Drive to the City of Suzhou

If you have two or three days in Shanghai, I’d suggest you to pay a visit to Suzhou. Although a visit to Suzhou is not as rewarding as a visit to Hangzhou (personally, I love Hangzhou better), it is very worth the time. It is only 100 km away from Shanghai.

As previous visit, I could get up late in the morning, had my breakfast at home, drove to Suzhou within 2 hours (including one hour or more in Shanghai) and had lunch in Guan Qian Street in Suzhou. After visiting some local stores or Chinese garderns, I drove back via the Suzhou High-Tech Zone. Very soon, we were at our favorite Hunan Restaurant in San Xiang Building (at the corner of Zhong Shan Elevated Highway and Hong Qiao Road) in Shanghai. After that, we still had time to visit the East bank of the Huang Pu river, or the Bund in Pudong. Wendy even spent half an hour shopping in the Grand Band Mall.

I had the best of the two cities in my life in the same day!

Suzhou v.s. Hangzhou

If time permits, the best approach is to visit Suzhou first and go to Hangzhou directly from Suzhou (without returning to Shanghai). There are highways connecting Suzhou and Shanghai, Shanghai and Hangzhou, Hangzhou and Suzhou. I don’t know whether it is because “the further the city is, the better it is” or something else. Hangzhou is a bigger city, with more historic stories and places of interests. Hangzhou was, anyway, the capital of China and is the capital of Zhejiang Province. That may be the reason why there are much more inside Hangzhou than in Suzhou. I still like the city of Suzhou, a small town with nice gardens. By Suzhou, I mean the old town of Suzhou. I went to the Hi-tech Zone of Suzhou. It is quite another story.

Suzhou High-Tech Zone

The Suzhou High-Tech Zone is east of Suzhou, adjenct to Shanghai. Many Singaporean enterprises and Taiwan investment went there.

We went to an area near the Ji Chang Road (or Airport Road) in Suzhou. It is a street in the city of Suzhou, but named after the Hong Qiao Airport. It is funny that people in Suzhou can access the airport more convinient than some in Shanghai. It is true.

Tall residential areas and massive town houses and villas around the lake area. There are new business centers and commerical areas. It gave me the impression that another Xin Zhuang (the town at the south end of the Metro Line #1) is rising in Suzhou. Wait. It is better than Xin Zhuang.

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© Jian Shuo Wang. Photograph by Wendy Fan. The bulidings under construction along the road

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© Jian Shuo Wang. Photograph by Wendy Fan. Sample of the buildings just completed construction.

6 thoughts on “Drive to the City of Suzhou

  1. YingZ

    I felt HangZhou was rather artificial and a tourist trap when I cisited last time :(.

    I always preferred Suzhou altho I’m heart broken to see a lot of the old style building are torn down for development and the pollution is destroying the remaining.

  2. Jian Shuo Wang

    I understand the way you feel about Hangzhou. There are many places in Hangzhou that give people that kind of impression. But the good thing is, Hangzhou is still a diversed city, and almost all kinds of comments on Hangzhou seem to be partly true.

    Suzhou have made the plan to create the new development zone west and east of the old city and keep the old city area pretty much in the old shape. it is a better strategy than Beijing, and Shanghai, and Hangzhou.

  3. Tony

    I have been to Hangzhou and Suzhou in 2004. Enjoyed walking around the West Lake area. I definately prefer Hangzhou better because the city seem to be cleaner compared to Suzhou. Reason being less pollution, and commuting around Hangzhou seems more organized and less chaotic. I Know China is a “developing nation” in progress, but I think the government need to define success less in terms of GDP and skyscrapers and more about peoples quality of life. In this case, control the pollution problem that is so apparent in pretty much all major cities in china. It would really suck if you shorten 5-10 years of your life because of the fumes and sut you breathe into your lungs everyday.

  4. Shirley New

    Hi, How long and what the fares from Shanghai to Suzhou taking train? If take a taxi , what will it be?

  5. Fidzzy

    Hi

    Will be going to Suzhou tomorrow by car but we do not know which route to take. Can you please tell me the road to take from Shanghai and road to turn to Suzhou?

    Waiting please…………

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