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Taicang(太仓, the Supreme Depot literally translated) used to be the imperial granary located in the southernmost part of Jiangsu province and borders on Shanghai, and is the closest city to Shanghai. Taicang is connected with Jiading district of Shanghai. The No.11 metro of Shanghai at the North Station of Jiading links Taicang with a bus, and the time spent on the way is only 20 minutes or so. Taicang has a great culture and developed industrial system, and the speed of development ranks No.1 in Suzhou, and also one of the most developed county-level cities in China. Taicang is a garden city actually and has a national 4-A scenic area, which is Jincang Lake Scenic Area. The west of Jincang Lake is the German-style town. Taicang is a center of German companies in China, and nearly 200 companies of Germany lies in Taicang.
The Highlighted Tourist Attractions
They are Jincang Lake Scenic Area, Germany-style Town, Chengxiang Wanfeng Ecological Park, Taicang Celebrities Museum, Yuhuang Pavilion, Nanguang Temple, Haitian Temple, Xilu Garden, Jinji Bridge, Jinting Bridge, Leyin Garden, Wu Xiaobang Art Museum, Tianfei Palace, Southern Garden, Qi Garden, Yanshan Garden, Tianjing Lake, Zhangpu Former Residence, Wang Xijue Former Residence, Gao Renqi Oil Painting Gallery, Wu Jianxiong Tomb, Taicang Musuem, Song Wenzhi Gallery, Huangjing West Pagoda, Zheng He Memorial Hall and Plum Thatched Cottage.
How to go to Taicang
More express lines were available along the Shanghai-Taicang Expressway. Direct intercity bus from Liuhe to Luodian Meilanhu Station of No. 7 Line of Shanghai LRT was put into operation in the year.
The frequency of the bus between Taicang and Shanghai were increased. All these measures provide convenience for transportation by air, high-speed rail and other transport modes. The city's public transport network has been further optimized by adding and adjusting nine urban public bus routes.
Facilities for bus stations were improved by building 70 more bus shelters in the urban area and 29 more bus shelters in the rural area. The Shuangfu Road and Xiexing Road have been put into operation.
In addition, a number of major projects, including the port accessible expressway, the Yanglintang waterway project and the eastward extension of the No.339 provincial road, are advancing rapidly. The construction of urban slow transport systems in the north river landscape zone and the new Liuhe scenic belt has been accelerated.
By air - Taicang has no airport. The nearest airports are Shanghai Pudong International Airport and Shanghai Hongqiao Airport. Shanghai Hongqiao Airport is about 50km away from Taicang. There is very convenient travel between the two airports.
By road - Taicang has a road transportation network including national highways, provincial highways and county roads. The No 204 national highway, Huyi national highway, No 339, No 338 provincial expressway and Xiliu provincial highway all pass through Taicang. It is only 20km away from the Suzhou exit of the Huning expressway.
All the roads within Taicang have been covered with asphalt. There are 15 county expressways with a total length of 173km. There are buses to every town and village.
Long Distance Bus: The Taicang Long-distance Bus Station is situated on No 17, North-west Road. There are regular nonstop fast buses to Kunshan, Nanjing, Shanghai, Jiading, Hangzhou. Regular normal speed buses go to the following cities of the Jiangsu province: Changshu, Wuxi, and Zhangjiagang. There are buses to cities of Zhejiang province (including Shaoxing and Shengzhou), buses to cities of Anhui province (one or two buses to cities like Hefei, Dongzhi, Congyang, and Lujiang) and regular buses to other provinces or cities (including Wuhan, Macheng, Luzhou and Kaigua).
Bus: Bus services goes to every village and town in Taicang. In addition, there are some buses sent to Shanghai and cities of Jiangsu. Buses depart every 20 minutes for downtown Shanghai and every 30 minutes for Qingpu District, Shanghai. Buses run every 20 minutes to Changshu and Suzhou. Every day, there are one or two buses on the routes for Yangzhou, Changzhou and Hangzhou.
The public transportation card of Taicang can be used in Shanghai, Wuxi, Suzhou, Kunshan and Changshu and also in Fuyang and Huainan of Anhui province.
By water - There are 50 shipping lanes in Taicang with a total length of 377km. There are two docks along the Liuhe River, connecting Taicang to the Nantong Port, the Qinglong Port, the Yingchuan Port and the Chongming Port.
The Taicang Port has opened passenger routes to the Shimonoseki port in Japan and the Keelung port and Taichung port in Taiwan.
Taxi - Taxi fare starts at 10 yuan for 3km in Taicang. You are then charged 1.8 yuan per kilometer after the first 3km.
The Culture of Taicang
Taicang was also called Loudong because it was located east to Loujiang. It has long been the home to culture with rich cultural heritages and long education benefits and formed the unique Loudong Culture. It is where Zheng He of the Ming Dynasty set sail for his seven grand voyages.
