We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Day trip to Suzhou and water town, what is efficient travel?

Amsterdam, The...
Level Contributor
70 posts
2 reviews
Save Topic
Day trip to Suzhou and water town, what is efficient travel?

Hello,

In april I'll be in Shanghai for a few days.

I'd like to do a day tour of Suzhou and a water town.

Not sure how much time is needed to do this, so I thought maybe the best idea is to take an early train to Suzhou and in the afternoon take a bus to a watertown and then take a bus from the water town back to Shanghai. Assuming this water town is en route from Suzhou to Shanghai that is.

Or is it better to go back to Suzhou from a water town and take the train from there? (maybe the bus from water town to Shanghai takes longer than a bus back to Suzhou and the train from there, for instance)

For time efficiency if I want to do Suzhou and a water town in one day, what would be the best way to go about this?

And what water town would be recommended for this?

I've read on this forum that many people recommend Tongli as one of the best water towns, but is this handy for a day trip or should I opt for something else?

Travel China Guide - Shanghai Private One-Day Tour
City Tours, Multi-day Tours, Private Tours, Sightseeing Tours, Day Trips
Tours of Jewish Shanghai
Historical & Heritage Tours, Cultural Tours, Private Tours, Sightseeing Tours
Sherbrooke, Canada
Level Contributor
42,858 posts
826 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Day trip to Suzhou and water town, what is efficient travel?

It takes at least a full day just for Suzhou.

2. Re: Day trip to Suzhou and water town, what is efficient travel?

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This post was determined to be inappropriate by the TripAdvisor community and has been removed.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

Our staff may also remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason. Thanks for being a part of the TripAdvisor travel community!

Removed on: 18 February 2014, 00:35
Amsterdam, The...
Level Contributor
70 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Day trip to Suzhou and water town, what is efficient travel?

@Jean-Pierre D:

Suzhou takes a full day? I was hoping the highlights could be done in ½ to ¾ of a day.

I've only got 1 day to spare for Suzhou and/or a water town.

Is it better to skip the water town and do more in Suzhou, or better to skip some parts of Suzhou to see a water town?

Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
1,431 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Day trip to Suzhou and water town, what is efficient travel?

IMO, Tongli and Zhujiajiao are the best water town that I visited before (I been 7~8 water towns)

At your threads, it is possible but a little bit rush.

First of all, let me discuss the water town’s characteristics. The best time to visit water town are at the morning and at the evening. Thus I suggest Tongli, Mudu and Zhujiajiao.

At the morning, from Shanghai to Suzhou by D-train/G-train, ¥26~¥40, journey time 30min~60min.

Tongli

At the afternoon, say around 15:00, by bus to Tongli, journey time 45min. bus fare¥8pp.

The last bus back to Suzhou was at 17:15. (2011.11 info)

Adm. fee: ¥100pp

My comment: You'll in Tongli but haven't been to Tongli. You have time to watch the lake but no time to the town.

Mudu

At Suzhou, by metro to Mudu.

My comment: Mudu very small, the canal is 3m widths and the trail around 2KM (say the scenic area).

Zhujiajiao

By bus to Qingpu at 14:40, 15:20 or 16:10 then by local bus to Zhujiajiao. Journey time is one hour+ 15min, totally 1.25hours. Bus fare are ¥29+¥5, totally ¥35pp.

The last direct bus back to Shanghai was at 21:00 (2011.11 info).

Adm fee: free

My comment: When arrive after 16:00, most of the tourists gone. Here becomes peaceful. Take your supper at a canal side restaurant and watch the reflection of the canal side houses, bridge, ….

Sherbrooke, Canada
Level Contributor
42,858 posts
826 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Day trip to Suzhou and water town, what is efficient travel?

Of course if you just intend to take a quick peek at the highlights without getting out of the car then half a day is enough.

Shanghai, China
8 posts
Save Reply
6. Re: Day trip to Suzhou and water town, what is efficient travel?

Besides the reply #4 recommendation, another option is from Shanghai to Suzhou, then to water town Zhou Zhuang. There is bus line from Suzhou North Bus Station to Zhou Zhuang directly. It's also easy to get the bus from Zhou Zhuang to Shanghai.

By the way, Zhou Zhuang is just in the middle between Shanghai and Suzhou. You can also take tourism bus lines from Shanghai to Zhou Zhuang first. Then take another bus to Su Zhou, and back to Shanghai by train finally.

NNJ
Level Contributor
3,549 posts
55 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Day trip to Suzhou and water town, what is efficient travel?

Let me provide a little more detailed information to help you to make a plan (or make it more difficult to make a plan).

Your original plan is doable; the water town can be either Tonli or Zhouzhung (TL is smaller, but less commercialized than ZZ; so it’s better, to me.). As J-P pointed already, it will be a rush (you still have time to get off the car though).

To visit most of SZ attractions, one needs more than a day. To visit most of water towns, one needs one day too (including travel time).

But:

-Right in the middle of SZ downtown, there is a water town area (SZ itself is a big water town and often referred as Venice in East which I think it’s a little exaggerated). For most of foreign first-time visitors, spending two hours in that area is good enough to get a sense of the “water town”

-Right inside of Tonli, there is a nice garden. For most of foreign first-time visitors, it is the same as those in SZ, except the size (of course, the background, architecture details …).

So you can just visit either one place more leisurely for a day.

Or

- Right inside downtown of Shanghai, there is Yu Garden.

-A water town called Qibao is only a few subway stops away from downtown.

So you don’t even have to leave Shanghai to get a feeling of the garden and the water town. If your schedule is tight, this could be a good option.

BTW My comment is based on the fact that I have visited all of the gardens and at least five water towns (more than once for some of them).

8. Re: Day trip to Suzhou and water town, what is efficient travel?

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

TripAdvisor staff removed this post because it did not meet TripAdvisor's forum guidelines with regards to the participation of business representatives.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 03 April 2014, 15:17
Amsterdam, The...
Level Contributor
70 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Day trip to Suzhou and water town, what is efficient travel?

Thank you everyone for your reply! Very kind.

It has helped me a lot :)

As suggested by drdw I'll just walk around in downtown Suzhou to get a 'water town feeling' and skip the water town itself.

(Living in a water town of sorts I see canals everyday, so I'm guessing I'm not missing too much).

Edited: 18 February 2014, 12:19
NNJ
Level Contributor
3,549 posts
55 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Day trip to Suzhou and water town, what is efficient travel?

The "water town" area is called Pingjiang Rd, which is very closed to two of the gardens.