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Home Travel in Jiangsu Travel in Yang zhou
Travel in Yang zhou
Yangzhou (Yángzhōu [扬州]), known as a city of gardens and alleys, is a destination that makes a trip to China unforgettable. Little known to most foreign travelers, Yangzhou is a proud retainer of ancient Chinese architecture, art, culture, traditional gardens and parks, cuisine, leisure, and commerce in a beautiful mixture of modernity with its rich 2,500 year history. The demolition sledgehammer has not made much headway here, leaving an increasingly harder to find view into the past. All in all, Yangzhou is the ideal place to experience unique aspects of Chinese culture, and is a relaxing break from other overly developed and commercialized urban centers in the region.

An Introduction to Yangzhou

Lying just north of the Yangtze River, Yangzhou was a major trade center on the Grand Canal. Yangzhou is only an hour bus ride from Nanjing, and three hours from Shanghai. Emperors used to visit Yangzhou by boat to enjoy its distinct architecture and famously beautiful women, among other things. Yangzhou reached its heyday over a thousand years ago as a salt distribution center during the Tang Dynasty. The salt trade allowed the city to accumulate considerable wealth triggering a flourishing arts and literary scene that continues to this day. Numerous museums, galleries, and art stores display extraordinary traditional works by local artists, and another famous Yangzhou product, ornate lacquer ware, can be purchased at shops throughout the city.

Today, there are an unbelievable amount of tourist activities in this small relaxed city. The willow tree lined Slender West Lake is a huge, must see park, and both He and Ge Gardens make for pleasant visits as well. One can just as easily spend a day exploring the ancient alleys and quiet canal side paths. By night, go for some of Yangzhou’s interesting cuisine or go relax at any one of the city’s abundant bath houses.

Tourist Attractions in Yangzhou

Yangzhou boasts an impressive amount of tourist sites despite its small size. There are parks, gardens, canals, and historic structures seemingly around every corner. Below are just a few of the city’s major destinations. There are still plenty more secrets to be found on your own, fortunately without any pesky entrance fees.

Slender West Lake Last Modified:

Slender West Lake ( 瘦西湖 )
Hours: 6:30 to 18:00
Address: Entire NW part of Yangzhou, south entrance neararched stone Hongqiao bridge
( 扬州, 瘦西湖南门, 大虹桥路 )
Admission Fee: 60 yuan per person. 110 yuan for combo ticket (details in article)

Slender West Lake is the premier attraction in Yangzhou. The park, lined with willow trees, picturesque pagodas, and loads of history has enough to keep a visitor busy for the entire day. During spring the park is an expansive wonderland of flowers and budding trees. There are few enclosed city parks in China as impressive as this, making Slender West Lake a must visit.

Five Pavilion Bridge, the unofficial symbol of Yangzhou, is found here connecting the slender lake’s shores. The bridge was constructed nearly five hundred years ago. Always bustling with activity, the bridge offers excellent elevated views of the lake. It’s also a reliable place to catch a pleasant breeze to help visitors cool down a bit on a hot summer day.

Boat rides are also a fun way to explore the lake. They can be hired quite easily (around 10 yuan per person), or rented on your own for more freedom. Within the park there is a Buddhist nunnery and a large white, somewhat out of place, Tibetan Chorta. Countless side paths, bridges, pavilions, calligraphy halls, and the historic Gong He Chun Restaurant, specializing in dumplings, pot stickers, and noodles fill up the rest of the park grounds. Following the lake north leads all the way to Da Ming Temple and Guan Yin Monastery.

Just over the stone bridge from the park’s south gate is the Yangzhou Potted Plant (Bonsai) Garden, which is another beautiful place to wander. This park is on an island in Willow Lake and maintains hundreds of very old, and actually quite interesting potted plants. The ticket to Slender West Lake also includes admission to this park. The street opposite the entrance naturally has numerous souvenir stores and restaurants.

Combo Ticket: For 110 yuan you can get a combo ticket which includes the entrance fees to Slender West Lake, a small museum within the Slender West Lake scenic area, Ge Yuan and He Yuan. It also includes a twenty minute ferry ride down The Grand Canal. The ticket can be purchased at the south entrance (南门) but may not be available at other entrances.

How to Get There: Bus numbers 4, 5, 6, and 16 all go to Slender West Lake. Alternatively, you can take a pleasant walk northwest from the city center to reach the park. The park covers the entire NW part of Yangzhou. The south entrance is near the arched stone Hongqiao bridge.

