Over the past few years, Suzhou’s New District (苏州新区) has budded into a cultural hot-spot, full of great venues for eating and drinking, while still maintaining an unassuming charm all but lost in the more westernised sections of Suzhou. SDND is home to a variety of bustling locales, such as: Downtown Street, a vibrant street packed with restaurants; shops and watering holes; Emerald City, a great place to shop and eat; Suzhou Amusement Land, a top-notch amusement park with an full arsenal of themed rides, rollercoasters and adventure houses; and Malone’s Sports Bar and Grill, the renowned expat-haven for sports, burgers and beer.
Although Suzhou’s SND stretches all the way out to the banks of Taihu Lake, most of the restaurants, bars and clubs remain sequestered into a few lively areas, just a 10-15 minute cab ride from downtown.
Downtown Street 商业区街 View In Map
Surrounded by over 1,200 foreign companies, it’s no wonder Downtown Street has grown into a retreat for expats. The street is packed, brimming with restaurants, mostly Japanese (although Korean and German can be found), teeming with clubs, and guzzling with bars. Most of the Japanese restaurants offer all-you-can-eat-and-drink buffets — the beer is usually draft Asahi or Kirin for 100 RMB; throw in an extra 20 RMB for all-you-can-drink sake. The clubs and bars are chic, yet tasteful, open very late, and offer a perfect oasis any night of the week.
Add: Downtown Street, Suzhou New District, Suzhou
Getting there: Take bus No.2, 31, 33, 38 to Jinhua Yuan
Malone’s Sports Bar and Grill马龙美式餐厅酒吧 View In Map
Malone’s, a Shanghai based American-style sports bar and grill, has, in just a few months, miraculously gathered a consistent and loyal following. Although regular prices are steep for just about anywhere in the world, which can be irritating and perplexing when on a Chinese salary, Malone’s does have some pretty good signature deals: on Mondays, get a burger (which usually run anywhere from 70-105 RMB) and a pint of Tiger for just 50 RMB; also, every day from 2-8pm (happy hour), get any drink, buy-one-get-one-free. The bar is very clean, and great for watching sports. The always cheery staff members speak good English, as Malone’s cater to a travelling, or semi-permanent, business class. The best thing about Malone’s, however, is the burgers. Go on Monday’s and at happy hour if you’re not one of the elite; otherwise, the environment is great any time.
Add: Regalia Shopping Mall, 318 Changjiang Lu, Suzhou
Opening hours: Sun-Thurs, 11:00-02:00; Fri-Sat, 11:00-03:00
Emerald City 绿宝 View In Map
Emerald City has just about anything you could want that money can buy. This plaza, lined on the outside by Japanese, Chinese and Korean restaurants, encloses a large food-court, an arcade, a German bar and grill, a ton of home knickknack and appliance stores — where you can get really unique crafts and decorations (including a store that sells cups, plates, racks, ashtrays, and just about anything else you could need for your home made out of bamboo) —tons of clothing stores (both foreign and domestic), athletic stores, appliance stores, bakeries, and plenty of cosy café/eateries. It’s a nice place to spend a day, and the prices are relatively inexpensive.
Add: 436 Changjiang Lu, Suzhou
Tel: 0512 6818 6999
Getting there: Take bus No.301a, 301b, 302 or 303 to Xijin Bridge
Suzhou Amusement Land苏州乐园 View In Map
This full-size amusement park facilitates an exciting escape from the urban-drag, equipped with all the typical amenities you could want to give your stomach and mind a jolt of adrenaline. Try the Suspended Looping Coaster, the Ghost Mansion, the Space Adventure, any of the various Disneyesque theme rides, or the two-person glider, taking you on a speedy, sensational ride over a sludge-coloured lake.
Add: 87 Jin Shan Road, SND, Suzhou
Opening hours: 09:00—17:30
Price: adults 60 RMB; children (under 1.4 metres)/seniors 30 RMB; university students 40 RMB.
A few other worthy venues in SND:
Blue Jazz Bar 蓝爵士酒吧 View In Map
Add: 3/F New City Garden Hotel, 1 Shishan Lu, SND, Suzhou
Tel: 0512 6818 2888
Blue Marlin Bar & Restaurant 蓝枪鱼 View In Map
Add: 98 Shishan Lu, SND, Suzhou
Tel: 0512 6808 7316
Club Red 红酒巴 View In Map
Add: 168 Shishan Lu, SND, Suzhou
Tel: 0512 6807 1116
Lounge One 旺廊View In Map
Add: 1/F, Hotel One, 379 Changjiang Lu, Suzhou
Tel: 0512 6878 1111 178
Habana Bar and Grill 哈宝啤酒坊餐厅 View In Map
Add: Lubao Square, 436 Changjiang Lu, Shanghai
Tel: 0512 6818 6777
Yang Yang Dumpling Restaurant 洋洋馆饺子 View In Map
Add: 11 Shishan Lu, SND, Suzhou
Tel: 0512 6825 6333
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Keywords: Suzhou new district Suzhou downtown street Suzhou amusement land exploring Suzhou new district
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