Shantang Street

Shantang Street, Suzhou: Hours, Address, Shantang Street Reviews: 4/5

Shantang Street
Historic Walking Areas
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8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
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809 reviews
Very good

San Francisco, CA97 contributions
Jan 2020 • Business
It's cool to see the rivers and canals, but it's a bit commercialized and has quite a bit of construction. Isn't the most polished tourist street but I only spent about a half hour to an hour here. Small shops and food places, and you can get out easy via subway. Some gardens are walkable nearby as well - I would plan this as just one quick stop for your day tour in Suzhou.
Written January 12, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Petaling Jaya, Malaysia2,731 contributions
May 2019
Easily accessed by metro. The streets by the canal are very narrow and congested with tourists. Many shops selling snacks, food, drinks, clothes and souvenirs. If you like peace and quiet, you may not enjoy jostling with the crowd here. We came during the May day holidays. Talk about timing! Came in late afternoon. You can take a boat ride on the canal.
Written April 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Yekaterinburg, Russia64,088 contributions
Nov 2019 • Business
Experiencing a walk in the Shantang Street and surrounding area is almost like going back in time, but there are many signs of its modern day commercialization for sightseers, shoppers and diners. We. Our walk through the area was very enjoyable, even though I have been here before.
Written November 16, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Shenzhen, China78 contributions
Mar 2020 • Solo
Just like half of Suzhou, no matter if resident or tourist that has just arrived, no foreigners can enter, only Chinese nationals. No explanation offered other than you need an appointment. When you try to make an appointment they tell you foreigners cannot make appointment, even with passport and proof of where you've been recently.

Virus causing people left and right to loose what little sense they may have had.
Written March 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Toronto, Canada1,489 contributions
Nov 2019
The area looks spectacular in the evening when the streets and canal is all lit. We enjoyed dining by the canal, with views of the ancient town and people watching as many hundreds of sightseers walked by.
Written November 16, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia49 contributions
Nov 2014 • Family
My suggestion is not the brightly litted Shantang Jie that most tourists are familiar with.

I would like to add on, for those prefer to be away from the crowd and free and easy travellers; please try to take this walk once you have finished touring Tiger Hill.

Walk down to the main road (from South Gate of Tiger HIll), about 500m, you will cross a bridge over Shantang River. Walk down to the right of the bridge, you will walk along the beautiful, tranquil and historical Shantang Jie (along Shantang River) where the local people live but restored well by the local administration.

Along the way, you will pass by buildings used to be occupied by the revolutionists, temples, ancestor house (the famed architect I.M. Pei family), historical bridges etc. These buidlings / structures are not spectacular on its own; but in total all make up the mood and atmosphere of the walk.

The walk is for about an hour or more depending on your own speed of stroll. My two kids age 9 and 12 could make it. I guess most of the travellers will too. The first part of the walk was tidy and restored path. Almost to the end, you will walk through the normal houses with local community. As discerned traveller, most of us will understand not to create any uneasiness for the local community. Worth noting is the local community are oblivious to the tourists like us walking through their pathway and appear to be friendly and warm.

Then came the surprise part came to us. You walk into the local traditional market with stalls selling local vegetables, fishes, poultry, snacks, steamed buns etc. At the end of this traditional market then only came the more commercial Shantang Jie that you will see in the postcard.

Which is your choice? Make your pick. You could have both. But if I have only once choice, I will choose this walk again.

Bonus point: And you have one newly built clean public toilet along this walk.
Written November 22, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Sulaymaniyah, Iraq210 contributions
Jul 2016 • Solo
Before going to China, I planned a good itinerary to visit Shanghai, Beijing, Suzhou and the great wall. I checked the metro maps, train times and fairs, attraction sites and many other things. I didn’t know that I would face some difficulties during my trip, but eventually I managed to visit all the places that I have selected in advance. Google map wasn’t working unless you buy a VPN, no emails and my mobile sim stopped functioning, fortunately Viber works sometimes. No English speakers, so the language was a great barrier to communicate with the locals. But I was lucky for downloading a language translator before commencing my trip. Upon arrival to Shanghai Airport (PVG) I bought the public transport card which was great to use for all my trips. I used it for the metro, bus, ferry and taxi and it was really cheap. I arrived to my hotel using the metro and with the help of a local photographer I found my destination. No English at the reception, but all you need is to show your booking papers, passport and RMBs and you are done. Generally many cheap hotels like the one I booked for $50 plus per night have small rooms with no fridge, no iron facilities and no safe inside, but they are very clean rooms. ATM machines are available in many places and you can select English language and process your request. McDonald & KFC are easy to find. WiFi was good and you can use the WWW. , to find some attractions locations and how to access them.
Money exchange was easy and all you need is to go Radisson-Blu hotel in Shanghai near people’s square. They have a teller machine and you can change $400 USD in one day.
Shanghai is a big city with many attractions, markets and gardens and in my opinion if you want to discover and see many things then you need a long vacation. I personally prefer walking in the city and whenever I feel tired I take any bus regardless of the bus number and when we pass nearby a metro station I get off the bus and take the metro and back to my hotel. It only cost 1-2 RMB using the PTC and 95% of the buses are air-conditioned.

