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Posts: 111

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Q: What is it like to live in Suzhou, Jiangsu?

I have gone to Suzhou twice as a tourist, but want to now know what it is like to live there. 

8 years 3 weeks ago in  Lifestyle - Suzhou

 
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http://answers.echinacities.com/question/what-are-your-commentsfeelings-...

 

Write 'Suzhou' in search for more treads about city.

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8 years 3 weeks ago
 
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It's quite good
* Several big lakes to walk/bike around, with well made pathways. In the SIP area, two are very accessible

* Overall urban management/planning is good

* There's *a bit* of cultural events, it's not Beijing, but okay, you have a cultural center that organize stuffs.

* Lots of jobs opportunities in tech & education
* Free public bikes, just need to get the card for it

* SIP downtown and Suzhou Uni. area have a good choice of restaurants and bars
* Two subway lines

* 30 minutes from Shanghai, if you're into Shanghai
* Far from nice sea/beach
* Steamy hot summers

* Winter is not that cold, but nothing is insulated, so it *feels* quite cold
* Air pollution is okay *by Chinese standard*, but we get awful smog episodes more frequently since a year

* The locals have their own dialect... but there's not so much locals anymore Laughing out loud

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8 years 3 weeks ago
 
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Governor

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The Chinese say "There is a paradise in heaven, and Suzhou on earth."

 

I have lived in Suzhou for 5 years and for the most part I love it. Suzhou has a population of 10.5 million people. It has 2 subway lines with a third to open at the end of the year. There are plenty of western restaurants and grocery stores. Shanghai is a 25 minute train ride away. In the SIP (Suzhou Industrial Park) where the majority of expats live you can almost always find an English speaking Chinese to help you out if needed. I travel extensively in China, but I am always happy to return home to Suzhou.

 

The biggest negative is the air pollution. Not bad every day, but when it is it is depressing. 

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8 years 3 weeks ago
 
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Suzhou is peaceful, quiet and a bit boring.

 

Everything is pretty much spread out over three districts (New District, Old City, SIP) so nothing is really close to anything else.

 

There are cultural events, but not really many.  Housing is cheaper than Shanghai, but I live in SIP and it can get really pricey for Suzhou standards (4000 - 5000 RMB for a small, two bedroom apartment with no insulation, single pane windows and no weather stripping.

 

One thing is when you enter Old City, people tend to be the rude types (stares, comments, etc).  No matter what happens, prepare for it.  When those people leave Old City and go into the fringe of New District or SIP, it will happen.

 

Suzhou is relatively safe too.

bansufan:

I am not sure if I will have as big problem with the stares  since I am half  Chinese. 

8 years 3 weeks ago
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8 years 3 weeks ago
 
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General

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I am living in Suzhou for the last two years and I love that its clean and green. The best part about is that the Suzhou Industrial park area is quite good and has quite a large number of expats living there. There are many international restaurants and stores as well. The people are quite kind and humble. You will love it too

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8 years 3 weeks ago
 
Posts: 111

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Thanks. So when I move to Suzhou in the end of August, What are some of the first places I should go to?

CharlieB:

Obviously it depends on your taste and personal preferences. That being said I will list a few places that most expats frequent. In the SIP (Suzhou Industrial Park) Li Gong Di is a popular destination for dining and night life. Dining options include Indian, Mexican, Italian, French, German, Japanese, and of coarse Chinese to name a few. Li Gong Di is located at Jinji Lake which has a nice walking area and park around it. On the other side of the lake there is Moon Harbor with many of the same options and the subway is near them both. There are many bars and night clubs around the lake also.

 

As far as culture there are many old gardens such as the Lions Gate Garden, Master of the Nets Garden, and the most famous (and crowded) is the Humble Administer's Garden. Also Tiger Hill is very popular tourist attraction.

 

One of the things I did when I first came to Suzhou was get a card with my address in Chinese printed on it. Then I would hop on a bus and ride it until I saw something interesting and get off. Walk around, Suzhou is a safe place, check out the wet markets in the alley ways for a look at real Chinese life. Then get on another bus to destinations unknown. At the end of the day get a taxi (taxis are cheap) and show him the card to return home.

 

Now it is much easier with smart phones to get around. I recommend the apps Suzhou Taxi Book, Google or imaps, and down load a couple translation apps. I like camdictionary, it lets you take a photo of Chinese signs or text and it translates it.

 

You are welcome to PM me if you like and I can help you out. I got lucky and a couple expats showed me around when I first arrived. I don't mind paying it forward.

 

Best Regards,

Charlie  

8 years 3 weeks ago
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