Taizhou (泰州 Tàizhōu) is a city in Jiangsu. In 2010 its population was 4.6 million, of whom 1.6 million live in the built-up (or metro) area made of three urban districts, (Hailing, Jiangyan and Gaogang).
The urban core of Taizhou prefecture is Hailing District (海陵 Hǎilíng). Adjacent to it are Gāogǎng (高港) and Jiāngyàn (姜堰). There are also three outlying satellite cities: Jìngjiāng (靖江), Tàixīng (泰兴), and Xīnghuà (兴化). Each of these places has its own identity, and when locals say "Taizhou", they usually seem to mean Hailing District.
For information about Xinghua, see Xinghua.
Taizhou Railway Station is a modern station, located 12 km north east of Taizhou city centre. Local bus 26 (¥2) runs into downtown, taking around 30 minutes. A taxi costs approximately ¥30. The station is simple enough to use - there are 2 waiting rooms spread over 2 floors (2nd and 3rd floor) and 3 platforms. Taizhou is on the newly opened Nanjing-Nantong railway line and is served by approximately 6 trains per day in each direction - most just run between Nanjing (2 hours, ¥13 hard-seat) and Nantong but a handful are K-trains continuing to Shanghai - there are also daily connections to Guangzhou (26 hours) and Beijing (15 hours). The ticket office is fairly quiet at most times and you never have to wait more than 5 minutes, although the staff don't speak English.
There are regular buses to Nanjing, Nantong, Yancheng, Yangzhou etc as well as a few per day running to Shanghai. Taizhou Bus Passenger Transport Station (+86 523 8688 3786) is located at 2 Qingnian South Road, Hailing District.
1 Yangzhou Taizhou Airport. YTY IATA is about halfway between Taizhou and the nearby Yangzhou. So far, it has fairly limited service, to a few major airports throughout China, to Taiwan, and to a few nearby countries (South Korea, Japan, Thailand, Cambodia).
Taking a bus is relatively simple. Most buses are ¥1 although the 26 to the train station is ¥2. The fare is written on the fare box and exact change is required. Most buses run from 05:00 to 22:00. Schedules are in Chinese only as are the on-board announcements; although if you have a basic knowledge of Chinese they're easy to follow.
Taxis are plentiful and cheap with flagfall starting at ¥8.
Riding a bike can be a fast, fun and relatively safe way of travelling. Many roads have dedicated bike lanes but beware of everything from motorbikes to buses encroaching on your territory. Bicycles can be purchased in several locations including Lotte Mart, Jichuan East Road, Hailing. For locals, bicycles are slowly being eclipsed by electric scooters but they still remain an easy means of transportation for visitors. Whilst not as prevalent as in bigger cities, bike theft does occur so make sure your ride is locked up safely. Helmets are optional but recommended.
Walking around Taizhou can be a pleasant experience. As with all of China, right-of-way is effectively proportional to weight: vehicles trump motorbikes, motorbikes trump pedestrians. Motorbikes and bicycles can come from any direction. Avoid unpredictable movements while walking and crossing streets. Drivers predict your future location from your speed & direction. Taishan Park in Hailing district is a popular venue for walking while safely removed from the traffic on the streets. Taishan Park is 1.5 km south west of Pozi Street Commercial Pedestrian Street. Fengchenghe Scenic Area, Nanshansi Road, Hailing district is a pleasant location for a walk.
English speakers are not widespread so it would be wise to have destinations and hotel addresses written in Chinese characters. Most taxi drivers do not speak English & will not recognise hotel names written in English. Many younger Taizhoans have studied English in school but due to a lack of practice, are not conversant.
Even speakers of Standard Mandarin may have some trouble understanding the residents here, as the local dialect is Lower Yangtze Mandarin, which diverges significantly from Standard Mandarin in pronunciation.
- 1 [dead link] Wanghai Tower (Wang Hai Lou), Fengchenghe Scenic Area, Nanshansi Road, Hailing, ☏ . Newly-constructed tower in scenic riverside area.
- Guangxiao Si (temple)
- Old Street ('Lao Jie'). Misleadingly named new development of restaurants & souvenir stalls.
