An Expat In Suzhou: 3 years in Heaven
Suzhou, Jiangsu, CN
April 17, 2019 by Greg
Where to begin, the food, the people, the gardens, or the mix of traditional and modern? Suzhou is my favorite city in the world. Hands down. I spent three years from 2012-2015 living in this wonderful city to say for sure that of all the cities I have lived in, Suzhou takes the prize. Now you may say but Greg, you haven't been everywhere, or Greg why, what makes Suzhou so special. Everyone has that one city that just clicks with their personality. For me, I love being next to water, Suzhou has canals everywhere and it has two giant lakes on the east and west end of the city. To be honest though I think that the reason I love it so much is because my third day living here, my neighbor took me for a bike ride where we rode from 9am to 10pm making stops at TaiHu, eating lunch in the hills, and eventually making our way into SIP (Suzhou Industrial Park). This was the first time I truly got to enjoy a bike friendly city, and being able to swerve in and out of the many small alleys into major streets was a thrill I had not felt before. It's memories like this that makes me feel so close to Suzhou.
I like to break Suzhou up into 3 areas, SIP, SND(Suzhou New District), and Old Downtown. SIP was built with a partnership between the Singapore government and is where most of the Expats lived, I didn't, but most did. Old Downtown is where the traditional architecture of Suzhou lives, it consists of Suzhou University, PingJian Lu, GuanQian Jie, ShanTong Jie and relics of the past. SND is where I lived, on the far west of town, closer to Taihu than JinJi Hu. At the time I lived there SND was trying to become a nice modern SIP, last year when I went back to visit, that dream has now been realized. All three areas have their own unique personalities about them. One is not better than the other, it just comes down to personal preference and for me I would love to live in one of those ancient houses in Old Downtown.