According to history, ancient China was divided into nine parts and Yangzhou was the most famous of them all. The city dwells on a very strategic location in the Yangtze River Delta and lies on the southernmost end of the scenic Jianghuai Plain. Being built near this famous river is what makes it have a plethora of picturesque areas and a popular tourist destination.
Yangzhou has a harbor that serves as an important hub for distribution of goods that are destined for eastern Anhui, northern Jiangsu, and southeastern Shandong Provinces. This has made it a very important port for both local and international trade. In fact, the city has always been referred to as the "famous garden city" and the "gate of southern area of Jiangsu Province". The city covers a total area of approximately 6,638 square kilometers and has a population of over 4,414,681.
Yangzhou consists of a total of three districts namely Jiangdu District, Hanjiang District, and Guangling District. It also features four counties which include Baoying County, Yizheng City, and Gaoyou City.
• Guangling District - This district of Yangzhou includes the eastern half of the city’s main urban area. The other half of the urban area is mostly composed of Hanjiang District.
• Hanjiang District –This district alongside Guangling District divides Yangzhou city's main urban area into two halves.
• Jiangdu District – Until November 2011, Jiangdu district was a mere county-level city that was under the administration of Yangzhou. It was only in 2011 that the area was converted to be one of the districts in Yangzhou.
Despite being a middle-sized City, Yangzhou has a remarkable transportation network that includes several expressways, highways, railway and waterway.
• Flight – The city’s main airport has been in existence since 2012. There is another airport known as Nanjing Lukou International Airport which was Yangzhou’s primary airport before 2012. There are more than 10 airline ticket offices in the city which makes it very convenient for domestic tourists and foreigners to easily book their flights.
• Train – There is a train that goes through the city that is part of the Nanjing-Nantong line. In addition, there are numerous fast trains that goes to several neighboring cities including Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangzhou.
• Bus – The city also has frequent buses that connect Yangzhou to Shanghai, Nanjing and Suzhou. During the day, you will find several bus services that you can use to go to and from the nearby cities.
• Ferry – Yangzhou also has a passenger and vehicle ferry that operates across the Yangtze River. There are two terminals, one in Guazhou town and the other one a few kilometers to the west of Jinshan Temple. The two terminals are served by several routes and operate on a fairly frequent schedule.
In the inner city also has a very good network of public transportation which including bus and taxis that provide convenience transportation to the city’s inhabitants and visitors.
• Bus – The buses in Yangzhou run daily from 6am to 6pm and cover most of the scenic spots in the city including the Slender West Lake and the Ge Garden. Most of the bus routes start from the West Bus Station which is adjacent to the railway station.
• Taxi - Taxis are also a very common means of transport in Yangzhou. They are widely available and charge a flat rate that starts at 7 Yen. In case you want an exciting ride, there are also pedicabs all over the city center.
• Bicycling – Most of the streets in Yangzhou have separate bicycle lanes which make bicycling very enjoyable. You will find that most of the lanes outside the city center are not crowded. Just like with many cities in China, public rental bicycles are very common in Yangzhou, although you will need to have a smartphone and a local resident card to use them. Renting a bike in China is very easy! Here's how you can do it.
Yangzhou has a typical subtropical-monsoon climate with variable and humid winds. The climate is characterized by prevailing winds that changes according to season. The city has four climatic seasons whereby the winters takes about 4 months, the summers 3 months, and both the springs and autumns seasons take 2 months each. During winter, the northern dry winds prevail while during summer the hot winds from east and southeast prevail.
The area receives an average of 2177 hours sunshine and an annual temperature of about 15 degrees Celsius. The hottest month of the season is usually July at 27.6C while the coldest is normally January which can go as low as 1.7C. Although the summer season is normally warm, it is also the rainy season and almost half of the year’s precipitation falls during this time. The best time to visit the city is between March and April since the weather is most pleasant at this time.
Having been listed among the top 10 leisure cities in China, it is arguable that Yangzhou is a treasure-trove of tourist attractions. With a history that dates back to more than 2,500 years, the city has also accumulated numerous culture and historical assets. Some of the most famous tourist attractions and things to do here include:
• Slender West Lake – This consists of a long and narrow stretch of water that runs through the city’s western limits. Around the lake you will also find a park that houses several other tourist attractions including the Lotus Flower Pagoda.
• Daming Temple – This temple is located on the Shugang Hill and was formerly known as the DaMing Temple. Although the original temple was gravely damaged during the Taiping Rebellion, it was reconstructed in the early 1930s.
• Wenchang Ge – This is a relatively round three- story pavilion that was built to celebrate Yangzhou's rich cultural traditions. Today, structure is bordered by several shopping stores which also make it a symbol of commercial center.
• Yangzhou Museum – Located on the western side of the Bright Moon Lake, this is a must visit if you want to learn about Yangzhou’s history.
• Ge Garden – This is a typical southern-style garden that features luxuriant bamboo groves, rock grottoes, and ponds. The garden got it’s name from the bamboo leaves shape which look like the Chinese character “ge”, that means "a" or "an."
• He Garden – This garden features a 430 meters tall, two-storied winding corridor with walls that are lined with carved stone tablets. There is also a luxurious open-air theater that in the garden in the middle of a fish pond.
Yangzhou is a city that has a diverse economy and this is what drives most expatriates to come and work here. Most expats in Yangzhou prefer venturing into fields such as education, tourism, maritime, and the food industry. As an Expatriate, you may find the local dialect to be quite challenging to learn. This is because the dialect used here is fairly distinct from the modern one that is standardized. However, there are a good number of online forums, discussion groups, social networks, and magazines like “InterNations” that will help you learn some of the local dialect and even keep in touch with fellow expatriates that are living in Yangzhou.
If you're looking to get connected with other people, check out these ways to meet other expats in China!
Although Christmas holiday and New Years are significant in most parts of the world, they are still not widely celebrated in Yangzhou and many other Chinese cities. However, you can find the holiday celebrations are usually held where many foreigners live. The Chinese New Year or Spring Festival is held on the first day of the Chinese New Year which ranges according to the year. This is usually the most important festival for the people of Yangzhou. On the 15th day, there is the Lantern Festival which marks the end of the Chinese New Year is held. Another notable holiday celebration in Yangzhou is the Dragon Boat Festival which happens on 1st August. During this festival, the Chinese people hold dragon boat races and eat sticky rice.
There are many other festivals and holidays in China! Read more about holidays and how to celebrate them in China.
Although Yangzhou is no longer a center for trading rice and silk as it was in the ancient times, the city still remains a favorite for very many locals and expats. You will always find all the shops in business and people bustling every now and then. Being the model city of environmental protection, there is not doubt that it tops the list of the best cities that an expat can reside in China.
It is only when you choose to live in the city that you will fully experience it’s rich history, lively people, and vibrant culture. Since there aren’t many foreigners moving to Yangzhou compared to other cities, the locals are usually very curious about expats and you may feel like a rock-star whenever you go out.