The City of Suzhou Revisited

2006 Pictures contributed by Suzhou native, Gavin Wang

( Suzhou is pronounced Sou - Joe )

One of the delightful side effects of this Web site has been the privilege of communicating with some of the viewers of these pages. Recently, I have exchanged some e-mails with Gavin Wang, who is a Suzhou native. He offered to take some pictures, so that we could see some of the changes that have taken place in his city since our 2001 visit. Gavin's pictures are presented here.

railway station 1
Photo by Gavin Wang

The Suzhou Railway Station

The large building at left center of the picture is the Suzhou railway station. A few passengers cross the street making their way there. A taxi passenger seems to be exiting the vehicle in the middle of the road. The light blue cars are taxis. If the color scheme remains as it was in 2001, the blue taxis are government-owned. Streets were filled with maroon cars during our visit, and these were privately-owned taxis. In those days, the owners subletted their vehicles to other drivers during their time off.

railway station 2
Photo by Gavin Wang

There's a bit more conjestion near the building.

Gavin said that there will be a new terminal building constructed within the next two years. Like the rest of the country, Suzhou is developing fast. If you look at the labels on nearly anything you buy these days, particularily clothing, you have noticed there is a good chance that it was manufactured in China. They have become a manufacturing "power."

And the people are enjoying more affluence than any time in history. (In the good ole days, the emperors enjoyed all the wealth and the common people were slaves, just as they were in Europe.) On average one is six families now enjoy automobile ownership. Just five-years-ago, when we were there, the ratio was about one in twenty families owning a private automobile.

With their new-found wealth they are improving the infrastructure. They're in a hurry partially because they will host the Olympic Games in 2008.

railway station 4
Photo by Gavin Wang

Another View of the Station.

We appreciate these pictures. In 2001 we left the city by railway, traveling to Hangzhou. Although the big suitcases were handled by porters, we still had the carry-on luggage, tote-bag, purse, and camera bag to keep up with, so pictures while approaching or leaving the various railway or airport terminals were impossible.

You can see more of Gavin's pictures in the section covering the hugely-popular Number 1 Silk Factory and their store, Choyers.

Page last updated June 19, 2001.