You cannot find another city that features so many rivers and bridges as Suzhou does. It is also known for its classical gardens to the world.

This time, we will introduce you an ancient historic block here in Gusu District of the city, namely, the Pingjinag Road. The whole block is in fact a route along a river with a length of 1606 meters. As the best-preserved block, it is an epitome of the ancient city. When compared that to Pingjiang Map (i.e., Map of Suzhou) drawn in South Song Dynasty and Map of Suzhou Waterways in late Ming Dynasty, Pingjiang Road shares the urban layout that was initiated from Tang and Song Dynasties, and it stays dynamic till today.

Suzhou Pingtan and Kunqu

When we talk about a tour in Pingjiang Road, it does not mean a route that is limited to the long straight riverside road.

One can find many tiny lanes that are connected to Pingjiang Road vertically, and more importantly, there are many, many stories hidden there. Most of the lanes with twists and turns are formed and confined by high courtyard walls on both sides. It exhibits kind of poetic depth.

When one leaves Pingjiang Road and steps into Zhangjia Lane, Suzhou Pingtan Museum appears. There are scheduled performances in the museum.

There is also a museum for Qunqu, where people can learn the history and development of this art form by reading pictures and articles. This construction was originally Quanjin Guild Hall, in which traditional theatrical performances were put on for affluent merchants from Shanxi Province (Jin is short for Shanxi in Chinese). This beautifully decorated theatre has a typical structure to amplify and touch up vocal sounds.Delicacies along Pingjiang Road

In addition to history and culture down there, cuisine is another attraction.

Culinary cultures from ancient time till now are manifested by stalls and restaurants on Pingjiang Road, and there are in fact two kinds:

First, there are all kinds of snack bars. Those eateries are not to be sniffed at, as many food lovers would travel a long way to Pingjiang Road for sitting down at their tables.

Wafflefun Muffin Shop offers newly baked muffins with crispy outsides and soft insides. When topped with quality cream and fresh fruits, they are inviting for a bite. There are shops selling delicatessens such as marinated chicken feet and duck tongues. They are so tasty that you always want more. By the way, do remember to order some pan-fried puns (stuffed with chopped pork) sold on the Road. They taste like the delicious steamed buns in Shanghai.

Of all the food, local delicacies with Suzhou features along Pingjiang Road are the most popular among tourists. Delicacies such as Guihua Gao (Osmanthus flavored cakes), Jiuniang Wanzi (fermented glutinous rice ball soups), Xianrou Yuebing (fresh pork moon cakes) and Haitang Gao (crabapple shaped cake) are offered in a proper amount for you to hold in your hand for eating all the way.

Second, there are time-honored restaurants such as Songhe Lou (Cranes and Pines Restaurant), Deyue Lou (Lunar Shined Restaurant), and so on. Dishes like sweet and sour mandarin fish, bean curd with crab roe, sweet and sour spare ribs, and sauce hock porridge are those people would not miss. Some people can get coveted by hearing the names of these dishes alone. They are beautifully arranged in plates and taste good. Often, there are histories and stories behind them, and don’t forget to explore the intriguing stories of these famous dishes.

So, the historic block of Pingjiang Road is really an ancient cultural street that is also featured with various cuisine and boutiques. When you are in Suzhou, please do drop by and have a look.

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