Qian Long Waterway (乾隆览线)
Address: The entire stretch of Yanfu Rd. runs along the canal
( 盐阜路 (护城河) )

He Yuan (何园)
Hours: Open Daily 7:15 to 17:45
Address: Xuning Men Road in southern Old Yangzhou
( 徐凝门路 )

Ge Yuan (个园)
Hours: Open Daily 7:15 – 17:30
Address: Yanfu Road, south of Qianlong Waterway
( 盐阜路 )

Slender West Lake (瘦西湖)
Hours: 6:30 to 18:00
Address: Entire NW part of Yangzhou, south entrance near arched stone Hongqiao bridge
( 扬州, 瘦西湖南门, 大虹桥路 )

Yangzhou Museum (扬州市双博馆)
Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 9:00-17:00
Address: Wenchang W. Rd, near train station
( 文昌西路(火车站东边)

Han Dynasty Tombs (广陵汉墓)
Hours: 8:00-17:30
Address: Pingshan Tang Rd, east of Da Ming Temple
( 平山堂路,位于大明寺东边 )

Tomb of Puhaddin (普哈丁墓)
Hours: 8:00 to 17:00
Address: Just SE of Jiefang Bridge and Grand Canal

Old Yangzhou (扬州古成)
Address: Head south on Guoqing Road from Wenchang Zhonglu
( 国庆路和甘泉路的路口 )

Lotus Lake (荷花池公园)
Address: Just South of Yangzhou Univ. on Wenhe South Road
( 文河南路 )

Dong Juan Men Alley (东圈门街)
Address: Just north of Wenchang Rd. between Guoqing and Taizhou Roads.
( 汪氏小怨, 琼花观 )

Da Ming Temple (大明寺)
Hours: Open Daily 7:40 to 17:30
Address: North of Slender West Lake on Pingshan Tang Rd.
( 瘦西湖的北边, 平山堂路 )

Claim to Fame:

Eastern China, Jiangsu Province. One hour from Nanjing.
Officially 4.5 million. Less than 1 million in city center.
Predominantly Han Chinese.
Mandarin (普通话) and Yangzhou-talk (扬州话).
Huaiyang (Yangzhou) Style.
"+86 514" from abroad. "0514" from within China.
Train and bus convenient. Air via Nanjing Airport. Water transport via Grand Canal.
Foot, passenger carriages, bicyle, bus, taxi.
Does not freeze during winter. Up to 40°C in summer. High humidity. Comfortable spring and autumn.
Slender West Lake, Home of Yangzhou Style Cuisine, old-China architecture, Grand Canal.

Restaurants in Yangzhou

Local cuisine is one of the main reasons many Chinese travelers make the journey to Yangzhou. There are an incredible amount of restaurants throughout the city, most of which boast very reasonable prices as well. Weiyang (also known as Huaiyang) Cuisine, the Yangzhou style, is well known throughout China, as Yangzhou Fried Rice is one of the most famous local exports. To learn more about Weiyang Cuisine and eating in Yangzhou check out this guide to Local Yangzhou Cuisine.

Unfortunately for the non-Chinese speaker ordering might be a problem. The only places in town with English on the menus are Western food restaurants like Pizza Hut (even McDonald’s doesn’t have English). With these facts in mind, try to find some local Chinese accompaniment in order to truly experience Yangzhou cuisine.

A Brief Guide to Local Yangzhou Cuisine
Food Street (美食街)
Address: Siwang Pavillion Lu and Huaihai Lu Intersection
( 四望亭路和淮海路的路口 )

Fu Man Lou Restaurant (福满楼大酒店)
Address: No. 30 Wenhe Bei Lu - Near Siwang Pavillion
( 汶河北路30号 - 靠近四望亭 )
Phone: +86(0) 514 7342777, 7343777

Ye Chun Teahouse (冶春茶社)
Address: No. 10 Feng Le St. ( 丰乐上街10号 )
Phone: +86 (0) 514 734 2932

Ye Chun Teahouse 2 (冶春茶社)
Hours: Open for dim-sum from 6-11am. Open for dinner from 5-8pm.
Address: 丰乐上街1号
Phone: +86 (0) 514 7805666

Da Ming Temple Vegetarian Restaurant (大明寺素食坊)
Address: No. 180 Wenhui E. Rd., at intersection with Yangzi Jiang Rd.
( 文汇东路180号 )
Phone: +86 (0) 514 7783977

Lu Residence Restaurant (卢氏古宅餐厅)
Hours: 7:00-10:00, 11:30-14:00, 17:00-20:00
Address: Kang Shan St., a residence complex in far SE corner of the old city
( 康山街 )
Phone: +86 (0) 514 790 7197

Champion Pizza (千尊比萨)
Address: No. 12 Wenhe North Road ( 文河北路12号 )
Phone: +86 (0) 514 732 4508

Fu Chun Teahouse (富春茶社)
Address: No. 35 Desheng Qiao, head west down an alley off Guoqing Rd.
( 得胜桥35号 )
Phone: +86 (0) 514 723 3326

Nightlife in Yangzhou

Despite lacking a steady nightlife crowd, Yangzhou has a steadily increasing amount of bars and clubs. There are still a few mainstays where a good time is always waiting to be had, but dining out and trips to the bathhouse still dominate Yangzhou “nightlife.”

