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Su Zhou Travel Guide

Suzhou is located in the northern end of Anhui Province, and is 221 kilometers from Hefei, the provincial capital of Anhui Province. It takes about three hours by car from Suzhou to Anhui. Suzhou City is the northern gate of Anhui Province, because it is situated in the southern end of the Huanghuai plain, right at the center of the Huaihai Economic Zone and the Longhai Economic Belt. Furthermore, Suzhou is not only the meeting place of the developed eastern coastal region and the less developed western inland areas, but also the economic and cultural hub for the North and South. Suzhou occupies a total area of 9,787 square kilometers. Under its jurisdiction, there are Dangshan county, Xiaoxian county, Lingbi county, Sixian county, and Yongqiao district. Suzhou has a total population of 6.17 million. The area code of Suzhou is 0557, and the postal code is 234000.

Suzhou is rich in cultural heritage and has numerous places of interest. Among these cultural relics, some of the well-known are She Gu Tai, Huangcangyu, Concubine Yu Tomb, Nine Women Grave, and Lin Tang Hua Fu, as well as Min Tzu-chien Temple and his tomb. In 209 B.C. the first peasant uprising in Chinese history, led by Chen Sheng and Wu Guang, took place in the territory of Suzhou. The historical artifacts of She Gu Tai, with its oath to overthrow the cruel and violent emperor, still exist. The National Forest Park was a place where Liubang, the first Emperor of Han Dynasty, hid from the Qin soldiers during the late uprising. Lingbi County, famous for its precious stones and jades, was the battlefield of Gaixia during the War between Chu & Han. It left the great legends of "Farewell My Concubine". Throughout the ages, Suzhou has attracted many scholars and poets to recall the intricacies of the past as well as to ponder and recite poems.

Suzhou History

Suzhou has a long history and has accumulated many places of interests. During the Qin and Han dynasties, it became an important transportation hub, known as "a place where boats and vehicles meet, and a thoroughfare for China". After the construction of "Tong Ji Canal" in the Sui dynasty, Suzhou then became a crucial military town of "holding Bian and controlling Huai, a gateway from South to North". In 809 A.D., the Tang Dynasty began in Suzhou. The first major peasant uprising in Chinese history, which occurred at the end of Qin Dynasty, caught fire in Daze County. Also, the battlefield of Gaixia during the War between Chu & Han is in Suzhou. During the Liberation War of China, Suzhou was the main battlefield of the Huai River Battle. In fact the older generation of proletarian revolutionaries, like Deng Xiaoping, Liu Bocheng, Chen Yi, Peng Xuefeng, Zhang Aiping, Zhang Zhen and Su Yu all fought in battle here.

Su Zhou Food and Restaurants

Su Zhou is located in the Huai River region, with Suzhou cuisine offering the best tastes of Anhui cuisine along the Huai River. Because of a wealth of high-quality raw ingredients and Anhui cuisine's high emphasis on the original tastes of the fresh produce, Su Zhou cuisine brings out the region. Offering kingfish from Heilongtan and unique cooking techniques, Suzhou's milk fat kingfish is a rare delicacy of Anhui cuisine. At the same time, fuliji chicken shows Su Zhou style cooking technique even more incisively and vividly. After enjoying a main course, having some fresh and tasty Dangshan pears and Xiao County grapes is not only very healthy, but also compliments the succulent tastes of the main dishes.

In Su Zhou, you can go to small restaurants on local streets to enjoy sidewalk snacks and you can also go to the large restaurants near Bian River Middle Road and Huaihai Middle Road. In spite of the different grades of food, you can taste the excellence of Anhui cuisine in either neighborhood.

Recommended Dishes: fuliji chicken, milk fat kingfish, Qi County horseshoe shaobing, Kuai river carp.

Su Zhou Weather

Suzhou City belongs to a warm temperate zone and thus has a semi-humid monsoon climate. Generally speaking, Suzhou has mild weather, with regular seasonal winds and four distinct seasons. There is plenty of sunshine and a moderate amount of rainfall in Suzhou. In a word, Suzhou has pleasant weather and favorable natural conditions. The annual average temperature of Suzhou is 15.7 ° C. The frost-free period is about 210 days and the rainfall is about 1,000 mm. Winter is very cold in Suzhou and lasts for a long time, probably as long as four months. However, summer is quite hot. Like other cities in Anhui Province, Suzhou also has a very long rainy period. For traveling in Suzhou, spring and autumn are the most suitable seasons. The weather is pleasant during these seasons, with moderate rainfall and moist air, but they are very short.

