First established in 1989, Kunshan today is a bustling city full of activity. It is a city made up of immigrants as the immigrant population is larger than the permanent resident population. It relies heavily on exports to sustain its economy and is known as “Little Taipei” because of the large number of businessmen from Taiwan. Kunshan is the origin of Kunshan Diao, which was the beginning of Kunqu, the oldest still existing form of Chinese Opera.
What to Do:
The Museum of Kun Opera is a great place to learn about Kun Opera which is considered the origin of all Chinese Operas. Around Kunshan, there are two lakes with views that attract thousands of visitors each year. There are also many water towns made up of many lakes and rivers to around Kunshan explore. In the spring and summer, there are two flowers that are spectacularly in bloom in the many parks. Tinglin Park is the best known park in Kunshan and features a large mountain and flowers which only grow in Kunshan as well as beautiful scenery and a view of the whole city.
What the Weather’s like:
Kunshan weather is in such close proximity to Shanghai it tends to have similar weather patterns. Kunshan is farther from the coast, so the temperatures will vary a bit from Shanghai. Shanghai is in a humid subtropical climate and its residents are exposed to all four season. Winters are chilly with rain and very cold nights. Between December and March, temperatures hover in the 40s, summers are hot and sticky (summer days rarely drift below 95°). Torrential downpours and intense thunderstorms are common as well as typhoons in summer and early autumn. Spring is usually rainy but with mild temperatures and autumn usually receives little rain and is sunny.
What to Eat:
Because of the close proximity of the two lakes, Kunshan is a city full of delicious sea food. Crab is a specialty here and much of the street food is crab, or has a lot of crab. Kunshan is also a great place to try Taiwanese food because of the large number of Taiwanese people living in the city. Ao Zao noodles are Kunshan’s famous noodles and date back to the Qing Dynasty. The best known restaurant Ao Zao Guan has been serving these noodles for more than 100 years.
How to Get Around:
It’s very easy to get to Shanghai from Kunshan. A Shanghai Metro was added to Kunshan so you can ride the metro straight from Shanghai to Kunshan or vice versa. To get around Kunshan, most people use the bus or walk.
Where to Shop:
Just south of Tinglin park is Kunshan’s only Walmart. If you’re looking for a mall, along Tinglin road is a great place to find name-brand-stores.
Where We Teach in Kunshan:
How to attend Church:
For members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, there is an active branch in Suzhou.