HomeWhich City – Latest PostsA Local’s Guide: Things to Eat & Do in SUZHOU, China 苏州

A Local’s Guide: Things to Eat & Do in SUZHOU, China 苏州

The Humble Administrators Garden in Suzhou

I would be dumb if I didn’t ask my good Chinese friends to contribute their local knowledge, so now let’s see what my friend Yulissa has to say about what to eat and do in Suzhou!

*From the Editor: the following is only lightly edited by myself for clarity but largely kept intact as it was written. I’m proud of Yulissa’s hard work to improve her English level and am also very honored and thankful to have received this article from her. This is her hometown area so she knows it quite well, so I’d rather take her advice!

What to Eat in Suzhou–The FOOD!

Rong Yang Building in SuzhouRong Yang Building 荣阳˜O

 

 

Most of local taxi drivers know this place. You can just tell them (or show them the Chinese on the translator) this place’s name, and they can take you to here. This is a place suitable to have breakfast. There are some types of tradition local breakfast, and most of people think it is excellent quality and a reasonable price.

 

 

 

 

suzhou style glutinous rice ballsGlutinous Rice Sesame Balls –ƒ团

 

 

Just only need RMB3!! It is Made of glutinous rice, inside is meat,and it is fried. You need to eat it when it is hot! And the meat is tasted in sweet. The local person in Suzhou like eat food sweety. This is the reason why they want to put sugar in meat.

For my opinion, if a girl to eat it, it is better for you to just order one, because it is fried, you would feel greasy if you ate more than two.

 

 

 

 

ZHU HONG XING NOODLE RESTAURANT 朱鸿兴面馆Zhu Hong Xing Noodle Restaurant 朱鸿兴面馆

 

 

If you went to Suzhou,you must go to the noodles restaurant. People in Suzhou like eating noodle every day. And we can choose different side dish in your noodle,you can also choose one,two ore three side dishes,but the price will be changed.

NOODLE TYPES 面条

 

 

About the soup, you can choose red soup or white soup, it is just a different taste.

 

RED:

red soup noodles 面条

You can choose many types of side dishes like smoked fish, fried spare ribs, shrimp meat or vegetables.

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHITE:

white soup noodles 面条

During summer and winter, local person also like eating mutton noodles. They think mutton noodles can protect you from cold.

 

 

 

 

 

SONG HE BUILDING 松鹤楼Song He Building 松鹤楼

 

 

The name comes from one of famous novel in China called Dragon Oath. Two of the characters were sworn brothers in this building.
This restaurant is famous for Sue style. One of their advertisement word is “ the beginning of Sue style from SONG HE BUILDING.

 

 

 

 

Pre-dinner Dessert Euryale Ferox 鸡头米Pre-dinner Dessert Euryale Ferox 鸡头米

 

 

Euryale ferox is same meaning of gorgon  fruit. It tastes sweet  soup,  osmanthus  with  thick scent. This soup is famous in autumn.

 

 

 

 

 

Golden goose in brown sauce 金牌素烧鹅Golden goose in brown sauce 金牌素烧鹅

 

 

It doesn’t mean it made by goose, it just taste like eating goose. It’s made by bean curd shin, inside is agaric. Since called it a gold medal, it’s really have the own reason. The vegetable tofu skin is wrapped with stir-fried agaric, golden needle and carrot, cut into thin shreds, color and nutrition, one bite, fresh and sweet.

 

 

 

 

Squirrel mandarin fish 松鼠鳜鱼

Squirrel mandarin fish 松鼠鳜鱼

 

 

During Qing dynasty, one emperor called Qianlong, he liked to visit Suzhou every year, and he called Suzhou as Jiangnan. And one of his favorite food is Squirrel mandarin fish.
This is a really must-order for every table. You can see this beautiful fish with its tail up. Firstly it is so famous that emperor qianlong praised the Fried fish in the shape of a squirrel, which was then doused with a steaming marinade. The “squirrel” began to squeak, mainly in tomato sauce, with a sweet and sour taste.

 

 

 

 

Golden goose in brown sauce 金牌素烧鹅Taihu Anchovies with Scrambled Eggs 太湖银鱼炒蛋

 

 

Anchovies is one member of Taihu three white. With golden Fried eggs, the silky and delicious taste in your mouth will keep your chopsticks from stopping.

 

 

 

 

Crab dumplings 蟹粉小笼Crab Dumplings 蟹粉小笼

 

 

This is one of famous Dim sum from autumn to winter. When you taste the crab pot and bite down the crab powder, your mouth will be full of delicious, with crab oil juice enough to satisfy your taste buds!

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Dining Dainties (Special Local Food) 民间美食

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Sweet Mung Bean Soup 绿豆Sweet  Mung  Bean  Soup 绿豆汤

 

 

This is sweet soup, and it is famous in summer, and it has many advantages for our healthy, for example clearing heat and detoxification, eliminating heat and annoyance, quenching thirst and strengthening stomach, benefiting water and reducing swelling.