Su Zhou Transportation

City Transportation

The flag-down fare of Suzhou taxis is 4 yuan, plus another 1 yuan per kilometer after covering 2 kilometers. At night (24: 00 - next day 05:00), the flag-down fare is 4.8 yuan, plus night-time subsidies, bridge-crossing tolls and other expenses.

Highway

National Highway 104, 206, 310, and 311 as well as Jing-Tai expressway Anhui section and Liang-Huo Highway Anhui section run through the entire territory of Suzhou vertically and horizontally. Roads under construction are "Ming Xu highway", "Su Si highway", "Yong Dang highway" and "Suzhou-Guanyin Airport Expressway".

Railway

The Beijing-Shanghai railway line and the Longhai railway line cross Suzhou vertically and horizontally. In the future, the Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway will set up a new station in Suzhou. Right now, the Huai'an - Yangzhou railway line is under construction in the territory of Suzhou, and is known as the Susu - Huaiyang railway line. At the same time, there are also more than a dozen local railway lines spreading across Suzhou.

Suzhou Railway Station
Tel: 0557-3027095. The railway station ticket hotline of Suzhou City: 0557-1605167. Suzhou Bus Station
Tel: 0557-3022690.

Suzhou Attractions:

Huangcangyu National Forest Park

Huangcangyu was formerly named Huangsangyu, because the valley is covered with yellow mulberry trees. Han emperor Liu Bang once hid here to avoid capture by the pursuing Qin soldiers, and afterward the place was named Huangcangyu. Huangcangyu scenic spot occupies a total area of 31 square kilometers, made up of hills, valleys and forests. The hills are covered with 146 kinds of woody plants such as pines and cypresses along with 700 varieties of herbs. Fifty-eight kinds of birds inhabit the area along with rare animals like otters, yellow weasels and foxes. Thus, Huangcanyu scenic spot reflects the history of biological communities in the region and has important research value. In a word, Huangcangyu is an extraordinary scenic spot with abundant recourses which thoroughly represents the region.

Huangcang Cave:
This is a natural cave on a cliff in the scenic spot. It is more than ten meters deep, round in shape and dangerously situated. There is a huge boulder blocking the entrance of the cave, which is called “the flying stone”. Han emperor Liu Bang once hid in the cave to avoid a catastrophe, and thus it is called “Huangcang Cave”.

Ruiyun Temple: It was built during the Liang Dynasty in the Da Tong years (535 A.D.). Its name was changed to Ruiyun Temple in Song Rui Hong year. Ruiyun Temple is behind a cliff and also in front of the abyss. It has three courtyards and a total of 99 rooms.  

Ba Jian Spring: The mouth of Ba Jian Spring is wedge-shaped, like a scabbard. The spring water is clear throughout the year and it never dries up. In 205 B.C., Liu Bang was defeated in Pengcheng, and fled here. Because he was thirsty, he used his sword to cut the huge stone boulder and the spring came out. Thus, it was named “Ba Jian Spring”.

Tian Meng Temple: It was built in the Yuan Dynasty in the Zhi Zheng years. Later it was reconstructed by provincial governor Yang Mi. Thus, it was renamed “Tian Meng Temple”. The monastery is surrounded by cliffs on three sides. It has 44 rooms, and the building itself is constructed along the hills. Its architectural style is simple and unsophisticated. In addition, the seven emerald Buddhas within the temple are unique in the world.  

Books Basking Yard: It was said that when Confucius traveled around the country in ancient China, he paid a visit to Song, a state during Spring and Autumn Period of China. Suddenly, the rain poured down, and the correspondence books got all wet. Then, when the sun came out, he dried his books in the yard. Under the weight of the books, grasses inclined to the west. Even today, they remain in the same position. 

Arrival Transportation: There is only one shift of bus from Suzhou to zhuangli in the morning every day. Then, tourists can get off in Tengzhuang intersection. 

Features: It is a nature reserve and scenic spot in Anhui Province. It was established as a national forest park after government approval in 1992. Huangcanyu National Forest Park is a protected historical and cultural heritage area, a national 4A grade tourism area, and a patriotism education base for Suzhou City.

Address: Locate 30 kilometers southeast of Xiao County.

