Changzhou is a city in the southern province of China that is usually not given the attention it deserves for it is often overshadowed by other megalopolises such as Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong. Though the metropolis is usually viewed as a gateway to Suzhou and Nanjing, tourists ought to spend some time exploring the city's old-world charming ways.
Kick-start the journey by heading out to Tianning Temple. This Buddhist temple is brimming with a 13-story wooden Pagoda - said to be the tallest in the planet. Apart from halls and towers, the brick carvings of the Five Hundred Disciples of Buddha and twelve jade Buddhas offer much sparkle and character to the temple. One of the must-see tourist attractions in Changzhou is the elaborate and insightful China Dinosaur Park. Residing in the North district of the metropolis, the Dinosaur Park is home to dinosaur bones and fossils found from all over China. It includes 50 different fossils and over 30 amusement programs such as the the Brontosaurus Roller Coaster and the Whirling Dinosaur Carriage.
Be sure to visit the significant Changzhou Museum where one will learn more about the history and culture of the city. Moreover, there are some rare collections only seen in Changzhou. It is the biggest and most elaborate museum in Changzhou along with a children natural museum, said to be the only children natural museum in China. Spend some quiet town sitting by the beautiful and stunning Tianmu Lake, housed the north foot of the Tianmu Mountain. Just an hour's drive from downtown Changzhou, it is one of the most picturesque as well as peaceful attractions out there. It is developed by the construction of reservoirs in the locality. The calm and serene lake perfectly goes with the surrounding gorgeous scenery. One can even head over to the Tianmu Lake Yushui Hot Spring. It is one of the finest hot spring holiday resort and is ranked as one of the top then hot springs in China.
Tired of the hustle-bustle of the concrete jungle? Do visit the DongPo park to kick-back and relax as well as stroll around on a quiet evening. To commemorate the boating tour of the the literary giant Su Dongpo, the locals are said to have erected a 'boat outfitting, Pavilion' as a souvenir. If you're not yet satisfied, then head over to Hong Mei Park - a huge amount of green space with a collection of lakes, pavilions and gardens. Some of the features at the rear end of the park are Writing Brush Pagoda and Red Plum Pavilion.
Do spend a day strolling around the magnificent Changzhou South Street. Shop-a-holics can note that this century-old street housed at the downtown business zone is renowned to be one of the most popular shopping street in Changzhou. Showcasing a delicious mesh of tradition and modernity, Changzhou South Street is the entertainment hub of the city and is the ideal destination for leisure, shopping, dining an travelling.
It would be a shame to visit Changzhou and not gorge into their cuisine. Be sure to try out Sesame Bling - a local culinary delicacy. It is a small round cake of flaky pastry dotted with sesame seeds. The city is big on street food. So do spend some time wandering around Xiao Chi Jie - which is laden with tiny stalls with a wide variety of local dishes to dig into.
The stay options in Changzhou are abundant with the best luxury hotels and swanky apartments available for the richie-rich to splurge their wealth into. Similarly, budget tourists can backpackers need not lose heart as there is no dearth of cheap accommodations.
Changzhou experiences humid monsoon climate at the transition area between subtropical and temperate zones. The best time to visit would be during mid-spring and/or early autumn due to moderate temperatures and less rainfall.