Jiangsu is a long, narrow province hugging the coast south of Shandong. Low-lying, flat and wet, it is one of China’s most fertile and long-inhabited areas. Today, much of it is industrial sprawl, but there are a few gems among all the new factory towns; provincial capital Nanjing is one of the country’s great historical cities, while ancient Suzhou is famous throughout China for its gardens and silk production.

Visiting the region, you find yourself in a world of water. The whole area is intensively drained, canalized, irrigated and farmed, and the rivers, canals and lakes which web the plain give it much of its character. The traditional way to travel here was by boat, with the Grand Canal once navigable all the way from Hangzhou in Zhejiang province to Beijing. The province’s other great water highway – the Yangzi River – connects Nanjing with Shanghai, ensuring that trade from both east and west continues to bring wealth to the region.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

China features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

The roof of the world: a first-timer's guide to Tibet

The roof of the world: a first-timer's guide to Tibet

The ‘roof of the world’ has exerted a magnetic pull over travellers and adventurers for centuries. This vast, high altitude desert has spawned myths and leg…

10 Nov 2016 • Stuart Butler insert_drive_file Article
Video: 10 Taiwanese street foods you need to try

Video: 10 Taiwanese street foods you need to try

Street food in Taiwan has a charm that restaurants just can't match. There's a distinct pleasure to be found in wandering through the labyrinthine stalls glo…

24 Oct 2016 • Colt St. George videocam Video
Beyond the Jade Dragon mountain: stunning pictures of Yunnan, China

Beyond the Jade Dragon mountain: stunning pictures of Yunnan, China

After a few weeks exploring the region, Rough Guides travel writer and photographer David Abram shares some of his favourite images of Yunnan Province, China. …

18 Oct 2016 • David Abram insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month