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Silk Embroidery Research Institute worth it?

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Washington DC...
posts: 30
reviews: 1
Silk Embroidery Research Institute worth it?

Our family will be going to Suzhou on a day trip from Shanghai in July. The tour company we're working with has set up a tour of the usual attractions but also included a stop at the Silk Embroidery Research Institute. I don't see any posts in the Suzhou or Shanghai forums about that specific place. Under Suzhou attractions, there are a handful of reviews but the most recent reviewer (2 stars) said it was just a showroom and s/he did not see any actual workers. We're not particularly interested in shopping but would be interested in seeing how silk is produced and watching the artisans at work.

Can anyone tell me what to expect? I'm trying to get a sense if it's a tourist trap or if it's worthwhile. Otherwise we'd prefer not to waste our limited time there especially if we can see silk embroidery products just by walking into shops as we tour Suzhou. It's just our family on this tour so we can easily take the Institute off the itinerary.

Columbus Ohio
posts: 11
reviews: 25
1. Re: Silk Embroidery Research Institute worth it?

My friend wanted to take a boat trip up the Pudong river so we got on, expecting to be returned to the same spot. Instead were taken on a silk factory tour....apparently this is common practice to try to get you to buy their products...lots of silk factories around and we didn't really see how it's made or artisans at work....we couldn't get out of the factory unless we went through the sales room where there is a lot of pressure to buy....when we finally got back to the bus, we were told they were going to stop at two more such places before returning us to the original spot. We got off and took a city bus back...so be careful...we wasted a lot of valuable time. Also when I toured the Great Wall in Beijing I told our guide about it. There are several places you can visit the wall and apparently that's a common scam there, too....she said the place she took us to visit doesn't have that problem and that's why she prefers it because so many tourists complain about getting scammed into visiting the "silk factories" which really are nothing more than sales pitches.

2. Re: Silk Embroidery Research Institute worth it?

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Removed on: 12:16 am, May 13, 2014