Suzhou, a water town in Jiangsu Province, is regarded as the "Oriental Venice" due to its large water area. There are countless lakes, ponds and streams in the city.
Located between Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces, Taihu Lake is the 2nd largest freshwater lake in China. The part of the lake within Suzhou is situated in the west of the city. The lake covers an area of 2427.8 square km and has 51 islands. Its azure lake slightly wrinkles in the winds and extends to the distant horizon. The breath-taking scenery changes during the seasons.
The eastern, northern and western banks as well as the islands in the lake are the cradle of the Wuyue Culture. A large number of cultural relics can be found, such as the Yue city in Spring and Autumn Periods (770BC–476BC), the Great Channel in Sui Dynasty (581-618), Baodai Bridge in Tang Dynasty (618-907), Zijin Monastery in Song Dynasty (960–1279) and Yangwan Street in Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).
Transportation: take bus No.65, 651 or 652 and get off at Taihu Yihao Qiao (Taihu Lake First Bridge).
Covering an area of 10 square km, Jinji Lake is a modern tourist attraction in Suzhou. The scenic spot is mainly composed of the Urban Square, Linglong Bay, Jinji Peninsular, Lakeshore Avenue, Cultural Waterside Corridor, Boxin Isle and Cape of Lake Views. The crystal rippling waters, blue sky, woods and lawns attracts a great number of visitors each year.
Transportation: take bus No.16, 18, 27, 52, 100, 115, 118, 120, 126, 128, 141, 142, 166, 168, 218, 228, 518 or 812 and get off at Jinjihu Dadao (Jinji Lake Avenue).
Located about three kilometers northeast of Suzhou city, the Yangcheng Lake covers an area of about 20 square km and crosses the boundary of the cities of Wuxian, Changshu and Kunshan. Besides its beautiful scenery, the lake is more known by its delicacy – Chinese mitten crabs. The harvest time is from September to October since they migrate from Yangcheng Lake to theYangtze delta.
Moreover, Yangcheng Lake is involved in a traditional Peking Opera "Sha Jia Bang" (Sha Family's Creek). It is said the lake is the birthplace of the story.
Transportation: take Bus No. 107 at Kunshan Railway Station
Located to the west of Zhouzhuang town in Suzhou, Baixian Lake gets the name because it abounds in white clams (Baixian in Chinese). It covers an area of 7.6 square km. The mean depth of water measures 2.5 meters. Every night when the fish boats returns, the fishermen would bring the boat up, dry the fishnets and sell the fishes. The scene is full of the artistic conceptions in Chinese zither song The Fishermen Sing in the Evening.
Located in the south of Suzhou Industrial Park and near Soochow University, Dushu Lake is a fresh water lake covering an area of 9.9 square kilometers. It is one of the big lakes in Suzhou and about one time larger than Jinji (Golden Rooster) Lake. The lake boasts clear water and beautiful scenery.
Transportation: take bus No.110, 128, 146 or 218 and get off at Soochow University Dushu Lake branch.
To appreciate the lake scenery in Suzhou, Shajiabang Town is not to be missed. Visitors going there can enjoy the beautiful sight of reed marshes, shining lakes as well as immerse in the performance of Beijing Opera Shajiabang.
Located only 15 kilometers to the downtown of Changshu in Jiangsu Province, and beside the beautiful Yangcheng Lake, Shajiabang town is rated as the token of the land of rice and fish in the south, with genial climate, rich soil, sweet water and abundant agricultural products.
Shajiabang is famous for the kinding of reed marshes in China. The Army and the people, just like the water and the fish, composed the brilliant prose of union against the Japanese troops in the verdant screen of reed marshes. The performance of Beijing opera Shajiabang made the place widely known.
Travel tips: Shajiabang one-day tour offered by many travel agencies includes the tour of reed marshes maze, Hongshi folk culture village and Hengjing Laojie Jiangnan Shuixiang Photo Base. The quoted price is about 130 yuan.