Talk:Suzhou

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68,000 ?[edit]

Text just added says Suzhou has "over 68,000 km of canals". I think that has too many zeros. That's 68 million meters of canal. If they're 5 m wide, 340 million square meters, 340 square km. I have trouble believing that. Anyone know the right number? (WT-en) Pashley 09:55, 17 December 2007 (EST)

42.5% of Suzhou, i. e. 3609 sq km, is water area though that includes lakes. (WT-en) Rincewind 04:50, 4 June 2009 (EDT)

Another math error?[edit]

Current text has Suzhou to Pudong airport distance as "120 kilometers (about 65 miles)". 120 km is about 75 miles. 65 miles would be about 104 km. What are correct numbers?

Checked on wolframalpha and it gave a distance of 71 miles direct. (WT-en) Rincewind 04:47, 4 June 2009 (EDT)

Contact: Wifi Hotels & Cafes[edit]

Is it really necessary to list the names of Hotels & Cafes that have WiFi? This information is a bit redundant since about 99.99% of Hotels & Cafes in Suzhou have FREE Wifi access.

What do you think? I am tempted to delete it, but would like some consensus.

If most places have it, then that may be worth mention and then you could delete the specific references. Another issue with this page is that it has 2 "Buy" sections. (WT-en) ChubbyWimbus 20:18, 23 December 2009 (EST)

Shamrock?[edit]

I was in Suzhou about a month ago and (Alas!) the Shamrock appeared to be closed. I see we still list it. Anyone know its current status? If it is actually gone, we should remove the listing, but I don't want to do that without checking. (WT-en) Pashley 06:02, 30 August 2010 (EDT)

An anonymous user deleted it, probably correctly. (WT-en) Pashley 06:57, 13 September 2010 (EDT)
It is gone. Pashley (talk) 17:23, 14 December 2013 (UTC)

Guide?[edit]

Article status is currently Usable. What does it need to reach Guide? Guide status is required for a dotm nomination, which I'd say the place obviously deserves even if the article doesn't yet. Pashley (talk) 17:23, 14 December 2013 (UTC)

I tagged it as Guide and nominated it: Wikivoyage:Destination_of_the_month_candidates#Suzhou. Pashley (talk) 03:50, 3 July 2014 (UTC)

Water towns[edit]

I removed this text from the "Go next" section, am preserving it here:

  • Zhen Ze – A historical and authentic town with a river running through the center. The old buildings are still occupied by residents. 1 hour walk from the East end to the West end of town. Things to see are the Ci Yun Pagoda and temple ¥10, Shi Jian Tang, Yu Ji Bridge (qiao), and Shi Fan Bridge (qiao). The tomb of famous astronomer Wang Xiao An is located in a museum in Zhen Ze Middle School at the West End of town. Entrance fee is ¥5. [1]
  • Mudu – Slightly shabby town with many lanes flanked by crumbling traditional homes to explore.
  • Tong Li – A smaller canal town with a many sightly crumbling old buildings.

One of the links for Zhen Ze comes up blank for me, possibly because of my flash & javascript filters, and the other is to ZhenZe middle school and in Chinese. A quick look at Google & WP shows nothing of interest. Pashley (talk) 00:49, 3 July 2014 (UTC)

I also was thinking about 'zhenze'. The linked site says that it is a district of Suzhou. Andrewssi2 (talk) 13:32, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
I ended up creating Tongli and Zhen Ze, both as redirects to Wujiang, both with links in Suzhou#Go next, and both with brief descriptions at Wujiang#See. That should do until/unless someone wants to write more about them. Pashley (talk) 01:42, 4 July 2014 (UTC)

Bicycle shop listings?[edit]

Is the section Suzhou#Bicycles really needed? It seems long and targeted to expats living in the city. Can we just reduce to the places that can rent out a bike to the traveler?

Also, on a similar topic do we really need the Suzhou#By_bicycle in 'Get In'? It is a really bad idea to suggest that people could bicycle from Shanghai to Suzhou considering how dangerous that option really is. Andrewssi2 (talk) 13:30, 3 July 2014 (UTC)

There are currently three bicycle sections. Get in/By bicycle which, as you say, is a risky ride & might be deleted. People do do it, though, so I'd be inclined to keep it. Get around/By bicycle seems OK to me now & it covers renting bikes. I moved a bunch of text from there and created Buy/Bicycles. That also seems OK to me as a subtopic of Buy where most people will not read it; it was far too much detail as a subsection of Get around.
Overall, I'd say keep all three. Other opinions? Pashley (talk) 16:13, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
There is also some bicycle stuff under Do. I do not much like the current text there but am uncertain how to improve it. Volunteers? Pashley (talk) 16:15, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
Just in terms of Suzhou#Bicycles, we really need to reduce this. It is basically a list of the contributor's favorite bike shops, takes a lot of space and is not relevant to the traveler. This is not a Yellow Page directory but a traveler guide.
I suggest keeping the first two listings as this will satisfy the few travelers who really want to by a bike for viewing the city. Listing bike shops for profesional grade bike components is really out of scope. Andrewssi2 (talk) 00:43, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
I rewrote it, both adding some stuff & shortening it a lot. I left the names & addresses of the high-end shops in but removed details. Comment solicited. Pashley (talk) 17:33, 4 July 2014 (UTC)

Odd advice?[edit]

I am inclined to take out the first paragraph at Suzhou#Buy, partly because it looks to me like it violates Wikivoyage:No advice from Captain Obvious but also because I am not comfortable telling people either that they should trust hotel-provided assistants or try to exploit helpful local Chinese.

