Shantang Street in Suzhou

Why is Shantang Street So Special?

Shantang Street is an ancient riverside pedestrian street in the northwest of Suzhou, Jiangsu Province. It is very popular with tourists. It starts from the west gate of the city center (the west gate of the ancient city) and winds along the north bank of the mountain pond to the beautiful tiger mountain. It extends about 2.2 miles (7 miles), hence the name “Qilishan pond”.

Where is Shantang Street

Shantang Street is located in the northwest of Suzhou ancient city in Jiangsu province. all along the street are ancient buildings. Most of the ancient buildings were built in the late Qing Dynasty and the Republic of China, and they were a group of buildings formed by several steps.

History of Shantang Street

In 825, the famous Tang Dynasty poet Bai Juyi was transferred to Suzhou as governor. There, he started the Shantang River Canal Project. Later, a road parallel to the river was built on the north bank. This makes Shantang Street a busy traffic and commercial center. Shantang street is called “the first street in Suzhou” for three main reasons: nearly 1200 years of history; Representing local streets and alleys; Associated with the incident.

Bantang Bridge can divide Shantang Street into two parts. Dongqi Chang Men Du Sheng Bridge consists of houses and shops. The west of Tiger Mountain is a natural landscape. The whole block has typical characteristics of south China in the lower reaches of the Yangtze River. The clear river winds its way under the small arch bridge, mixed with drifting wooden boats, passing through many old houses and shops in the bustling streets. These are vivid descriptions of a beautiful ancient water village in southern China. This is an ideal place for walking, tasting various local snacks and buying souvenirs. You should go boating and enjoy the street view from different angles. When night falls and red lanterns flicker under the eaves, it becomes irresistible. Tourists cannot help sighing, “Yes, this is Suzhou!”

Main Attractions of Shantang Street

Old Shantang Street

The old street is about 395 yards (360 meters) long. Although it is only one tenth of the length, it has the essence of Shantang street area and is called “epitome of old Suzhou” and “window of Jiangsu culture”. This is a commodity center where businessmen conduct business activities and communities hold folk activities. Emperor Ganlong of Qing Dynasty liked Shantang Street very much. When he visited Suzhou in 1762, he left a message praising the beautiful scenery.

Tonggui Bridge

There are eight side bridges and seven cross-river bridges on the river bank, the most famous of which is Tonggui Bridge, a single arch bridge. It is 21 yards (19 meters) long and 2.5 yards (2.3 meters) wide. The arch of the bridge looks like half the moon. It forms a perfect circle with the shadow in the water. This bridge is not unique, but it has been photographed the most. It is worthwhile to experience the life of ancient residents there.

Yuhan Hall

To the southwest of the Tonggui Bridge lies the Yuhan Hall, the former residence of Wu Yipeng, a famous Ming Dynasty official.

Antai Fire Fighting Team

To prevent fire accidents in the busy and narrow street, a fire fighting team was established in 1925. Now its headquarters become a museum showing the old fire fighting equipment.

Commercial Guild Hall

The Commercial Guild Hall is the office of businessmen from all over China and is mainly used to establish contacts. There are usually stages, wing rooms, halls and even gardens. As Shantang Street is one of the largest commercial centers in southeast China in Qing Dynasty, there are many commercial guilds. The museum was built in 2005 and shows the history and commercial culture of Suzhou’s commercial guilds.

Best Time to Travel Shantang Street

March-April and September-October are the best travel times in Shantang Street.

But in Hangzhou, there is no season or weather. No matter in spring, summer, autumn and winter, rain or shine, rain or snow, it can conjure up a beautiful appearance. September-November: The weather is crisp in autumn, and sweet osmanthus trees full of Longgui rain are fragrant for ten miles. Before and after the Mid-Autumn Festival, you can watch the spring tide in Qiantang during the day and enjoy the moon in the lake at night. March-May: The spring breeze is warm and the spring water is intoxicating. It is most suitable for strolling along the Suzhou Creek and enjoying the flowers.

How to Get There

  • Take metro line 2 and get off at Shantang Street Station.
  • Take bus line 7, 34, 44, 64, 85, 161, 304, 315, 317, 318, 406, 415, 522, 921, 970 or 980, and get off at Shantang Street Station.

Useful Travel Tips

Admission Fee & Opening Hours The block is free of charge and open all day long.
There are some sites which open from 8:30 to 17:00, and need admission fee. Visitors can buy a combo ticket (CNY 45; before 16:30) for the following sites: Yuhan Hall, Quanzhou Commercial Guild Hall, Shaoxing Commercial Guild Hall, Ancient Theatrical Stage, Shantang Pavilion, Antai Fire Fighting Team, and Jiangnan Tailoring Museum.
* Children of 3.9 – 4.9 feet (1.2 – 1.5 meters) enjoy half price tickets; children below 3.9 feet (1.2 meters) can enter for free.

Common Tour Boat: CNY 25 per person; 45 minutes.
Manual Ship: CNY 100 per boat (a boat can hold eight people)
Hours: 8:00 to 21:00 (tickets for day boating before 17:00, and tickets for night boating after 17:00)

  • If you want to walk longer, be sure to bring a pair of comfortable shoes.
  • Whether you are traveling to West Lake or Hangzhou, bicycles are very good choices. 

Nearby Attractions

Edited by Doreen/张洋