of weekend specials. Customized care is on sale with a 50% discount. This chance is not to be missed.

DoubleTree by Hilton Wuxi, also has two tennis courts and a basketball court on site, and two golf driving ranges within walking distance. Additionally, six rooms are reserved for board games.

Staying at the Fraser Suites Suzhou, as the first high-end serviced apartment in Suzhou

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Established on May 24, 2011, Fraser Suites Suzhou, as the first high-end serviced apartment in Suzhou, has been enjoying its upward journey for its sound environment, heartfelt service and creative philosophy.

Housed in an iconic, landmark building, Fraser Suites Suzhou offers extended stay travellers a haven of luxury and refinement. where every need is taken care of, and every desire satisfied.

The Fraser Difference, personal customised services, offers long stay guests “home away from home” and Short stay business guests easy access to highly efficient services. Every amenity the extended-stay business traveler could expect is available here, from the state-of-the-art security system, to the fully-equipped modern kitchen.

To Fraser Suites Suzhou, the past year 2013 was full of excitement as it peaked the occupancy rates and welcomed guests from over 30 countries, At Fraser Suites Suzhou, each guest is enveloped in luxury and opulence, whether unwinding in the privacy of their own residence or indulging In one of the many available leisure amenities. Everything one could ever want for an extended stay residence is here, at Fraser Suites Suzhou.

Fraser Suites Suzhou not only focuses on providing a luxurious and delightful living experience for guests, but also organizes colorful events to enrich their life in Suzhou and help them get accustomed to local culture. There are various events for guests to experience the Chinese culture, such as Lantern Festival, Dragon Boat Festival and Mid-Autumn Festival. Also, a number of traditional western parties and celebrations like Easter Egg Painting & Hunt, Thanksgiving Dinner and Christmas Party etc. are held to make guests feel the warmth from home.

According to the philosophy of Fraser Suites Suzhou, embracing the diversity of different cultures is most important. So Fraser Suites Suzhou works on creating a “home away from home” environment, Which is more than simply providing a house cleaning service, but aims for building a full life here.

In Fraser Suites Suzhou. children can enjoy themselves in the recreational area, while wives get together In a club to spend a cheerful afternoon. Each season, Fraser organizes all kinds of events, bringing guests from different countries together, giving them a chance to know each other and experience the diversity of cultures. In order to make guests’ life easier here, Fraser also provides a food-shopping service, as well as a shopping shuttle bus. For guests who have Just arrived in this city. the staff in reception will guide them to the nearby surroundings. It is called City Orientation, a considerate service provided to help guests get used to the new environment as soon as possible.

Responsibility of Fraser Suites.
As part of Fraser’s efforts to be more environmentally conscious, Fraser Suites Suzhou invites guests to be part of their “Green Living” program. The hospitality industry is among the industries with a
significant environmental footprint. Fraser sees it as its responsibility to help set an example for staff and the industry to make the Earth a better home for all. By encouraging guests to share their Green Living ideas and participate in the Green Living activities, Fraser seeks various ways to contribute to environmental protection.

In the meantime, Fraser has been very actively involved with charity work and the guests are always invited to participate in some charitable events in various communities, such as helping the orphans, and support the least fortunate local families. A lot of guests are more than delighted to get involved in the local charities.

The past two years has witnessed sound development of Fraser Suites Suzhou. It is believed that in the future, Fraser Suites Suzhou will become an ideal home for expats in Suzhou by further upgrading the living experience of its guests.

Having fun in Long Tou Zhu, Wuxi

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Wuxi Is not that big compared to Suzhou, but it doesn’t matter when it comes to tourist attractions, If you’re looking for a one-day tour in Wuxi, but don’t want to jump from one place to another, then Long Tau Zhu is the best place to enjoy your full day.

Long Tau Zhu Is situated in the Southwest of Ma Shan (Mt. MA), overlooking spectacular Taihu Lake and lies Its back against Llngshan Buddah.

Long Tau Zhu literally means Dragon Head Isle, because It is formed due to the extension of Dachu Mountain Into the Taihu Lake. which looks like a dragon that is hiding in the lake. From dragon tongue, dragon eye, dragon ear, dragon neck to dragon back, the isle stretches 2,500 meters. Legend has It that there used to be a green dragon in this area, One night, It dived into the lake, which

startled the divine deer in Lu Shan (Mt. Lu). The two magnificent holy creatures began to fight against each other, which caused a great amount of turmoil for the local people. Therefore, 18 brave warriors were dispatched from Mt. Lu to end the unrest. They cut the head off the dragon and nailed it In the lake, which later became Dragon Head Isle.

