Pingjiang Road is an ancient canal-side street located in the city of Suzhou. The road and its surroundings have been around for more than 800 years, since the Song Dynasty. A popular tourist destination, this charming cobblestone street gives visitors a fascinating glimpse into local Suzhou life.
More than 1,600 meters long, Pingjiang Road is lined with quaint old bookshops, local theaters, and traditional Suzhou houses with whitewashed walls and black tiles. You’ll also find eccentric cafes, jewelry shops, and street food vendors, as well as a number of other restaurants. Locals and tourists alike gather in the teahouses for performances of Suzhou Pingtan, a traditional performance of ballad singing and storytelling in the local dialect, while those interested in architecture will be in their element with the ancient design of the buildings here – plus there are 18 bridges scattered across the Pingjiang district.
Despite being a popular tourist destination, Pingjiang remains a quiet place away from the noise of the city. Because of its location, a visit here can easily be combined with a tour of Suzhou’s other top attractions, such as the the Humble Administrator’s Garden or Lion Grove Garden. A boat ride on the surrounding canals is a scenic way to experience this unique district.
If not arriving as part of an organized tour with transport included, the quickest and easiest way to reach Suzhou from Shanghai is to take the high-speed express train between the two cities. Be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes if you plan to spend the whole day out as there is a lot to see on Pingjiang Road and its surroundings.
Did You Know? Pingjiang Road first appeared in the Pingjiang Tu map produced in 1229. There are 51 smaller alleyways that intersect with the road, and around three kilometers of canals in the surrounding area.