She Gu Tai

In 209 B.C., Chen Sheng, Wu Guang and 900 colleagues went to defend enemies in the Yuyang frontier together. However, when arriving in Da Ze County, they were slowed down due to pouring rain. According to Qin laws, they should have been beheaded because of the delay. Said one, "Now, we are about to be beheaded because of the delay. If we rebel against Qin, we will also be dead. Thus, waiting for death is no better than rebelling to death."Therefore, Chen Sheng and Wu Guang killed the leading solider and then mobilized rebels to chop the wood to use as weapons. At the same time, they raised up a flag on a bamboo rod. All the rebels constructed an altar for oaths to say that they would take down Qin. As a result, the altar was later known as "She Gu Tai".  

"She Gu Tai"is bucket-shaped, and is 4.6 meters high in the north, 3.2 meters high in the south, 67.6 meters long in the east and west and 65.5 meters wide in the south and north. It occupies a total area of 4,427.8 square meters. "She Gu Tai"is surrounded by trees and a beautiful landscape. Several ancient cypresses grow around the altar. On the east side of "She Gu Tai", there is an ancient well, 20 meters in depth, named "Long Yan Well", which is a cultural relic of the temple. On "She Gu Tai", there are four inscriptions by Ming Wan Li, Qing Dao Guang, Qing Guang Xu and Ming Guo the 29th Year, which indicates the time in the history of China. According to the records of the inscriptions, "Lou Tai Temple"was constructed here in the Ming Dynasty. Along the south side of "She Gu Tai", there is an ancient withering tree shaped like a dragon, named "Zhe Long Shu". 

Just 70 meters south of "She Gu Tai", there rises a large Chen Sheng and Wu Guang Uprising Statue in the axle wire. The statue is 9 meters in height, 6.2 meters in width, 1.7 meters in thickness, and weighs 120 tons. Statue has a torch-like shape, symbolizing the raging fire of Chen Sheng and Wu Guang's peasant uprising. The figure of Chen Sheng holds a sword pointing towards Qi County, and makes a rallying call to the rebels with his left hand. The figure of Wu Guang holds a rod with glowing eyes, and stands in the front. This statue won the bronze medal in the sculpture competition in 1984.

Near "She Gu Tai", there are other scenic spots, such as Gou Huo Hu Ming, Yu Fu Dan Shu, Seventy-two Camps and more. The story of Chen Sheng and Wu Guang Uprising are recorded in "Shi Ji, Chenshe Family". On the southeastern side of "She Gu Tai", there is Chen Sheng and Wu Guang Uprising Memorial Hall, called "Hong Gu Yuan". The memorial hall is an antique-looking building, occupying a total area of 2,475 square meters. Chen Sheng and Wu Guang Uprising Memorial Hall has cultural relics on display, dozens of famous inscriptions and nearly 500 well-known paintings and calligraphies. 

Address: It locates Liu Village, Xi Po County, Yongqiao area of Suzhou City.

Features: In 1961, She Gu Tai was listed as a provincial-level cultural relics protection site. She Gu Tai, the birthplace of first large peasant uprising, is the cradle of Chinese peasant revolution. It is both an historic location reaching back to antiquity and an excellent tourist destination. 

Arrival Transportation: You can take  the bus from Suzhou to Xi Po Shi County, where the scenic spot is located. You can also take a taxi or a chartered vehicle to go to the Tomb of the Concubine.

Tomb of Concubine Yu

In 202 B.C., War between Chu and Han had a decisive battle in Gaixia.Xiang Yu, a general of early Western Han dynasty had a small number of soldiers and was in trouble during the battle, besieged and encircled on all sides. Xiang Yu drank in the night, facing his beloved Concubine Yu and his horse Wu Zhui. He chanted in a heroic but mournful tone, "I used to have powerful forces, but they have all gone. The situation does not favor me, and my golden opportunity to conquer Han has gone and is never to return. How sad it is!” Xiang Yu felt distressed and wept. Concubine Yu knew that military situation had changed, and mourned for the hopeless situation. Then she chanted: "Han soldiers have conquered our land. At present, we are trapped and besieged by them. My emperor has lost the favored situation, and I will die with you!" Tears ran down her face, and she could not look at Xiang Yu directly. After chanting, Concubine Yu took out a sword and killed herself. Xiang Yu managed to break out of the encirclement and escaped in panic. On his way, He built the tomb and buried Concubine Yu.

Address: It locates 15 kilometers east of Lingbi County of Suzhou City. 
Features: Lingbi County, famous for its jade, is the battlefield between Chu and Han. It has left the great legends of “Farewell My Concubine”.

Arrival Transportation:
You can take a taxi or a chartered vehicle to go to the Tomb of the Concubine.