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Pingjiang Road: Remarkable Ancient Block of Suzhou

Pingjiang Road is the grandest and best-conserved ancient block in Suzhou, China. It is a mile (1.6 kilometers) long with a history dating back to South Song Dynasty. It epitomizes the quintessential Chinese water town with white-walled houses, gray-tiled roofs, stone bridges, and winding alleyways.

On top of that, Pingjiang Road is a vibrant cultural center as well, where you’ll see performances of traditional Chinese art forms, Kunqu Opera and Suzhou Pingtan. You can also find shops serving local delicacies and handicrafts stalls.

Fast Facts about Pingjiang Road

  • Location: Pingjiang Road, Gusu District, Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, China
  • Hours: 24 hours but most stores close around 22:00
  • Ticket price: free
  • Recommended visit time: 2-4 hours
  • Best time to visit: all year round
  • Suited to: History lovers, photographers, couples, families

 

Suzhou Pingjiang Road
Pingjiang Road

What to See and Do on Pingjiang Road

Explore historical buildings

Pingjiang Road runs along the 25 centuries old Pingjiang River. See the ancient residential houses of the locals, 17 stone bridges connecting the neighborhood. Venture into the winding narrow alleyways and feel the ancient stone walls.

There are many former residences of famous individuals on Pingjiang Road, for example, the former residence of Huang Pilie in the Xuanqiao Lane. In the same lane, there is the former residence of the “Zhuangyuan” Hong Jun in Qing Dynasty. He lived here with Sai Jinhua.

Learn about Chinese opera culture

In Zhangjia Lane of Pingjiang Road, you’ll encounter Suzhou Opera Museum, which includes Kun Opera Museum of China and Suzhou Pingtan Opera Museum of China. It showcases the history, culture, and art of Kun Opera.

Pingtan is an ancient talking-singing art in China. It is ballad singing in Suzhou dialect. The performer dressed in Qipao will play Pipa (Chinese lute) and sing songs. You’ll see fascinating performances of Kunqu Opera and Suzhou Pingtan at the museum.

Taste delicious local food

Apart from its long history, Pingjiang Road is known for its food culture as well. One of the most prominent types of snacks you’ll find is pastry. They are made by locals in small stalls. Try Osmanthus cakes, fermented glutinous rice ball soup, glutinous rice cakes in bamboo tubes. Other delicious local snacks include pan fried pork buns and yogurt.

There are also restaurants serving famous Su cuisines, sweat and sour mandarin fish, crab tofu, minced pork congee with preserved eggs. Don’t miss these local delicacies when you travel to Suzhou. If you keep an open mind, you’ll be surprised by their flavors.

Shop for handicrafts

Pingjiang Road is home to many local artisans who own handicraft shops selling handmade silk embroidery, beautifully handcrafted fan, as well as paintings depicting this historical block.

Experience the night view

Pingjiang Road comes to life after dark with a bustling night market. Shops and stalls light up the ancient alleys. Take a walk and see their reflections in the tranquil waters.

 

Suzhou Pingjiang Road Night View
Experience the night view of Pingjiang Road

Best Time to Visit Pingjiang Road

Thes best time for your Suzhou tour to Pingjiang Road are during the spring months of April to May and the autumn months of September to October. The weather is nice, and flowers are in bloom.

In the winter, Pingjiang Road sees fewer crowds, but the temperature may be colder with occasional rainfall. Conversely, Pingjiang Road is full of life and colors in the summer, but it can get pretty hot and humid. Summer is also the busiest tourist season in Suzhou.

How to Get to Pingjiang Road

By Metro: Take metro line 1 to Xiangmen Station. It’s a 10-minute walk to Pingjiang Road. Please note that the metro operates till 11:30pm at night.

By Bus: Take one of the buses NO. 2, 9, 60, 68, 112, 114, 307, 800, and 900 to Xiangmen Station. Then take a 10-minute walk to Pingjiang Road.

By taxi: Hail a taxi from anywhere in Suzhou directly to Pingjiang Road. The fare varies based on distance and traffic conditions.

By Airport Express: For those arriving at Shanghai Hongqiao Airport or Pudong Airport, take the airport express to China Eastern Airlines Booking Office in Suzhou. From there, transfer to bus NO. 68, 112, 114, 307, 60, 9, 900, 2, or 800, and get off at Xiangmen Station.

Attractions nearby Pingjiang Road

  • Humble Administrator’s Gardenis another one of the four most celebrated gardens in Suzhou, among them, it is the largest classical Chinese garden. Humble Administrator’s Garden is praised for its landscapes and especially water features.
  • Lion Grove Gardenis a renowned classical garden with a history dating back to Yuan Dynasty in 1342. It stands among the four most celebrated Chinese gardens in Suzhou, is famous for its amazing collections of rocks.
  • Suzhou Museumis designed by the well-known Chinese American architect Mr. Ieoh Ming Pei (贝聿铭). Pei lived in Suzhou during his childhood, so you’ll find many typical elements of Suzhou gardens and Jiangnan architecture at the museum. With an area of 12,797 square yards (10,700 square meters), Suzhou Museum is home to over 40,000 historical and cultural, including jade, ceramics, bronze, stone, ivory.
  • Shantang Streetis often referred to as “the First Street in Suzhou” for three reasons. It has a history of nearly 1,200 years; it is representative of local architecture; it is associated with distinguished people and events.
  • Zhouzhuang Water Townenjoys a long history of over 930 years and has been selected by CNN as one of the “world’s top 10 most beautiful small towns.” It is surrounded by water on all sides, with a crisscross network of water alleys linking up all parts of the town, hence the nickname “Venice of the East.”
  • Tiger Hillis a renowned scenic spot in Suzhou, featuring the iconic leaning Yunyan Pagoda, the Sword Pool, the Tomb of King He Lu, and other historical and cultural relics.

Suzhou Tours to Pingjiang Road

 

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