Different areas in China has different way to make it. The way to do it in Suzhou will put rice, mung beam in this soup. Also it is a good breakfast during summer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sweet Green Rice Ball 青团Sweet Green Rice Ball  青团

 

 

As you know, April 4th is the Tomb-sweepong Day. On that day, we go to the tomb of our ancestors and have some sweet green rice ball and Qingming dumplings. Inside is red bean paste. If you ask me why it is green, I will tell you it made by wormwood.

 

 

 

 

Traditional Chinese Breakfast 豆浆油条

The other translation is Perfect Match, why? Because those two are perfect matching. You must try to put it together!

 

 

 

 

What to DO in Suzhou–ATTRACTIONS!

 

 

Pingjiang road in Suzhou 1PINGJIANG ROAD 平江路

Pingjiang road is a historic street in Suzhou, is a path along the river. The appearance before in suzhou can still be found on both sides of the busy road.
The setting sun shines on the white wall to present a warm tone. Under a small bridge near a cottage a stream flows. This is the old town of suzhou.
Also pingjiang road is a good place to eat some tasty snacks. In my ideal the best time to go there is night.

 

 

 

Pingjiang road in Suzhou 2

 

Ticket Price: for free
OPENING HOURS: whole day
LOCATION: Pingjiang road, Pingjiang District,SuZhou. 苏州市平江区平江路
TRANSPORTATION: Take line 1,get off at Xiangmen station or Lindun road station, it is about 300 meters walk to the south of pingjiang road. Or take bus 301, 305, get off at pingjiang road station.
SUGGESTION TIME: evening

 

 

 

 

 

SUZHOU MUSEUM 苏州博物馆

Suzhou museum is next to pingjiang road, just about 10 minutes’ walk. If it is a holiday, i suggest to make an appointment with the official website of suzhou museum in advance, and then you can get into the museum without queuing. The museum was designed by a famous designer BeiYuMing.
The design of the museum combines traditional suzhou architectural styles, but the roof has been reinterpreted to evolve into a new geometric effect.
It was designed a main courtyard and a number of small courtyards in an exquisite layout. The water in the pool is crystal clear and fish swim happily in the water.
When asked why the traditional taihu stone was not adopted, BeiYuMing said that the traditional rockery art can no longer be surpassed. The master of lifelong innovation, do not wish to follow the footsteps of predecessors. When walking on the bridge, I did not understand the mystery of the design.

TICKET PRICE: for free
OPENING HOURS: from Tuesday to Sunday (9:00 a.m. – 17:00 p.m.) You can go into the museum after 4 p.m.
Monday close
LOCATION: NO.204northeast road , Gusu District,SuZhou. 苏州市姑苏区东北街204号
TRANSPORTATION: Take bus no. 178, no. 202, no. 202, no. 202, no. 262, no. 309, no. 529, no. 811, no. 923, no. 925, no. 9009, no. 1 south, no. 2 and no. 5 north to suzhou museum station.
SUGGESTION TIME: 3-4 hours

 

 

 

humble administrators garden in SuzhouTHE HUMBLE ADMINISTRATOR’S GARDEN 拙政园

I think if you go to Suzhou, this is the most important place you need go. As soon as you enter the garden, you can the blossoming flowers. The humble administrator’s garden has a history of more than 500 years. With water as the center, the garden is surrounded by mountains and rivers, with delicate halls and lush flowers and trees.
Every tree in zhuozheng garden has its meaning of existence. Spring, summer, autumn and winter have their different sights. So you can go there anytime.
Tips: When you leave the garden, nearby you can see some bright colors of fruits, but don’t buy them, because they are on the colors and chemical materials.

Yulissa in The Humble Admin Garden in Suzhou

This is me at the Humble Admin’s Garden in Suzhou!!

 

 

 

 

 

TICKET PRICE: RMB 88
OPENING HOURS: from March 1st to November 15th (7:30 a.m. – 17:30 p.m.)
from November 16th to next year February 28th (7:30 a.m. – 17:00 p.m.)
LOCATION: NO.178 northeast road, Pingjiang District,SuZhou. 苏州市平江区东北街178号
TRANSPORTATION: NO.178 bus to HUMBLE ADMINISTRATOR’S GARDEN STATION.
SUGGESTION TIME: 2-3 hours

 

  

 

 

JINJI LAKE 金鸡湖

Jinji lake is in suzhou industrial district. It’s different for old city, here is a modern version of Suzhou. The pieris is in the middle of the lake. Many citizens fly kites and take walks here.

