My experience on the Emperors Channel

Written by Feb 16, 2005 23:02
Add Friends:
Email 1 Email 2 Email 3

No more than 10 friends at a time, please.


Taking the Boat from Hangzhou to Suzhou

I was just recovering from a bad stomach in Hangzhou when my friend got the great idea to take the boat on the Emperors Channel to Suzhou.

Even though trains and busses go faster, we thought travelling like the Emperor in ancient times would be a great change from regular means of transportation. It is said that in ancient times it was possible to go all the way from Beijing to Hangzhou on this Channel.

Today the boat leaves in the late afternoon from Hangzhou and arrives in Suzhou in the early morning. You can choose between luxury double rooms with the best view on top and 4 to 6 and even more bed cabins below deck. As far as I remeber I paid 60 kuai in a four bed cabin under deck, which means you have two portholes or windows just above the water level.

Well, beds were a little bit short for my size - but that happens in sleeper trains, too
My friend Omed is more lucky with these things.

Even though the Emperors Channel is not really cristal clear but more of a real sewer with kind of thrash passing by sometimes, it started as a slow relaxing trip. Houses pass by and we enjoyed a nice sunset before going to bed. I still have in mind thinking that the captain would really need the eyes of an hawk, because some ships which came to meet us had no light at night.

And yes, in the middle of the night we heard a loud crash and an ongoing roaring sound. We were standing in our beds watching a black shipside scratching past our windows. We prepared to run on top deck to jump into the water to save our life (yeah, too much Titanic movies...) when the two Chinese people in our room were cool as ice, telling us to relax, it is nothing serious. Even if something would happen, the Channel is not deep enough to drown a whole ship......they turned around an fell asleep again as if nothing has happened.

Ok, I needed some more time to fall asleep again. But I got acclimatized well enough, so that the hitting of some trees floating on the channel later did not really make me nervous anymore.

Finally we reached Suzhou in the very early morning without enough sleep somewhere in an industrial park. That was not really the Chinese version of Venice first, but we were fetched up by a bus (included in the ferry price) to take us downtown to the older part of Suzhou. And Suzhou really is beautiful!

All in all it became a little bit more adventurous than we had expected, but in the retroperspective it was a great experience!!!!

 More Suzhou Travel Reviews
1. I have visited most Chinese cities, the Gardens of Suzhou, Chinese people, the hotels, all in all a fantastic experience SOMERVILLE Apr 1, 2004 15:04
Comments (1)


Feb 17, 2005 11:42 Reply

DEE0228 said:

Aha, your review is very interesting ! It reminded me of what i had experienced on the ships when i was young. I had such experience twice, one was on that Channal from Suzhou to Hangzhou, the other was from Shanghai to Putuo Mountain. I still remember the cabin was very narrow, but the sunset at sea was extremely beautiful.

Write Your Comment

You can post as a member (Login first) or a guest!

*Name: Country:

No more than 2,000 characters, please.

Send me an Email if anyone replies.

Your Reply to

You can post as a member (Login first) or a guest!

*Name: Country:

No more than 2,000 characters, please.