It is also the cradle of the beautiful classical music and Loudong Culture, and the birthplace of the myth of the Cowboy and Weaver Girl. The well-preserved five stone arch bridges from the Yuan Dynasty were of unique style and had been listed as one of the officially protected monuments and sites of China.
Taicang has long been home to great cultural and arts masters, such as Wang Shizhen and Wu Weiye, litterateurs of the Ming and Qing dynasties, Zhang Pu, the head of Fu She (the Society of Classical Learning Restoration), Qiu Ying, one of the Top Four Painters of the Ming Dynasty, Wang Shimin, Wang Jian and Wang Yuanqi, representatives of Loudong painting school, Tang Wenzhi, famous educator and founder of Jiao Tong University, Zhu Qizhan and Song Wenzhi, modern painters, and Wu Xiaobang, founder of the new dancing arts of China.
In the scientific field, Taicang has nurtured 11 academicians of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and Chinese Academy of Sciences, including Chienshiung Wu (Wu Jianxiong), who was honored the “Mrs. Courier of China”, Steve Chu (Zhu Diwen), the winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics, and Gu Maoxiang, Lu Youmei, Gong Zhiben, Tang Xiaowei, Tang Xiaoyan, Zou Shichang, Huang Shengnian, Wu Jianping and Yang Shengli.
The History of Taicang
Taicang was just a small village near the sea in the ancient time. During the Spring and Autumn Period (770 BC-476 BC), it was under the jurisdiction of the Wu Kingdom. In the Qin Dynasty (221 BC-206 BC), it was administrated by Kuaiji Prefecture. In the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD), it was under the jurisdiction of Huian Township, Louxian County, Wujun Prefecture. During the Three Kingdoms Period (220-280), the Wu Kingdom set up granaries in Taicang and it was developed gradually.
When the grain shipping was transferred from the canal to the sea course from Liujiagang in the Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368), Taicang became prosperous and grew into a city with hundreds and thousands of households. At the 10th year of Emperor Hongzhi’s reign of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), Taicang City got its name. In the first year of the Republic of China (1912), it was named Taicang County. In March 1993, Taicang was upgraded from county to city.
The Literature of Taicang
The rich cultural heritage of Taicang has given birth to numerous cultural celebrities from the Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties. As many as 314 people from Taicang were third degree candidates in the former national civil service examination, during which the most known are writer Wang Shizhen, who was the leading writer for 20 years; writer and historian Zhang Pu, who played a leading role in restoring a literary association advocating revivalism in the late Ming Dynasty, which was quite well-known both in the government and among the public, and the “On tombstones of five people” he wrote was handed down through generations; the great poet Wu Weiye, creator of the Loudong School of Poetry, is one of “Three great poets in the east part of lower reaches of Yangtze River ” (Qian Qianyi and Gong Dingnie are the others); Neo Confucian Lu Shiyi, who has written more than 60 books and was reputed as “Great Confucian in south Yangtze River area”; historian Bi Yuan, following Sima Guang, wrote “History as a Mirror” and the masterpiece “Continued History as a Mirror”.
In recent years, the sudden emergence of micro fiction highlights literary creation: with many people involved, a large number of publications, and great social impact. Taicang has been named “The hometown of China’s micro-fiction” and “creation base of micro fiction in Jiangsu province”. Ling Dingnian, the leading person and member of the Chinese Writer Association, has maintained a strong creative passion, and established the “Ling Dingnian micro-fiction studio”. Over six years, he has had hundreds of micro fiction published at home and abroad and 9 monographs. He has won several national micro fiction awards, Gold Sparrow Award, Outstanding Anthology Award, Bing Xin Children’s Book Award, his works were selected by 118 classic anthologies, and were also selected as textbooks in dozens of countries and regions. There arose a good momentum of “One horse leading the way, all the horses gallop” in the city’s micro fiction writing. Over 10 excellent local authors have won awards in the micro fiction field and had works published. Taicang Writers Association actively encourages writers and literature enthusiasts to go further into life, and devote themselves to creation. The association has 68 works published, including novels, nouvelle collection, short stories collection, mini-novel collection, collection of prose and essay, poetry, reportage and commentaries, among which Taicang collected and published “Taicang Micro Novelists Selected Works” and “Loudong Collection (9 pieces)”, “Everflowering Rose Collection (11 pieces)”, reflecting the colorful creative career of Taicang writers and literature enthusiasts.