TICKET PRICE: for free
OPENING HOURS: whole day
LOCATION: NO.158 xianggang road, Wuzhong District,SuZhou. 苏州市吴中区星港街158号
TRANSPORTATION: Take bus no. 108, road no. 2 and other buses at The Times square station
SUGGESTION TIME: evening

 

 

 

TIGER HILL 虎丘

Located in the northwestern suburb of suzhou city, five kilometers away from the center of the city, huqiu is the remnant of suzhou xishan mountain, which is separated from the main part of xishan mountain due to the surrounding topography and becomes an independent hill.
Temples in the south are mostly yellow walls, while temples in the north are mostly red walls.
The tiger hill tower is a kind of masonry structure, which is supported by 8 outer piers and 4 inner piers. Eaves for the imitation of wooden brackets, cornices up. There are two walls inside the tower, as if a small tower has a large tower outside, and the connection between the layers is made of overlapping brick masonry to connect the upper and lower sides.
The tower body of tiger hill is octagonal, formed by the combination of outer piers, cloister, inner piers and tower ventricle. There are cross passage and corridor communication between inner piers, and 8 POTS door and flat seat (i.e. outer corridor) connected between outer piers. The design fully reflects the architectural style of tang and song dynasties.
Since the Ming dynasty, the huqiu tower has been inclined to the northwest due to the uneven thickness of the soil and the imperfect design and construction of the foundation.
When measured by experts, the spire of the tower is 2.34 meters tilted, with the maximum tilt of the tower at 3 degrees 59 minutes. The huqiu tower is also known as “the Leaning Tower of Pisa in China”

TICKET PRICE: RMB 78
OPENING HOURS: from May 1st to October 7th (7:30 a.m. – 17:30 p.m.)
from October 8th to next year April 30th (7:30 a.m. – 17:00 p.m.)
LOCATION: NO.8 inside gate, Huqiu District,SuZhou. 苏州市虎丘区山门内八号
SUGGESTION TIME: 3-4 hours

 

 

 

HANSHAN TEMPLE 寒山寺

One Chinese poetry is reference to this building.
《枫桥夜泊》
Nocturnal Berthing At The Fengqiao Bridge
月落乌啼霜满天,
Moon’s down, raven’s caw, and the frost-filling skies,
江枫渔火对愁眠。
River maples, fishing lights, and the sleep of eternal gloom.
姑苏城外寒山寺,
Outskirts of Gusu City and Hanshan Temple,
夜半钟声到客船。
Midnight toll, and the arrival of the passenger boat.

Because of this poem, you must take a look.Hanshan temple is famous for its bells. Every year in addition to the sunset or New Year’s eve, hanshan temple will be held bell ceremony, bell knock 108 times.Each represents a trouble, after hearing the bell, the next year trouble will be gone with the wind.It is said that the tang dynasty poet zhangjiye night maple bridge, in the passenger ship listening to the bell, is also because repeatedly failed, listen to people to clear the trouble.
The two-story house is the Tibetan classics building. Looking at the roof, you can see Tang Monk, Monkey King, and other western buddhist statues group.

TICKET PRICE: RMB 20
OPENING HOURS: 8:00 a.m. – 16:30 p.m. (16:00 p.m. stop to ticket)
LOCATION: NO.24 hanshan temple road, Gusu District,SuZhou. 苏州市姑苏区寒山寺弄24号
SUGGESTION TIME: 2-3 hours

 

 

 

SHANTANG STREET 山塘街

6) Shantang street was once one of the most developed commercial and cultural districts in China during the Ming and qing dynasties. It is also the most famous ancient street in suzhou. Suzhou is a town with many rivers and bridges, and shantang street is the most typical of suzhou streets and lanes.In the middle is the shantang river. Shantang street is close to the north side of the river.
Shantang street is a typical lane, with boats carrying jasmine, white orchids and other goods coming and going, and boats with gaily-painted pleasure boats passing by.

TICKET PRICE:for free
OPENING HOURS: whole day
LOCATION: NO.218 Guangji road, Gusu District,SuZhou. 苏州市姑苏区广济路28号
SUGGESTION TIME: evening

TONGLI TOWN 同里

Tongli town is one of the six famous water towns in the south of the Yangtze river. The ancient town has beautiful scenery, surrounded by water on four sides outside, and the ancient town is set in five lakes of tongli, jiuli, yeze, nanxing and pang mountain. The township is divided into seven islands by 15 rivers in a zigzag pattern, while 49 ancient Bridges cluster the islands together. The buildings stand by the water and are famous for “small Bridges and flowing families”. And it is called “Little Venice of the east”.
Also in Tongli town, you can have a hot spring there, it is benefit for your health.
When you come here, please try location homestay, it will be worth than other hotel. Because you can just buy the tickets and then stay there for more than 2 days.
Some hotels in here is nearby the river, so you can see the great scene at night.

Others:
Tricycle: Five yuan on the bus. 15 yuan for one ring around the town.
A cruise ship: Scenery tour of three Bridges in ancient town: 60 yuan/boat (can take 6 people)
Tour of tongli lake: 200 yuan/boat (for 40 people)

TICKET PRICE:RMB 80
OPENING HOURS: 7:30 a.m. – 17:30 p.m.
LOCATION: Tongli town, Wujiang District,SuZhou. 苏州市吴江区同里镇
SUGGESTION TIME: go there more than one day, stay there for one day


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