Suzhou is a historic garden town, about half an hour from both Shanghai and Nanjing by high-speed rail. Famous for its canals and carefully cultivated gardens, Suzhou has plenty of Chinese culture to offer. The buses will take you everywhere you need to go, up until about 10 pm. For those who want to see the sky, Suzhou is notable among Chinese cities for a lack of skyscrapers and a distinct style of architecture, those Chinese-type houses you always see in books with the sloped tile roofs and whitewashed walls. You will not be the only foreigner in Suzhou, and you may not get as many strange looks as Americans in small towns do. This can be a pro and a con: you can blend in more easily, but you may have to make more of an effort to make Chinese friends.