urbanism – landscape – ideas – theory – whimsy

Trains, Taxis, Rickshaws and Tuktuks…

A Valentine’s Day trip to Suzhou for a cherry blossom festival (yes cherry blossoms were out on February 14th!) – it was an exercise in trains, taxis, rickshaws and tuktuks that started off with a subway trip to Shanghai Railway Station to catch the bullet train to Suzhou (train tickets cost 26RMB / US$3.75 each way):


Bullet train from Shanghai Railway Station to Suzhou, about 40 minutes - these trains are 16 cars long and are essentially 2 trains coupled together - this is the joint between the two trains

  • Taxi trip from Suzhou Railway Station west towards Lake Tai and the “Taihu Garden Court” – trip time circa 1hr (under 100RMB / US$15

Why travel by 4 wheels when you can travel by 3? The one we took was an older model in much worse shape than this one

  • We took one of these 3 wheeled cars a few minutes ride into the local town centre to the bus station (cost: 5RMB / US$0.75)

Ohoh... we have to get on this bus to get back to Suzhou (maybe 1.5hr ride!)... to shove or not to shove that is the question!

  • This bus will take us back into Suzhou, but there’s a lot of people waiting; the first one is full and we can’t get on; we get on the second, but it’s pretty full and we have to stand – trip time is estimated at 1.5 hours, but after what seems like an hour and only half way there, we get off to have lunch in a district centre in the suburbs of Suzhou
  • Taxi back into Suzhou (we ask the driver to take us to Suzhou, and he says, “this is Suzhou!”) (cost: circa 50RMB / US$7.50)

Arriving by tricycle rickshaw at the main entrance of the exquisite Garden of Cultivation (Yipu Yuan) at 5 Wenya Lane in the NW corner of Suzhou's old city

  • From outside the canal that circles the old city of Suzhou, we grabbed these tricycle rickshaws through the narrow lanes of the old city to the Garden of Cultivation (cost: 20RMB / US$3)

Motorcycle richshaw/tuktuk back to the train station, four of us hanging on for dear life as we hustle through some of Suzhou's tiny streets taking a shortcut

  • To get back to the railway station for the trip home, four of us piled in to this 3 wheeled motorcycle rickshaw/tuktuk (cost: maybe 5RMB / US$0.75?)

Note: the photos are geotagged in Flickr so you can track the trip, however Flickr uses yahoo maps whose China mapping and airphoto coverage is very poor at the moment

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