This Precious Belt Bridge in Suzhou has 53 arches. By the look of it, this bridge has weathered time in ancient Chinese history.
It is stone bridge that dates back to mid-Tang Dynasty era in Chinese history.
However, due to several reconstructions, the bridge you see today goes back to the Ming Dynasty. That is around 1446 AD.
The locals call it Baodai Qiao (Long Bridge).
Out of the many ancient bridges in China, this is the longest multi-hole stone bridge.
Since it is away from the city center, only a few tourists go there and explore the area. The nearest metro station is Baidai Qiao South. And from the exit, you have to walk for 40 minutes to get there.
Unfortunately, there is no romantic story involve here. 😀
Historical records show that it got its name from a local prefect named Wang Zhongshu.
He was a man with a selfless heart. He sold his precious belt to finance the construction of the bridge.
The bridge might look old, but it is still used by people who want to cross to the other side where a quiet park awaits.
From the bridge, you can see part of Suzhou’s skyline.
Looking for an affordable hostel in an ancient street? The Mingtown Suzhou International Youth Hostel at Pingjiang Lu is a nice place to stay. Nearby (15 minutes walk), Suzhou Blue Gate Youth Hostel is another option. Well-rated PACE Hotel Suzhou Renmin is worth your money if you can afford to splurge more. You can book all these accommodations via HostelWorld, Booking, TripAdvisor, and Expedia.
Remember that while most hotels in China have free access to wifi, it is recommended that you install your own VPN to access your social media accounts.
Buying train tickets at the train station anywhere in China can be confusing for those who don’t speak the language. What I always do is book via TRIP because it’s the most convenient, and they don’t really charge that much for service fee. The money you’d spend in going to the train station might be the same for the service fee. And you wasted no time joining the long queue there. However, on the day of your trip, make sure to be at the station at least an hour and a half. Go directly to the window booth where they issue the real tickets. You have to show the reservation number/s. Train attendants usually allow passengers to check in between 20-30 minutes before the scheduled departure.