Nicknamed “Dragon Town” for its ancient name Longcheng (literally translates to Dragon Town), Changzhou is one of the most well preserved ancient towns that also possesses modern development. Historically, Changzhou has always been home to renowned people and schools, and now will host Ameson’s Thomas Jefferson Experimental School.
The population of Changzhou is roughly 5 million, with over 3,000 expats. Its location, approximately 150km (1 hour by train) from both Shanghai and Nanjing, gives it the added advantage of being a smaller city with easy and quick travel to two of the most popular tourist cities in China. The locals have boasted honesty and commitment for over 300 years, and their friendliness is vouched for by expats and tourists.
photo via gbssmag.com
Changzhou has four distinct seasons and a humid monsoon climate. Spring and fall are mild, summer is very hot, and winter can get cold enough to snow. There is a fair amount of rain year round, but the months with the most rain are also the hottest months: July and August.
Changzhou Benniu Airport is about 11 miles / 18 kilometers from the city center, with flights to over 20 domestic cities. This is the best option when traveling to a more inner-continental city of China when you have no fast train option and want to avoid a 15+ hour train ride (For travel to Beijing, a train is a better option) As trains go in Changzhou, there are two train stations—Changzhou and Changzhou North—both with ordinary and high speed trains to Beijing, Qingdao, Shanghai, Nanjing, Suzhou, etc. These are the most convenient for long-distant travel to far away cities in China for travelers on a budget. The Changzhou bus station is next to the Changzhou Train station, and can take you to Shanghai and other popular Chinese cities. For public transportation within the city, the bus system is the best option with cheap rides (average 2RMB) and extensive routes.
- China Dinosaur Park – divided into 3 different sections: exhibit zone, entertainment area, and research division; exhibit area basically Jurassic park but the dinosaurs are not alive (36 fossilized dinosaurs, other statues, prehistoric landscape); entertainment area has rollercoasters, entertainment shows, playgrounds, etc.; in the research division Chris Pratt is training velociraptors how to sit, lie down, and roll over.
- Dino-Valley Hot springs – right next to the amusement park, has a variety of scents including Red Wine, Waterfall, Five elements, Milk, etc. They even have a pool called “Fish kisses” where you can submerse your entire body and the fish will nibble away the dead skin on your feet
- Tianning Temple – 1,000 years old; biggest wooden pagoda in the world and tallest Buddhist pagoda in the world, at the back of Red Plum Park; it was destroyed several times due to natural disasters and wars, but rebuilt every time
- Hongmei / Red Plum Park – popular place to gather and do various activities such as ballroom dancing, rowing, bike rides, etc. Usually in mid-early March the plum trees will bloom, making the garden one of the most beautiful places in the city.
pictures via reachtoteachrecruiting.com and guide.alibaba.com
There are plenty of shopping outlets in Changzhou, some of the more popular being the Changzhou shopping center and Wanda plaza. Here you can find Western brands as well as Chinese brands. There is also a food market at Shuang guai feng which is as tasty as it is bustling with people.
Bars and Clubs:
- Jagerwirt – for schnitzel and other great German food
- Europe Bar & Restaurant – a favorite among expats for their reasonable prices
- Whatever Bar – for free pool, a welcoming atmosphere, and great deals
- Joint Changzhou Phoebe City Night Club – a popular night club for Chinese and expats
- Blank Space – has live music every night
cover photo via diplomaticourier.com