A visit to Shantang Street in Suzhou is to take a trip back in time and away from the bustling city streets of a modern metropolis. It is a place steeped in history that goes back more than 1,000 years, with many stories to tell and hidden treasures to be discovered. An ideal locale to visit for those wondering what to do in Suzhou when on holiday, Shantang Street offers a glimpse into the area’s old world charm.
Dating back to the Tang Dynasty, this famous street was built around canals and was once a hub of trading activity. With its traditional white walled houses neatly standing along the canal, quaint stone bridges, old boats and red tasselled lanterns adorning the waterfront, it is not hard to imagine what life would have been centuries ago.
One of the best ways to explore Shantang Street is by taking a boat tour along the canal and a perfect way to soak up the area’s enchanting atmosphere; watching the world go by slowly as you pass ancient houses with black tiled roofs, typical street scenery, traditional shops and locals going about their day to day activities.
Visiting in the evenings and at night, offers a whole new sightseeing experience at Shantang Street. Reflecting the brightly coloured lanterns that adorn the sides of the waterway, the canal is magically transformed into a gateway to another time and place.