Business brought me to Wu Xi, not a surprise since Wu Xi is a growing economic hub in China drawing major global investments. But, I was in for a personal surprise during my time in this city of 3000 years’ history.
I was expecting crowds, traffic, a sort of hustle & bustle you get from booming cities in China, that can sometimes cause a slight sense of claustrophobia. Perhaps as a result of an over stimulation of my senses. Wu Xi gave a different feel somehow. There are skyscrapers, huge modern malls mixed with history just like any major Chinese cities – amidst that, there is a sense of space. Since I had to work in the day, I only get a chance to visit Wu Xi in the night. A stroll along the Great Canal of Wu Xi was a sweet treat after a full day of meetings!
There was a nice blend of urbanization and history. Pubs, restaurants, cafes now lined along some parts of the Grand Canal, built in 460 B.C
Grand canal was one of the world’s oldest and longest man-made waterway and now still a major route for transportation of commodities between the north and the south of China.
A peek from under the bridge, I was humbled immensely by the history, beauty and significance I was surrounded with .
Modern next to the old.
A house along the canal, dating probably back to 700 BC next to an expressway above. History has to make way sometimes to rapid urban developments.
Wu Xi is just an hour train ride away from Shanghai. Both train stations in Shanghai and Wu Xi are ultra modern I was impressed – you won’t get lost even if you don’t speak Mandarin. If you do get a chance to visit Wu Xi for business, spend an evening along the Grand Canal in the center – no regrets!