- Mei Lanfang Park & Memorial Museum
- Hu Jintao's birthplace (Jiangyan District, near the walking street). The former Chinese leader Hu Jintao was born in an old neighborhood in Jiangyan. Good luck figuring out which house it is if you don't have a local to show you around—it's not marked in any way. But the old houses are interesting to walk through regardless.
- Fengchenghe Scenic Area, Hailing district.
- Taishan Park, Hailing district.
Hailing district is the main business and commercial hub of the city. Shopping is concentrated in the blocks bordered by Dongjin Road to the north and Jichuan Road to the south. Qingnian Road forms the western boundary for most shoppers while the eastern boundary stretches at a push to Gulou Road.
- 1 Taizhou Wanda Plaza, 228 Jichuan East Road, Hailing. Huge modern shopping & entertainment complex located at the junction of Jichuan East Road and Qingnian South Road. Includes shopping centre, restaurants, cinema & 2 hotels (Doubletree by Hilton Jiangsu Taizhou and Jinjiang MetroPolo Taizhou). Pizza Hut & Starbucks are on the ground floor of the main complex. Numerous restaurants are on the upper floor, as is the IMAX cinema. Shops include Wanda Department Store, Carrefour, Zara and numerous others.
- 2 Lotte Mart (Lotte Department Store), Jichuan East Road, Hailing, Taizhou, Jiangsu.. Large department store & supermarket at the junction of Jichuan East Road and Hailing South Road. KFC (one of many in the city) is on the ground floor.
- 3 Pozi Street Commercial Pedestrian Street (Pozi Street), Pozi Street Commercial Pedestrian Street, Hailing. The street is at the centre of the traditional shopping and restaurants district in Taizhou although it is now competing with the new Taizhou Wanda Plaza 2 km to the south. Taizhou No. 1 Department Store is 1 block north of Pozi Street while Taizhou Fashion Shopping Plaza is a large complex 1 block to the south. The area also includes many restaurants including western staples McDonald's and Pizza Hut.
The area around Pozi Street has lots of cheaper eats such as KFC, fast food places and noodle shops.
The Taizhou Wanda Plaza complex has lots of Western food but is inconsistent in quality. Tasty curries, poor steaks and an expensive buffet restaurant called Toronto's are on offer in Wanda Plaza.
It seems to be the consensus among the local English speaking foreigners that the best restaurants appear to be family owned and are scattered throughout the city. There are some excellent places to eat in Old Street (老街 Lǎo Jiē); which despite its name is actually a new development. Classic dishes include 'gan si', 'bao zi' and 'mien'.
'Dafeng SanqianLi' on Gulou South Road near Wanda Plaza is a Korean owned restaurant with excellent Kimchi pancakes and Bi Bim Bap. It's located south of the KFC at the intersection of Jichuan East Road.
'Shui Ren Tang' has excellent zhōu (粥) or porridge as well as Ribs and Chinese buns. It's on Gulou North Road and is near the 'Hui bin Lou'.
There are a few BBQ streets with people from Xinjiang mostly selling meat that you can roast on an open flamed bbq. Sitting on small stools and sipping beers while eating lamb, beef, and chicken are favourite pastimes for many in Taizhou.
Nightlife in Taizhou typically involves ordering beers in a restaurant or going to KTV (karaoke) bars. There is little in the way of regular bars or clubs. KTV can be a great way to spend the evening; order some beers, choose some songs and sing the night away. English songs are available but the choice is limited. KTV bars are scattered throughout the city; some of the bigger venues are concentrated around Pozi Street. A new 'bar street' has been manufactured in the Taizhou Wanda Plaza complex but none of the bars there are particularly inviting.
Home Inn is located near Pozi Street on Renmin Road. It has parking in the back and offers inexpensive but likely hard beds.
The Doubletree by Hilton Jiangsu Taizhou is near Taizhou Wanda Plaza. It offers western-style rooms at a higher price. The hotel is nicely decorated with impressive ornamentation and an imposing foyer. The cost is higher but the beds are good.
Yangzhou is near to Taizhou and is a larger city. It has lots of gardens and is worth the trip.