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Shangtang Street (山塘街) or Seven-li Shantang (七里山塘) is praised as the “Miniature of Old Suzhou and Window of Wu Culture” for its perfect reflection of the natural and cultural charm of ancient Suzhou city. Also, having enjoyed the advantageous location of both convenient land and water transportation, Shantang Street was once one of the best well-developed street blocks in Ming & Qing dynasties in China, so it is regarded as the “No. 1 Old Street in the Divine Land” (a poetic name of ancient China).
In 825 AD, the famous poet Bai Juyi (白居易) was the feudal provincial in Suzhou who collected people to build the Shantang River and pile the banks to make the transportation better. And the Shantang Street was shaped from the banks since then. This street connecting Changmen (阊门) in the east and the Tiger Hill (虎丘山) in the west in the total length of seven li (seven miles, 3600 m), so it is also called the Seven-li Shantang. Under good preservation, Shantang Street is a great place to appreciate the antique buildings, sightseeing of old rivers, Suzhou old cultures, etc.
Tonggui Bridge, Shantang Old Street, Painted Boat, characteristic old houses, etc. are all the real highlights in the Seven-mile Shantang. Don’t miss them!
Tonggui Bridge (通贵桥) is the best place to admire the elegant old scenery of Shantang Street. This bridge made of stones above the river seems like a curved moon. Standing on this primitive stone bridge, you will see the withered houses leaning one by one off the old river. No matter raining or sunny or snowing, this gorgeous and graceful scenery of the typical Suzhou water place is completely beautiful like a classic oil painting.
The Shantang Old Street (山塘老街) of 360 m long is actually the essence of the whole Seven-mile Shantang. Regarded as the “Miniature of Old Suzhou and Window of Wu Culture”, Shantang Old Street is in rich of Suzhou embroideries, exquisite silk items, tasteful food of Suzhou renowned brands, old tea houses, modern pubs and western restaurants, etc. which shows best the real prosperity in Shantang Street in that period.
It is said that failing to take the gaily-painted pleasure-boat (画舫) in Shantang Street is a big pity. Sitting or standing in the ancient fantastic boat, you will forget being in 21st century but going back to the old Suzhou of 1,000 years ago, where the Wu people lived peacefully in their residences side by the water. Moreover, you will hear the busy atmosphere from the near old stores on the streets, and get through the century-old bridge opening, etc.
Being a great historic & cultural sight of over 1,160 years, Shantang Street keeps a series of ancient featured buildings for you to know more about Suzhou history and culture. “Suzhou Chamber of Commerce Museum (苏州商会博物馆)” has been the place for the non-Suzhou people to hold gathering, sacrifice, assistance, and exchange trading communications, etc. “Jiangnan Ship Culture Exhibition Hall (江南船文化博览馆)” shows the picture, components, models of various kinds of ships and boats in ancient times in Jiangnan regions. The “Antai Fire Fighting Community (安泰救火会)” built in 1925 exhibits the historical photos, words, firefighting equipment like cloths, caps, water guns, etc. of the modern times, and reshows the vivid scene of putting off the fire and saving people at that time. Besides, you can see “Yuhan Hall (玉涵堂)” of Wu Yipeng (吴一鹏), which is the biggest and best preserved residence of Ming dynasty, and other worthy sights.
Shantang Street is situated in Gusu District of the downtown of Suzhou, and you can get there by bus, subway, taxi, bicycle, rickshaw, boat, etc.
By subway: Take the Suzhou Rail Transit Line 2 to get off at Shantangjie Station
If you want to get rid of hustle of public transportation and troublesome navigation, you can book a private tour package which covers sightseeing, dining and transfer from us. Our local tour guide and driver will escort you to Shantang Street with speed and convenience, and take care of all the details. You just need to focus on sightseeing.
Entrance Fee:Free for the street visiting
Specified Sight Package Ticket:
RMB 45 / person for the specified sights (8:00-21:00; Including: Yujan Hall, Suzhou Chamber of Commerce Museum, Taohuawu Woodcut New Year Prints Exhibition Hall (桃花坞木刻年画展览馆), Antai Fire Fighting Community, etc; only open Yuhan Hall after 17:00; stop selling tickets from 16:30)
Painted Boat Tour Fee: RMB 55 / person (about 30 min; 8:00-21:00)
Sculling Boat Tour Fee: RMB 80 / person (about 40 min; 8:30-17:00)
Note: the above information is for your reference only, for the detail fee information in Shantang Street, please contact our Travel Consultant!
1. The night view of Shantang Street is really romantic, antique and splendid, and do not miss it if you have enough time.
2. Watch out while travel on the boat in case of falling in the water.
3. Taking a rickshaw to visit Suzhou is romantic and convenient, but it is recommended to discuss the payment with the carter before getting on in case of being cheated.
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[Important] Travel News for Expats: China travel is reopening now! Travel with China Discovery and learn about where to visit & requirements for each destination! Read Details >