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Suzhou: The Venice of the East

Suzhou, located in the Jiangsu Province of China, is often called the “Venice of the East” because of it’s many water canals and bridges around the city! In fact, more than 42% of the city is covered in water.

Built in 514 BC, this city has a history of more than 2,000 years and is the perfect place to enjoy sightseeing, beautiful canals, and a relaxing travel experience strolling along the river.

I first came to Suzhou during the Spring Festival of 2016, so I was really excited to visit again and explore more! I spent 2 days here which was enough time to see the highlights, but you could easily spend longer here to really experience all the water areas and gardens here.

How To Get To Suzhou

Suzhou is very easy to reach by train. From Beijing I took a high speed train to Suzhou North Station, which took about 5-5.5 hours. From Shanghai it’s very convenient to travel here, with many trains and buses. There isn’t an airport in the city, however, so it’s recommended you fly into Shanghai first if traveling by plane.

Where to Stay in Suzhou

I recommend staying in the city center close to one of the traditional walking streets. I stayed in Pingjiang Lu, a traditional walking street located in Suzhou Old Town. The location was great and I enjoyed waking up and being right by a water canal. There were many shops, restaurants, and coffee shops right nearby too!

Check out my video from Suzhou!

Things to Do in Suzhou

Ping Jiang Street

This is the largest and best preserved traditional block in Suzhou. There are many alleyways branching off the main street if you want to explore more.

Shantang Street

This street is another famous area for shopping, snacks, and of course, a view of the canals. This area is perhaps the most famous site for photographing Suzhou.

Tongli Ancient Town

This is a traditional Water town located about 40 minutes from Suzhou. I took a Didi here (70 – 80 RMB) which was worth it to me for the convenience and time, but there is also a metro station closeby if you’re looking for a more affordable way to get here (it will take much longer though, about 1.5 – 2 hours).

Of all the places in Suzhou I’ve visited, I perhaps enjoyed Tongli the most! There were less tourists bunched together at one photo spot, and it had a ore relaxed and chill vibe. Grab a coffee at one of the shops along the river and enjoy a lazy afternoon strolling around.

Boat Ride

While in Tongli you must take a boat ride! It costs 120 RMB for one boat, and up to 6 people can ride. The boat takes you all around the little anicent town for about 30 minutes. It was a lovely way to look at the city.

More Things To Do

There is so much more to see and do in Suzhou! If you have time, check out the Humble Administrator’s Garden, the Suzhou museum, and Tiger Hill. Also, Zhouzhuang Water Town is nearby if you want to take a day trip.

12 comments

  1. Some wonderfully familiar shots. I spent Christmas week here in 2018 and really fell for the city. In fact, a bunch of my shots are almost mirrors of the ones you’ve posted here. I also agree that Tongli was something special. Thanks for reviving my Suzhou memories.

    Liked by 1 person

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