Pollution in Taihu (Lake Tai)

During my trip to Xishan, I passed Taihu. The beautiful lake – the third largest freshwater lake in China.

To be surprise, Taihu changed a lot – because of polution.

Because of the nitrogen and phosphorus discharged by the chemical and fishing factories around the lake, algae overgrew in the lake like crazy, further decreased the water quality.

Look at the picture I took below:

Did you see the green thing on the surface of the water? That is the overgrown algae. It made the water looks dirty.

It is said that 20 billion RMB will be spent to cure the polution.

China has sweared to avoid the “polute first, and then clean” way – the “capitalist way”. However, the reality is the opposite.

Check out what Taihu used to be in these photos:

Suzhou Taihu Mercury Club & Marina

P.S. I once ride back to Taihu by bike.

Xishan, an Island in Taihu

As I forecast yesterday, my family went to Xishan, an island in the middle of the Taihu (Tai Lake). It is connected to the land via a big Taihu bridge.

Here is the island – Xishan 西山:

View Larger Map

Here is the the island in the bigger map in the Taihu:

View Larger Map

The Area

Many weeks, Wendy and I was wondering where we should go to spend the weekend. In Shanghai, we have became hopeless to find any place new or to spend the night. We love Hangzhou, and Suzhou.

There are not many new things in the city of Suzhou. Our interest is mainly around the Taihu area.

This time, we decided to go to the island in the Taihu.


Xishan is the largest island in the Taihu (Tai Lake, the second largest lake in China). It is connected to the land with a large Taihu Bridge – three sections connecting three islands.

We went to a place called Mingyuwan Village 明月湾村. Many of the buildings in the village were built in 1700s.

We stayed there for one night – 100 RMB (13 USD) per room per night. We went to their orange farm, and hand-picked 14.5 kg of orange. We paid 29 RMB for it (4 USD).


Getting there from Shanghai is easy. Here is how we got there:

Yan’an Elevated Expressway

-> A9

-> A30

-> Take Daying Exit 大盈出口

-> West on Beiqing Road for 8 km 北青公路

-> Suhu Expressway 苏沪高速

-> Suzhou Ring Expressway 苏州绕城

-> Take Xishan Exit 西山出口

-> Take Taihu Bridge 太湖大桥

-> Follow about 10 signs to the village.

We took about 2 hours to get back (3 hours to get there because of traffic jam on A9).

It is funny that the expressway from Suzhou to Shanghai just stops at the border of Suzhou and Shanghai. Suzhou is waiting for Shanghai to continue the construction but Shanghai just responded coldly. There is almost no cars on the road at all. It is said that the Shanghai section will start construction soon.

In San Jose from Nov 9 to Nov 18

Jian Shuo Wang is flying from Shanghai to San Francisco on Nov 9, 2006, via UA858. For Saturday, there is still some time block. If any of my friends what a meetup, please feel free to drop me email at jianshuo at hotmail dot com.

For the whole week of Nov 13 to Nov 18, I will be in Santa Cruz (day and night) with limited communication with outside.

I am flying back on Nov 19, via UA857.

Taihu! Taihu! Taihu!

You have to visit a place many times to really learn its beauty. It is exactly

true. I fall in love in Hangzhou, in Nanjing, and today, in Taihu. The

Expressway network in the Yangtze Delta extends at the speed I cannot imagine.

The newly built Suzhou – Shanghai Expressway directly connect the Suzhou City

Ring Express and Shanghai A30 Express. Now the riding distance from my home at

Pudong and the Xukou at Taihu is only 120 KM, costing…

Back from Taihu by Bike

As I forecasted before, I completed my trip to Taihu by bike today, covering 147 km in distance. Here is the actual route.


© Jian Shuo Wang

I started at 7:30 AM of Saturday from 77 Caobao Road – near the Metro Caobao Road station. Then I headed to Qibao 七宝. Within two hours, I arrived at Sheshan 佘山. At noon, I passed the Oriental Green Boat 东方绿洲 and Zhujiajiao 朱家角 and arrived at #8815, Huqingping Road and had lunch there – free lunch.

In the afternoon, I cycled on the best road for cycling – from Daguanyuan – Shangta – Zhouzhuang – Tongli (大观园-商榻-周庄-同里). At 1700, I arrived in Zhouzhuang and took pictures below. After having dinner there, I continued my journey to Zhouzhuang – it is about 10 km between and I finally get Tongli at around 1915. The sun just set.

The night at Tongli is amazing – my personal advice for anyone who want to visit a historic town like Tongli, Zhouzhuang or Luzhi 甪直 have to go there at night. The village looks so nice with all doors (the doors for shops) closed and all visitors just left the town – I didn’t see anyone in the town during my stay.

The next day, I started late at 0800 and arrived in another historic town Mudu 木渎 at noon. Having lunch there, I completed the last 3 km from Mudu to Xukou 胥口. It was so hot at the time I arrived – 34 degrees C or even higher since 1400 is the hottest time for the day and there is no tree alone the road. After that, it seems no possible for me to get back home within that day and I have to get back since I have already booked my flight to Beijing early next morning. So I ride back for a while and took the bus from Suzhou to Shanghai. As luck would have it, there is a car model called “North” from Neoplane. It is large enough to accomendate my bike and I left Suzhou on bus from 1820 and arrived at around 2000.

Below are technical metrics of the trip

Dst = Distance (km)

Av = Average speed (km/h)

Mx = Maxium speed (km/h)

Odo = Odometer (km)

Tm = Riding time (hh:mm:ss)

Nw = record time (hh:mm)

8815 Huqingping 沪青平 Rd.

Dst 54.95

Av 15.8

Mx 33.3

Ca 574.8

Odo 65.5

Tm 3:28:30

Nw 12:44

Zhouzhuang 周庄

Dst 81.00

Tongli 同里

Dst 97.30

Av 15.1

Mx 33.3

Ca 1010.7

Odo 107.9

Tm 6:24:27

Mudu 木渎

Dst 139.73

Av 15.2

Mx 43.4

Ca 1439.9

Odo 150.3

Tm 9:04:23

Nw 13:37

Taihu @ Xukou 胥口

Dst 147.72

Av 15.3

Mx 43.4

Ca 152.41

Odo 1581.3

Nw 14:26


Below: Reached Zhouzhuang

© Jian Shuo Wang

Below: My bike and I on the bridge in Zhouzhuang 周庄.

© Jian Shuo Wang

Below: Early morning (3:40 AM) in Tongli.

© Jian Shuo Wang

Below: Too tried so I lied down on the ground on my way from Suzhou to Mudu 木渎

© Jian Shuo Wang

Below: Finally reached the destination – Taihu.

© Jian Shuo Wang

Below: It is the hottest day of this year. It was 34 degrees C. When this picture is taken, it is 2:00 PM, the hottest time of the day.

© Jian Shuo Wang

Below: Boats waiting on Taihu to enter the river.

© Jian Shuo Wang

© Jian Shuo Wang

© Jian Shuo Wang

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© Jian Shuo Wang

© Jian Shuo Wang

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© Jian Shuo Wang

Below: returned from Taihua, on the bus from Hangzhou to Shanghai

© Jian Shuo Wang