I have been living and working in Suzhou now for nearly 4 years. I am from Bristol myself which is not a big city but it also isnt a small city. Suzhou has the same feeling as Bristol but not the same population. I think Bristol has half a million compared to 6ish million in Suzhou. The only way to get around the city is by Electric Bike. All the people driving cars just get stuck in traffic jams all the time. At the moment Suzhou is building a metro and the first line will hopefully be finished by this time next year. There are lots of shopping malls and restaurants and cafes and tourist hotspots springing up everywhere, getting ready for all the people that will apparently come to Suzhou when the metro is finished.
Suzhou however is an amazing place to live as an expat. There is so much to do here to fill up your time. Its also only 25 mins away from Shanghai by train. Suzhou has everything Chinese and Western. You can choose how you want to live. You can either live a cheap life and save loads of money or you can spend all your money enjoying your life. I enjoy my life and still save loads.
Will write more again soon