My kids and I took the boat tour, which you pay for and catch near the entrance to Nanchan Temple. The ancient canal has many lovely bridges, including the famous Qingming; it was a beautiful way to spend the afternoon and I have spectacular photographs (I sat outside at the front of the boat while the kids sat inside with the air conditioning). We stopped at the Kiln Museum which we all loved.
As part of the tour group, we were dropped off in the area in the late afternoon. and all the restaurants and bars were closed. There is hardly any shops selling any tourist stuff. What a disappointment and it was extremely hot during the summer months, as there is hardly any trees in the main street, called Canal walk - Wuxi, which is closed off to traffic. Don't waste your time during the day time, maybe during the evening the area will be more lively!