Of course, we all know it’s just a legend, but the minute you set your foot on the isle, the heavenly view will make you wonder if maybe part of it is true. According to Liu Yuxi, the poet and philosopher in the Tang Dynasty, “A mountain needn’t be high; It is famous so long as there is a deity on it: Long Tau Zhu is definitely not famous for its height, but when you see the flourishing trees reaching the sky at the gate, when you walk on the bank with endless misty Taihu Lake in Sight, it IS not hard to believe that it’s the right place a deity would choose.

Although it is June, you probably missed the peach blossoms, still the dancing willows Invite you to the summer beat. It’s a place full of fun. Bring your family here with you, have a wonderful BBQ in the beautiful surroundings, Just prepare yourself with some food, all the other necessities such as a barbecue, a small table and a few chairs or even cooking oil can be rented there all for the price of RMB50. There’re a few different locations for you to choose from, either at the bank with a shelter or in the open air, it’s up to you, The fun of cooking for yourself and your family can be experienced by anyone. If you are too busy to bring food here, you may buy from them at a little higher price.

Children would love staying here, because there’s a lot of recreational equipment close to the BBQ area, A see-saw, a swing or a slide will satisfy most of them. While for those who have older children, you may go along with him or her on the river challenges. It’s not rare to see people get wet when running across the waist-deep water river on the colorful plastic foams. but still with a big smile on the face. Be aware that it’s a little bit dangerous for youngsters, so keep an eye on him or her if necessary.

Running around the recreational area can take a lot of time, because there’s always a
queue in front of some popular challenges. If you don’t want to wait, a quiet tour in the garden is not a bad choice, As a well-protected area, the scenic spots integrate harmoniously with the natural scenery. Take a long walk along the lake view path, feel how small you are in front of the magnificent surroundings, Have a rest in the small pavilions hidden in the trees, enjoying the birds singing and streamlets running,

Also, you may see a group of people in camouflage uniforms, doing all kinds of training. Don’t worry, that’s probably a company doing the outward bound course, They even have live CS here if you are the one looking for excitement

To one’s surprise, such a place so fully equipped only charges RMB 25/person for admission. So what are you waiting for? Get your family out of bed, and impress them with a fantastic weekend!

The Fraser Suites Serviced Apartments

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Fraser Suites Suzhou is the kind of furnished serviced apartment that corporate clients dream of. Most of its in-house guests are from among the world’s most successful companies with 80% of its residents coming from fortune 500 companies.

The Fraser Suites Serviced Apartments in Suzhou are located in SIP (Suzhou Industrial Park) and only minutes away from Jinji Lake, various restaurants, shopping malls and metro stations. All of the serviced apartments are fully furnished, and guests can also enjoy a wide range of luxury hotel services, It also offers residents of the serviced apartments facilities such as the gymnasium, swimming pool, children’s play areas, outdoor gardens and sky lounge. What really sets apart the Fraser Suites serviced apartments in Suzhou is the 24-hour services, English / Chinese / Japanese / Korean speaking staff available for personal assistance, a full range of high-standard facilities, and guaranteed safety.

We recently has the change to sit down with the general manager for the Fraser Suites Serviced Apartments in Suzhou and ask him about himself, his business and the keys to successfully managing the serviced apartments in Suzhou.

You’ve had a long career in hospitality. Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your career?

I was born in China and brought up in Hong Kong. My father was Malaysian, and he came to China during world war 2 to help with the war effort. He ended up going college here, and that is how I happened to be born here. I started my career in hospitality in the 1980’s. After I graduated from the United States high school that I attended I moved to Switzerland for hotel management training. Following this, I started working as an apprentice in Zurich. While there I picked up the German language, a love for skiing, and I learned a lot about the culture and preference of Europeans. After graduation I went back to Hong Kong and worked with the Regent Hotel Brand. I started at the front desk, moved to sales and marketing, and on to operations. After that I held positions with the Grand Hyatt and the Shangri-La, which were both great working experiences for me.

Before I found Fraser Suites, I spend the previous 10 years at the InterContinental Hotels Group. Fraser was a new kind of business compared to my previous 20 years working in hotels. – Managing serviced apartments in Suzhou has been a new challenge for me.

Looking back, I would choose managing serviced apartments over hotels because it’s a change to create a home away from home for my clients.

What would you say is the most important factor when it comes to running the Fraser suites serviced apartments in Suzhou?

