Relive Old Suzhou at Pingjiang Lu

On Pingjiang Lu, you can still relive the Old Suzhou you are looking for. However, it’s not the kind of experience that will fully give you a satisfying experience. Though the street is lined with white-washed houses of old yore, many are turned into businesses that cater to tourists. There are cafes, street food stalls, a few high-end fashion silk brands, and restaurants. And oh, Starbucks invaded this street, too.

Pingjiang Lu Suzhou Jiangsu China
Relive Old Suzhou on Pingjiang Lu (Jiangsu China).

Pingjiang Road is a well-preserved street that is part of Old Suzhou.

Old Suzhou Things o do China
Old Suzhou on Pingjiang Road.

The record shows that the street’s history dates back to Song Dynasty.

things to do in Suzhou Jiangsu ChinaWell-preserved white houses are everywhere!
Well-preserved white houses are everywhere!

At first glance, you’ll find the street to be made-up to attract tourists.

Hotel Hostel in Suzhou China
Well-preserved white houses are everywhere!

The good news, however, is that there are no aggressive hawkers and vendors here.

Pingjiang Road Suzhou Jiangsu China
Pingjiang Road in Old Suzhou.
No one bothered me to buy their wares while walking around.
Hostel Hostel in Suzhou
Go in the morning to enjoy your stroll away from the crowd.

But if you are a curious visitor, don’t tread on the main street all the time.

Hostel Hotel Suzhou Jiangsu China
Pinjiang Road (Jiangsu, China).

Walk into small alleys where you might find some authenticity.

Hostel Hotel Suzhou
Go into alleyways and they might surprise you.

Or you might find something that could interest you – a cat cafe, perhaps? 😀

Things to do in Suzhou
Well-preserved white houses are everywhere!

When I got away from the crowd, I witnessed a Chinese wedding ceremony. Had I stayed on the main thoroughfare, I would have missed this.

Pingjiang Lu Suzhou Jiangsu China
A wedding ceremony at Pingjiang Lu in Suzhou (Jiangsu, China).

One of the things you will enjoy here is going on a boat tour.

Relive Old Suzhou at Pingjiang Lu
Relive Old Suzhou at Pingjiang Lu (Jiangsu, China).

Hop on a boat and enjoy the river (which is more like a canal)!

Relive Old Suzhou at Pingjiang Lu (Jiangsu, China).
Relive Old Suzhou at Pingjiang Lu (Jiangsu, China).

It passes through 18 stone bridges built from the Song Dynasty.

Things to do in Suzhou Jiangsu China
This is one of the bridges that date back to the Song Dynasty.

Venice? Not really. Not even close.

Venice China Suzhou Things to do
Is Suzhou the Venice of the East?

But, it can be romantic at certain times of a day. 😉

Things to do in Suzhou Jiangsu China
Pingjiang Road in Suzhou.

When tired, sit on one of the benches along the canal and enjoy watching the boats go by. It can be a calming scene to see.

Pingjiang Road in Suzhou Things to do
The shade along the river is a respite from the scorching summer heat.

Also, before you visit the street, find the exact location of the Suzhou Opera Museum. And if you time, stay for a while and watch a performance. The famed Kunqu Opera is said to be originated from Suzhou.

Suzhou Opera Museum on Pinjiang Lu
Suzhou Opera Museum on Pinjiang Lu.
Shopping here can be a bit expensive, but they have good silk scarves, leather bags and more.
Relive Old Suzhou at Pingjiang Lu
Relive Old Suzhou at Pingjiang Lu (Jiangsu, China).

A Love Story on 29 Xuanqiao Lane

In 1886, a man named Hong Jun met a 20-year-old Sai Jinhua. He’s a diplomat and she’s a prostitute. He made him his concubine and he brought her to his diplomatic missions abroad. They had a daughter named Deguan. They returned to Suzhou in 1893 and resided on 29 Xuanqiao Lane. Sadly, two months after their return, Hong Jun got so sick and died at the young age of 55. His unexpected death forced Sai to move out of the residence and moved to Shanghai. There, she went back to her old profession – as a courtesan.

Old suzhou Venice of the east
Suzhou earns its moniker as the “Venice of the East.” (China).

Hostel / Hotel in Suzhou

Since Pingjiang Lu is a protected area, there is no hotel here. But, Mingtown Suzhou International Youth Hostel at the heart of this long street. Nearby (15 minutes walk), Suzhou Blue Gate Youth Hostel is another option. Well-rated PACE Hotel Suzhou Renmin is worth your money if you can afford to splurge more. You can book all these accommodations via HostelWorld, Booking, and Expedia.

Some of the tourist attractions close to Pingjiang Lu are Garden of the Master of the Nets, Twin Pagodas, Humble Administrator’s Garden, and Suzhou Museum.


VPN in China

Remember that while most hotels in China have free access to wifi, it is recommended that you install your own VPN to access your social media accounts.

Buying Train Tickets Online in China

Buying train tickets at the train station anywhere in China can be confusing for those who don’t speak the language. What I always do is book via TRIP because it’s the most convenient, and they don’t really charge that much for the service fee. The money you’d spend on going to the train station might be the same as the service fee. And you wasted no time joining the long queue there. However, on the day of your trip, make sure to be at the station for at least an hour and a half. Go directly to the window booth where they issue the real tickets. You have to show the reservation number/s. Train attendants usually allow passengers to check in between 20-30 minutes before the scheduled departure.


A wanderer. A frustrated photographer. Hiker. Lover. Half extrovert, half introvert. Solo traveler.

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