Jiangsu Province, 128km (79 miles) NW of Shanghai

Located in the southern part of Jiangsu Province, Wuxi, literally "without tin," was once "you xi" ("has tin"). The town changed its name during the Han dynasty when nearby deposits of tin were mined out. A Grand Canal port, Wuxi itself is not an exciting city but it's the best base for a visit to Tai Hu (Lake Tai), one of China's four largest freshwater lakes and its most fabled body of water. On the west shore of Tai Hu is Yixing, famous for its purple clay pottery.