Ballarat China Community Committee - Friendship City: Kunshan

Located about halfway between Shanghai to the east and Suzhou to the west, Kunshan City is the eastern gateway of Jiangsu Province. Currently, there are about 650,000 permanent residents living in Kunshan, distributed over an area of about 927 square kilometers (about 358 square miles). Ten towns and a national economical and technological zone are under the administration of the city government.

Although Kunshan is not a well known metropolis in China, it has important cultural and historical foundations. It is the cradle of Kun Opera which has been called the 'father of all operas' in China. You can visit the Museum of Kun Opera in Kunshan City for a look at the history of this splendid piece of oriental heritage. In addition, a variety of historical sites awaits your exploration.

In China, it is said that the most beautiful natural scenery is in southern China. Kunshan, one of the cities in southern China, will never disappoint her guests. The breath-taking views of Yangcheng Lake and Dianshan Lake near Kunshan attract a great number of visitors all year round. Yangcheng Lake also supplies locals with plenty of seafood, especially the delicious Yangcheng Crab that you should be sure to try. In the urban area, Tinglin Park is really worth a visit. But the highlights of this city are the water towns, all of which are worthy tourist destinations. Zhouzhuang, the No.1 water town in China is highly praised by visitors from home and abroad, and Jinxi, Luzhi and Qiandeng are also interesting to visit.
In recent years, more and more businessmen from Taiwan have invested in Kunshan. Some of them have even settled down and married in Kunshan, which has led to the construction of many conveniences, including transportation, dining establishments, accommodations and amusement places. Although Kunshan does not have its own airport at present, it is convenient to come here from Shanghai Hongqiao and Pudong airports. From Shanghai, Suzhou, Nanjing and other large cities, it is easy for visitors to get to Kunshan by train or long-distance bus.

And don't leave Kunshan without trying some of the delicious local food, including Ao Zao Noodle, which is unique to Kunshan City. Cuisines of other provinces of China are also available in Kunshan, and the high-quality western food served in the city's star-rated hotels is also a good choice for diners.

As it concentrates on developing the economy, the local government has also put much effort into developing the tourist industry. As a result, this small city between Shanghai and Suzhou attracts more visitors each year.