The service element is the most critical park of management. This is what makes Fraser suites special. It is about attention, developing relationships, spending time getting to know the residents. I feel like the bonding is important, and it is what I enjoy the most. There are people from many walks of life and industries staying in the apartments and it provides a wonderful mix for the community.

What would you say is the most distinctive aspect of the Suzhou Fraser Suites Serviced Apartments ?

Undeniably location is one important feature, especially as S.I.P offers a lifestyle that is attractive to many foreigners. However what is most distinctive about the Fraser Suites are the core brand standards. For example the ‘retreat’ is one of our best features, and it is very popular with our residents. It is a relaxation room equipped with massage chairs, offering a tranquil environment in which to unwind. Another feature that is popular is the ‘kid’s place’ where kids can play with tours and each other, on soft floors with suitable equipments. We recently installed an outdoor area for children to play that compliments the indoor area we already had. Seeing the kids really enjoying their stay by having this ‘front yard’ to play in is a great feeling for me, and I know our residents with children appreciate having it. In addition, the community that is built here in Fraser Suites sets us apart from most other establishments. We actively encourage community building through events like our potlucks in the garden, at which residents bring dishes from their home countries and everyone shares them, giving each person an opportunity to show his or her own culture while appreciating that of others. Finally, one of the most significant structural aspects of the Suites if the ‘Pinnacle’, our fifty-fifth floor area for residents only, which includes a billiard room, the sky lounge, meeting facilities, a library, and the previously mentioned retreat and sky garden, all with phenomenal views of the city.

There is some competition among the serviced apartments in Suzhou, How will you stay competitive?

There are no direct competitors to Fraser Suites in Suzhou because this product is different from other brands. While some hotels may have long-term guests, most clients who want a more home-like feel opt for us. Local residences offer homes, but these are not serviced, and thus we have the niche for our particular type of housing – a home feel with a full range of services. For the time being, we are the preferred choice for those in the market for our kind of offering.

What makes a business like Serviced apartments successful ?

While service, community, location and market are all important factors for making a business successful, I believe it is essential for a company to make clear that it is committed to the community in which it operates. For this reason we have recently started reaching out to our community through social work, and we are currently helping a girl whose father has cancer and recently had an accident making him unable to work. We do not force our staff to participate in these endeavours, but rather allow them opportunities to volunteer with such projects, and in this way we offer them avenues into the local community that may be difficult for them to find alone.

What is your favourite part of the job ?

There are many: all of the possibilities for reaching out; working with the talented staff and encouraging them to function as a strong team; and creating a community and enjoying it with the residents.

Suzhou Cripsy Duck

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Have you tried Suzhou’s famous cripsy duck ? Priced at only ¥30 per duck, be prepared to wait in line on weekends and special occasions.

The skin is crispy, yet not too oily and the meat is tender and not fatty, you can smell the fragrance of the store almost 30 meters away.

New Family in Suzhou ? Don’t get shocked!

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Expats can certainly expect to experience some degree of culture shock in China.

On first arrival to Suzhou, the human wave will probably shock you. Everywhere you go: public malls, tourist sites like Suzhou gardens, restaurants, railway stations, bus stations you will see nothing but waves and waves of people. Suzhou can be so crowded that you hardly have private space of your own once you are out of your hotel room or your apartment, special in Downtown areas like the Suzhou Shopping streets. Those moving to China may find some aspects of adjustment surprising novelties and others unexpected niceties. Either way, taking the necessary steps to prepare accordingly can alleviate some of the tension and the severity of culture shock.

Westerners are often the indiscreet focus of attention in restaurants or walking down streets. Unabated stares can grow uncomfortable and can become ostracising. There is also an obvious mark-up for products sold to foreigners which can further feelings of alienation and frustrate expats who otherwise try to be part of the community. Others can feel too much part of the community as enormous and dense crowds push and pack into public transportation or crowded sidewalks. Living in densely packed areas is often the largest cultural difference of life in China’s cities like Suzhou or Shanghai.

Another part of everyday life in China that requires some adjustment is the long queues associated with bureaucracy, from bank teller lines to waiting for hospital treatment.

When shopping, depending on the shop, it is customary to bargain for goods and the first offered price isn’t expected to be accepted. This isn’t the case in shopping malls that mirror the policies of western shopping centres.

The best way is to adjust yourself.. Keep in mind you are not in your home country. Be open for other cultures and behaviour. Find local friends talk open about it. Don’t only blame and compare with your life before.