Taicang is rich in literary creation, gathering a group of literary people full of ideals and vitality. It has both traditional fans of literature that have been enthusiastic for decades and modern internet writers who were born in the 1980s and 1990s; both local writers and new Taicang people enthusiasts. Many of the writers have been living at the bottom of the society for a long time and the idea comes to them while they are working, and they become attached to literature and try to achieve their dreams of writing. Hong Limo, a migrant worker in Taicang, became infatuated with literature, and has had a collection of prose and short stories, “Looking Back on the Dabie Mountain”m published, and a nouvelle “Snowy Night”, and there are still a number of literary works that he is working hard on. The magazine “Golden Taicang” by the Literary Federation of the city often introduces the works by migrant workers, and many workers get funding for their literary creations.
By the end of 2011, there were 158 members in Taicang Writers Association, including 4 members from the Chinese Writers Association, 22 members at the provincial level, and 34 members at the Suzhou municipal level. Over the years, Taicang Writers Association has committed to discovering and cultivating new members, enhancing their overall quality and improving their levels of creation. With the unique form of literature, they carefully organize and participate in various activities to enhance the popularity of Taicang at home and abroad, in an effort to provide services for local economic construction and social development.
The Painting of Taicang
Taicang has a long history and is a gathering place of talents, the cradle of “Loudong School of Painting”, and has been long known as the “Town of painting”. During the 600 years since the Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties, the rich and fertile soil of culture here has given birth to hundreds of painters and great masters who have shone through the history of painting. Qiu Ying, a representative painter of the Ming Dynasty, was later known as one of the “Four masters in Ming” together with Shen Zhou, Wen Zhengming and Tang Bohu. Qiu Ying specializes in painting figures, landscapes, flowers and birds, pavilions and terraces, especially counterdrawing. He has exquisite painting skills and mostly imitated Tang and Song masters scripts, such as “Counterdrawing Song People Album” and “Counterdrawing Xiaozhao’s Emperor Gaozong Zhongxing Ruiying Figure”; if compared with the original one, the former can hardly be distinguished.
The “Loudong school of painting” which was represented by Wang Shimin, Wang Yuanqi, Wang Jian, Wang Hui in the early Qing dynasty was born in Taicang of Jiangsu. This is a fairly important school of painting in the history of Chinese painting art. It was not only in the leading position in the entire Qing Dynasty, its influence continues even today, and formed the headquarters for southern landscape painting. Later, the “four little Wang”, “four later Wang” and so on, were also quite well-known for hundreds of years. After the founding of new China, the “Loudong school of painting” revived.
The famous painter Zhu Qizhan (1892-1996) and Song Wenzhi (1919-1999), originating from Taicang, both had great achievements in morality and painting art, each with his own unique artistic style, and are well known at home and abroad. Zhu Qizhan, the well-known long-life painter has a sophisticated painting style which is self-contained, and deserves the reputation of “master of painting”. He began to copy from old paintings at the age of 8. He has been to Japan twice to learn oil painting and focuses on Chinese painting from the 1950s. He is good at landscapes, flowers, especially orchids, bamboo and stone. His works integrate the East and West and are committed to innovation. His works are in bold relief, full of power and grandeur, with distinctive ethnic characteristics and personal style. Song Wenzhi, the famous landscape painter, learned from influential painters and drew from their techniques. Enlightened by “splashing color” and other new techniques, his works are full of fresh air, fun and the innovative pioneering nature of modern Chinese landscape painting.
In order to carry forward the spirit of two masters of noble character and their devotion to the art, Taicang Municipal People’s Government appropriated and built “Plum Cottage” and “Song Wenzhi Art Museum” in 1989. The museum is a public institution covering an area of over 1,000 square meters. The main exhibition hall has white-washed walls and an antique flavor. In the courtyard, a rock feature and lotus pool are elegantly furnished and the white marble statue of Mr. Song Wenzhi is located among fine wood and tall bamboos for visitors to pay their respects. The museum is adjacent to Mr. Song Wenzhi’s former residence at “Pine stone house”. Embraced by old pines and rare stone, it is the living place where Mr. Song used to return and spend his creative life.
Song Wenzhi Art Museum is a contemporary hall of fame, with a collection of representative works Mr. Song Wenzhi donated in his lifetime, paintings, calligraphy treasures and unearthed cultural relics of Ming and Qing dynasties. It also has a collection of many contemporary paintings and calligraphy masterpieces. In addition to year-round opening of the museum, it also carries out academic research, calligraphy and painting exchanges, and personnel training. Since its ten years of establishment, it has held more than 60 sessions of various painting and calligraphy exhibitions and Zhu Qizhan’s centenary exhibition was also held here. It has successively received Peng Chong, Wang Guangying and other state leaders and Hua Junwu, Tang Yun, Ya Ming and many other painters and calligraphers, as well as Chinese and foreign friends, and up to tens of thousands of visitors. Li Ruihuan, chairman of CPPCC, has written an inscription specifically for the museum: “Beautiful scenery of the country, even more brilliant when painted”. The museum is an important window to Taicang’s socialist spiritual civilization.
| The Travel Guide of Suzhou
Editor: Julius from Mildchina
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