Suzhou Creek

Suzhou Creek, also known as Soochow Creek, Suzhou River and Wusong River, is one of the branches of Yangtze River. It originates from Taihu Lake and finally enters Huangpu River to the east of Waibaidu Bridge, winding about 125 kilometers (77 miles), of which almost 53 kilometers (33 miles) runs through Shanghai. When you walk along the river bank, you can appreciate the old European style bridges over the river, and western style buildings and Shikumen residences along the banks. You can also cruise to enjoy these landscapes.

Suzhou Creek is named after the city Suzhou in Jiangsu Province by foreign businessmen, who always cruised to Suzhou along the river when Shanghai opened the commercial port in the middle of the 20th century. Suzhou River, a romantic film released in 2000, chose the river as the topic, and won Hivos Tiger Award of the 29th International Film Festival Rotterdam and the Best Picture of the 15th Paris Cinema International Film Festival in the same year.
Waibaidu Bridge
Waibaidu Bridge
Zhapu Bridge over Suzhou Creek
Zhapu Bridge over Suzhou Creek

Bridges on Suzhou Creek

There are 31 bridges constructed on the 53-km channel segment within Shanghai. The most famous bridge on the river is Waibaidu Bridge built in 1920s. It is the first riveted bridge of steel structure in China and the only one of unequal height truss, sitting in the meeting point of Suzhou Creek and Huangpu River. After the establishment of PRC in 1949, there were 18 bridges one after another constructed on the river within the city. Most of the bridges were built or rebuilt to the east river with the style of European city arch bridge.

Walking westwards from Waibaidu Bridge, you will appreciate many old but wonderful bridges, such as Zhapu Road Bridge, Sichuan Road Bridge, Henan Road Bridge and so on. As the classical and important landscape bridges on the river, they are the representatives of European style bridges, which have smooth lines and detailed carvings on the body and stay in harmony with the style of architectures along the river.

Buildings along Suzhou Creek

Shanghai General Post Office
Western Style Shanghai General Post Office
As a witness of modern Shanghai, Suzhou Creek keeps a lot of typical western-style architectures, such as Shanghai General Post Office, Former Consulate of the UK, Shanghai Chamber of Commerce, Foursagade, and Astor House Hotel. All of the buildings form nostalgic scenery of Shanghai. Those structures are the part of the city's history. When you look at the buildings along the river, you will also detect the past written on their lines.  

Located in the north end of the Sichuan Road Bridge, Shanghai General Post Office is the highlight of the buildings. Built in the middle of the 1920s, it is designed in the eclecticism style. The eight-floor high building has a baroque decorative gazebo on the top. The completion of Shanghai General Post Office became a sensational event in Shanghai at that time for it is the first structure in steel, with brick outside wall.

Unlike the east Suzhou Greek, the river segment from Henan Road to Hefeng Road has full of alleys in different ages and with different shapes. For example, Siwenli, sitting at the south bank of the river and on the two sides of Datong Road, stretches southwards to Xinzha Road. Built in 1916, Siwenli is the early representative of Shanghai Shikumen residences, which adopts western structures, decoration adornments and materials in the construction.

The river even gathered a lot of large-sized factories and workshops. In recent years, most of the industries have moved out of the riverside  while many painters and artists rented the empty rooms as studios and galleries, like M50 and Creation Garden. Those wild depot-style rooms are special and interesting.

Suzhou Creek Cruise

In addition to walking along the river, you can appreciate the beautiful landscapes on both sides by Suzhou Creek boat tour. The cruise wharf is just to the west of Waibaidu Bridge along the north bank of the creek. There are several cruise routes with different duration and ticket price to meet the demands of different visitors. The sailing schedule also varies based on visitor flow and sometimes influenced by Suzhou Creek restoration. You are advised to confirm the information on the spot.

How to Get to There

1. Take metro line 10 or line 12, and get off at the Tiantong Road Station. Then, walk southwards for around 200 meters (220 yards) to Waibaidu Bridge.
2. Take metro line 8 or line 12, and get off at the Qufu Road Station. Then, walk southwards for around 200 meters.
3. Take metro line 1 and get off at the Xinzha Road Station. Then, walk northwards for around 500 meters (540 yards).
4. Take metro line 1, line 12 or line 13, and get off at the Hanzhong Road Station. Then, walk southwards for around 150 meters (160 yards)
5. Take metro line 13, and get off at the Jiangning Road Station. Then, walk eastwards for around 250 meters (270 yards).
6. Take metro line 4 or line 7, and get off at the Zhenping Road Station. Then, walk southwards for around 100 meters (110 yards).
7. Take metro line 11 or line 13, and get off at the Longde Road Station. Then, walk southwards for around 100 meters.
8. Take bus no.934, no.330, no.37 or no. 868, and get off at Biduqiao Station. Then walk southwards along Daming Road to the river bank.
9. Take bus no.135, and get off at Changzhi Road Mingxing Road Station. Then walk southwards along Daming Road to the river bank.

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