There are many ways to explore the Suzhou Creek (although it may be more fitting to call it a river) and its surroundings as it cuts through central Shanghai on its way from Lake Tai to the Huangpu River. You can easily stroll along its banks, particularly if you’re interested in exploring the trendy artist colony that is home to more than a 100 working artists in the formerly vacant warehouses along the banks of the Suzhou.
Two of the best ways to access the area are by bike and by boat.
Bicycles are easily rented in Shanghai, and if you’re staying in the city long, it’s almost a necessity to have one at your disposal. If you’re the independent type, the geography of the river makes it simple enough to venture along without the need to be completely familiar with the city. However, it can be beneficial to hook up with one of the handful of guided bike tours that are available. Guides can teach you about the local architecture and history, as well as help you navigate a safe and successful route along the river and across some of its bridges.
Certainly one of the most enjoyable methods of seeing the Suzhou is by boat, but with this method of exploration, a guided tour is a must. The good news is that following a decade-long cleanup effort, the number of tours offered have diversified and increased. Take your pick!