Shantang Jie


This picturesque canalside street has been in use for more than a thousand years, having been built in the Tang dynasty (around 825–826) to transport Suzhou’s upper classes to Tiger Hill for leisurely outings. Nowadays it is pedestrianised and makes for a wonderful way to stroll or boat to Tiger Hill. Shantang Jie is very similar in feeling to Pingjiang Lu, with whitewashed buildings backing directly onto the canal and quaint lantern-decorated bridges.

Past the tourist shops and restaurants at the end nearest the metro station, the northern end of the street becomes very quiet and offers a lovely look at how people traditionally live by the side of Suzhou’s canals. Keep a look out for the seven stone cats guarding the street's bridges and representing different auspicious aspects of life, from wealth to happiness.

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