I know my review is a bit lengthy, but I try to help other solo travelers to enjoy a very good visit when they are in China. Let me now explain my visit to Suzhou. I couldn’t book a train ticket online, so I went to Shanghai Train Station and bought a ticket for the next day for 37 RMB. The train station is very big with many exits and you need to go outside the train station from exit 2 and you will see the ticket office just opposite to you.
This office is not inside the train station; go to outlet No 3 because they speak English. You can buy your ticket 2 days in advance and remember that they sell one way tickets only and the queue is long, but it is moving fast. On the next day I went back to the train station heading to Suzhou. It only took 30 minutes to arrive to Suzhou train station. Don’t go to Suzhou North train station because it will be a bit far to where you want to go. I took the metro to Shantang Street( Shantang Jie), it is only one stop and when you exit the metro station you can walk for 80 meters to find this beautiful area. Her you can buy many gifts, enjoy some cold drinks and ice-cream. You can spend a couple of hours in this area and then head back to Shanghai.
Written August 6, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Suzhou, China5 contributions
Aug 2014 • Solo
Shantang Street is an old street and the place was established over one thousand years ago. However, there are tourist area and non-tourist area. You will see all the re-built section which is attractive and filled with different type of stores, including the cruise boat ferry in the tourist area. This area is from the southern end of the Shantang Street, which is close to Chang Gate or Chang Men to the entry at Guanji Road. Along the way, you will find a very beautifully decorated Starbucks that actually fit into the area setting in this section. I was impressed by the attention to detail in this Starbucks as even the faucet in the bathroom was made into a bamboo shape to give you ancient Chinese water supply feeling. You will certainly feel like you are placed back to the olden days in a typical Chinese street. However, much of this section was restored to attract tourists. It is a good experience for knowing what old China is like and I would recommend that you explore as much as you like. However, if you have time, my recommendation is that you do not exit at the Guanji Road exit but keep on going north and you will see the authentic old Shantang Street. You will see how people actually live in this area these days. North of the tourist area does not have a lot "tourist attractions" but you will first encounter a live wet market where the locals actually shop, right after crossing Guangji Road underpass. (BTW, there are roads on both side of the river at that point and I believe the road to take is the east side of the river or the right side if you are facing north.) The wet market should be a good experience in itself for contemporary Suzhou life of the ordinary people. You will see live chicken in cage, live fish in tubs, and what not. After the wet market, you will find a quiet road that is deprived mostly of tourist but with a lot old buildings including some ancient merchant association buildings, an ancient half-way home for the poor, and a temple. You will be along the Shantang river most of the way and you will see the tourist cruise boat passing you. However, it is more fun for me to see this section by feet than on the boat. I personally felt more connected with Suzhou by walking this part of Shantang. Shantang Street is known to be seven li (Seven Chinese mile) and you can walk as long as you like. Just remember that you will have to walk back the same way back to the tourist section because there are very little chance for taxi or other means of transportation north of Guanji entry/exit. Bring water on a hot day because there are not much shop or convenience store shortly after the wet market area, the same is true about bathrooms. If you are in Suzhou and have time, I highly recommend to walk the Shantang Street and keep on going north!
Written February 18, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Singapore, Singapore112 contributions
Nov 2014 • Couples
Take the Suzhou MRT Line 2 to 石路 Shi Rd Station and then walk eastward to start from the south end. Alternatively, you can take the Suzhou MRT Line 2 to 山塘街ShanTang St. Station and start from the north end. There are lots of shops, resturants, snack foods and cafes along this old historic canal in Shatang Jie (Road). We did a 55 RMB boat ride along the canal for 30 minutes to experience a time when riding a boat was a major form of transportation within the area. There is lots of walking to do. There is local wet market at the north end close to 山塘街ShanTang St. Station, this a worth a visit to complete the experience.
Written November 28, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

el cerrito, california284 contributions
Apr 2015 • Friends
Shantang Street, an ancient riverside pedestrian road, more than 1100 years old, runs from the Changmen Gate to scenic Tiger Hill. It is 2.2 miles (seven li) long, hence the other name used: ‘Seven-Li Shantang’.

Most of the tourist activities are concentrated in Old Shantang Street, which is a side street of around 360 meters long, one block parallel to the canal. Here are many guild halls, attesting to the importance of bygone eras. The surroundings and architecture are still in traditional style.

Shantang Street now is a pleasant tourist area, with great traditional architecture, eating places, tea houses, tourist shops and stalls, an outdoor opera building, bric-a-brac stores, and just people milling around. There are many small food stalls everywhere, offering a huge selection of mouth-watering finger foods. If you are still young at heart, you can look into a nickelodeon for a small fee. Here the operator provides the voices of the actors and also supplies the background music by banging on a drum and cymbals in front of him. There is a free opera building, with the stage fronting a small courtyard along the street. There were two performers singing when we were there.
Further down the street, you come to the wet market, which is very busy, but very worthwhile to visit to see what is being offered.

You can also walk on the parallel street just a block away, along the canal, which is much less crowded. There are eight side bridges on the riverbanks of this canal and seven bridges spanning the canal. The most famous is Tonggui Bridge, a single arch stone bridge. Looking like a half moon, the aperture of the bridge and its shadow in the water form a perfect circle.
Written May 24, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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  • Sun - Sat 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
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