Known for its fertile plains, enchanting gardens and historic architecture, the Chinese province of Jiangsu offers an insight into the country’s culture and natural beauty
Home to almost 80 million people, the eastern coastal province of Jiangsu has an eventful history that spans more than three millennia. Every hilltop temple and ancient city tells its own story, and the people of this prosperous land are happy to share the tales of the emperors, poets and religious figures who have walked the narrow streets and muddy canals in times gone by.
Both the Yangtze River and the Grand Canal, the oldest part of which dates back to fifth century BC, run through this land, enabling Jiangsu to secure strong trading links – its produce, including silk, rice and vinegar, was easily transported throughout China for hundreds of years. As such, the province has attracted merchants and visitors from far and wide since the dawn of its history.
As you’d expect from somewhere so rich in heritage, its culinary traditions are plentiful and diverse. River fish and shrimp feature strongly in many dishes, while xiao long bao, a delicate soup-filled dumpling the area is famed for, is a staple on restaurant menus throughout the region.
A temperate climate, friendly locals and a treasure trove of antique relics complete the picture, while rich plantlife adds colour to the province’s palette, making Jiangsu perfect for the adventurous Travel:ler eager to uncover China’s distinctive culture.