Jiangsu (江苏; Jiāngsū) is located on a 1000-km (600-odd mile) stretch of the East coast of China, just North of Shanghai. The Yangtze River and the Grand Canal both cross the province, and there are many other historical attractions, several of which are on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Suzhou has China's best-known classical gardens, while Nanjing has been the capital of several dynasties and has much history, including the mausoleum of Sun Yat-Sen. This is also the province where the Nobel prize-winning American author, Pearl Buck, lived and worked.

Jiangsu is China's fifth most populous province (78 million, somewhat more than France), and one of its most prosperous. Compared to other Chinese provinces, it has both the highest population density and the highest per capita GDP. Major industries include electronic equipment, chemicals and textiles. Overall GDP is about half that of India.


Zhonghua Gate, part of the city wall of Nanjing
Humble Administrator's Garden, a famous classical garden of Suzhou

Jiangsu has 13 prefectures, around the following 13 cities:

Other cities:

Jiangnan can be translated as "South Jiangsu", or, in a somewhat broader way, as "[The land] South of the Yangtze". The name refers to the entire area where the Wu culture dominated historically and the Wu language is still common. It is centered in the region around Lake Tai on the Jiangsu-Zhejiang border, an area that includes Suzhou. It also includes the Yangtze Delta area, including Shanghai, and parts of Zhejiang as far south as Hangzhou.


 Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Daily highs (°C) −5 −1 7 17 23 27 29 28 24 16 6 −2
Nightly lows (°C) −16 −12 −4 4 11 17 21 19 12 4 −4 −12
Precipitation (mm) 6 7 18 39 54 92 166 162 75 43 19 10
Sunshine (hrs/day) 5.2 6.3 7.2 7.9 8.3 8.0 6.7 7.1 7.6 6.8 5.4 4.9

Averages for the city

Get in

Jiangsu is well connected by road, rail and air to the rest of the country and world.

In particular, the comfortable new high speed trains connect Hangzhou and Shanghai to cities in Jiangsu Suzhou, Wuxi, Changzhou and Nanjing.

Shanghai has many international flights and Nanjing some, including a new direct service to Frankfurt on Lufthansa; both those cities also have many domestic flights. Wuxi, Nantong and Changzhou have airports for domestic flights.

There are also boats along the Yangtze and the Grand Canal.

Get around

There are good bus and train links within the province, plus some boats on the Yangtze and other waterways.

The roads are good so you could consider renting a car and driver, or even driving yourself. See Driving in China.


Jiangsu can be broadly divided into two linguistic regions. The southern part of the province is Wu ("Shanghainese") speaking while the northern part is Mandarin speaking. The Suzhou (not Shanghai) dialect of Wu is traditionally considered to be the prestige dialect, so learners Wu will find it spoken in the "purest" form there. The Nanjing dialect of Mandarin differs significantly in pronunciation from standard Mandarin, but nevertheless is still mutually intelligible.


The Presidential Palace. Historically the site of a number of important government officials, it is also a beautiful garden, an oasis from the noisy, bustling city. About ¥40 a person.

Purple Mountain. Although the base is crowded, for ¥60 a person, there is a chair lift to the top which is scenic. Again, a nice getaway from the city.

Suzhou has many water-towns. These are cities interlaced by rivers and streams. The main means of tranportation was once by water. Zhouzhuang is the most famous of the water townships.

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Wednesday, November 18, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.