SOS (风暴酒吧)
Hours: early to very late
Address: Intersection of Nantong Donglu and Dujiang bridge, Yangzhou
( 扬州市南通东路渡江桥口 )
Phone: +86 (0)514 7937588

Cellar Bar (赛乐酒吧)
Hours: 19:00 to 2:00 or 3:00
Address: No.8, Fengle Shangjie, Yangzhou ( 扬州市丰乐上街8号 )
Phone: +86 (0)514 2166866

The Palace (皇宫夜会所)
Address: No.33, Huanggong, Wenhe Beilu, Yangzhou
( 扬州市文河北路皇宫33号 )
Phone: +86 (0)514 7328707

Banana Night Club (巴那那Disco酒吧)
Address: No.5, Fengle ShangJie (Yangzhou Binguan), Yangzhou
( 扬州市丰乐上街5号 (扬州宾馆) )
Phone: +86 (0)514 780 5888

Hotels in Yangzhou

As one of China’s most notably touristy cities, Yangzhou naturally has no shortage of hotels. Those seeking a nostalgic adventure should check out the back alley Lu Yang Guesthouse, or those seeking comfort and a central location will have no trouble finding lodging along any of the main streets for around 300 RMB per night.

Lu Yang Guesthouse (绿扬旅社)
Address: No.23, Guoqing Lu, Xinsheng Jie, Yangzhou
( 扬州市国庆路新胜街23号 )
Phone: +86 (0)514 7341590

Lan Tian Hotel (扬州蓝天大厦)
Address: No.42, Wenhe Beilu, Yangzhou ( 扬州市汶河北路42号 )
Phone: +86 (0)514 736 0000

Jinling West Lake Village (扬州西湖山庄有限责任公司)
Address: No.3, Pingshantang Lu, Yangzhou ( 扬州市平山堂路3号 )
Phone: +86 (0)514 731 3888

Grand Metropole Hotel (扬州京华大酒店)
Address: No.559, Wenchang Zhonglu, Yangzhou
( 扬州市文昌中路559号 )
Phone: +86 (0)514 732 2888

Yangzhou Hotel (扬州宾馆)
Address: No.5, Fengleshang Jie, WeiyangQu, Yangzhou
( 扬州市维扬区丰乐上街5号 )
Phone: +86 (0)514 780 5888

Jinye Hotel (江都市惠丰物资有限公司金叶大酒店)
Address: No.236, Changjiang Lu, Jiangdu County, Yangzhou
( 扬州市江都市长江路236号 )
Phone: +86 (0)514 699 9000

Sequoia Hotel Yangzhou (扬州红杉树酒店股份有限公司)
Address: No.237, Wenchang Zhonglu, Yangzhou
( 扬州市文昌中路237号 )
Phone: +86 (0)514 780 1888

Ershisiqiao Hotel (扬州二十四桥宾馆)
Address: No.486, Yangzijiang Beilu, WeiyangQu, Yangzhou
( 扬州市维扬区扬子江北路486号 )
Phone: +86 (0)514 780 8999

Dingshan Hotel (扬州广源丁山大酒店)
Address: No.79, Nantong Xilu, GuanglingQu, Yangzhou
( 扬州市广陵区南通西路79号 )
Phone: +86 (0)514 733 0777

Liming Hotel (仪征黎明大酒店)
Address: No.121, Zhenzhou Lu, Yizheng, Yangzhou
( 扬州市仪征市真州路121号 )
Phone: +86 (0)514 340 0088

Yangzhou Shita Hotel Co., Ltd (扬州石塔宾馆有限公司)
Address: No.246, Wenchang Zhonglu, Yangzhou
( 扬州市文昌中路246号 )
Phone: +86 (0)514 780 1188

Jiangdu Hotel (江都市大酒店有限公司)
Address: No.48, Yinjianglu, Jiangdu County, Yangzhou
( 扬州市江都市引江路48号 )
Phone: +85 (0)514 699 1688

Xiyuan Hotel Yangzhou (扬州西园大酒店)
Address: No.1, Fengle ShangJie, Yangzhou ( 扬州市丰乐上街1号 )
Phone: +86 (0)514 780 7888
+ Itinerary + Your Tip/Review

Garden International Hotel Yangzhou (扬州花园国际大酒店)
Address: No.56, Jiangyang Zhonglu, Yangzhou
( 扬州市江阳中路56号 )
Phone: +86 (0)514 780 3333

New Century Hotel (扬州新世纪大酒店有限责任有限公司)
Address: No.101, Weiyang Lu, Yangzhou ( 扬州市维扬路101号 )
Phone: +86 (0)514 787 8888