Other opinions? Pashley (talk) 00:25, 5 July 2014 (UTC)

I went ahead and edited. Comments? Pashley (talk) 01:51, 5 July 2014 (UTC)

Map update?[edit]

Neither the map within the article nor the one linked at the top currently show Metro Line 2, w:Line 2, Suzhou Rail Transit. The line went into service about six months ago and is mentioned several times in article text, so adding it would be good. I assume that might need to be done at OpenStreetMap rather than here, but am not certain. Is there a volunteer?

Lines 3, 4, 5 and 6 might be added pre-emptively since all are due to go into service over the next few years; see w:Suzhou Rail Transit. I do not think that is important since none are due this year. Pashley (talk) 13:19, 5 July 2014 (UTC)

Line 2 is now on both maps, Well done, someone! However, names for both streets and metro stations are all in Chinese. Is that fixable? Pashley (talk) 02:58, 28 July 2014 (UTC)
I've added the metro names to the map. It looks like someone else is working in that space too, because there have been some other names added. I'll come back and check them tomorrow when the map has updated. I've no idea about the street names though. Do you have translations. --Inas (talk) 12:02, 28 July 2014 (UTC)
I know the names of a few streets in pinyin (Chinese written in our alphabet), but that's all. Web search turns up several maps with English names. Pashley (talk) 13:24, 28 July 2014 (UTC)
We can't copy other maps into OSM --Inas (talk) 17:36, 28 July 2014 (UTC)

Streets I know are:

  • E-W toward S of downtown, with Nets garden (#2) and Bookworm coffee house (#1) just off it: Shiquan Jie
  • N-S crossing Shiquan Jie by Nets garden: Fenghuang Rd
  • E-W nearer center, with subway under it: Ganjiang Lu
  • E-W, N of Ganjiang with Mountain Villa (#4) & Temple of Mystery (#13) nearby: Guanqian Jie
  • N-S, past Silk Museum (#15) N Temple Pagoda (#10) and Wave garden (#6): Remin Lu
  • E-W from N Pagoda past Suzhou Museum (#14) and Administrator's garden (#1): Dongbei Street
  • roughly SW-NE: Shantang Street, marked as #18 on map, runs from Changmen gate (#17) to Tiger Hill (#19), along a canal.

Best I can do, I'm afraid. For downtown & tourism, the most important thing missing is Ping Jiang Road. It runs N-S along a canal from somewhere near the museum most of the way downtown and parts of it are very pretty. However there are two canals in that part of the map and I cannot tell which it is. Also, I don't know the SIP well enough to help there at all. Pashley (talk) 00:44, 11 August 2014 (UTC)

Walking downtown from station[edit]

Are the directions correct? "go outside the station and head right. At the first intersection, make an immediate right into either one of two tunnels heading under the train tracks". I'd have said go left out of the station and look for a bridge on your right. I do not remember a tunnel, but it has been a while and there may be more than one route. Pashley (talk) 14:10, 5 July 2014 (UTC)

Danish Embassy?[edit]

Talking of the bars that are "thinly-veiled fronts for the world's oldest profession", the article mentions "the Moon Bar aka 'The Danish Embassy", known for its regular crowd of locals". I'm inclined to cut that back to just "the Moon Bar"; comments?

I suspect there is a story behind that text. Can anyone explain it? Pashley (talk) 17:59, 5 July 2014 (UTC)

External links?[edit]

I have added some at Suzhou#Classical_gardens, down below the list of the nine world heritage gardens, to indexes of garden articles elsewhere. I think these are fine, but they appear to be contrary to policy so it seemed worth mentioning here. Pashley (talk) 16:18, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

The Suzhou Tourist Bureau listing is official and in my opinion, indisputably allowed under Wikivoyage's external links policy. The link to Wikipedia is neither allowed nor necessary, and I have deleted it. I'm not sure why you would think it is either allowable or necessary. Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:01, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

I did not think the WP link was allowed, which is why I started this thread. I do think it is necessary, which is why I put it in and will argue that it should be restored. Each of the nine world-heritage-listed gardens has its own WP article. How should we deal with that, so that travellers can easily find details if they want them?

  • Copy details here? Fine for some stuff, but not all. We want neither to clutter this site with info not all travellers will want nor to have to maintain a separate copy.
  • Just mention that there are WP articles (as current text does) and expect travellers who want such info to search, either on WP or via Google, Bing, etc.? Not convenient, especially since they'll have to search once per garden.
  • There is a link to w:Suzhou in the sidebar. Expect users to follow links there if they want garden details? Not at all convenient.
  • Put links to all WP garden articles here, creating multiple policy violations? Overkill, and it is not clear where to put the links anyway.
  • Put in one link to w:Classical Gardens of Suzhou, a WP index article with links to all the garden articles?

To me, the last choice seems obviously best. If the current policy does not allow such obvious exceptions, then clearly we should change the policy. 21:12, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

If you think there are necessary details which are not viewable in any official sites but are in Wikipedia articles, and you're afraid of cluttering this article, Classical Gardens of Suzhou could certainly be made into a travel topic, with the side effect that this Wikipedia article could be linked from that topic, but that shouldn't be the main reason for creating the topic. Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:43, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
I still think a single link (index) to the WP article that indexes all the garden articles is the obvious and correct solution. However, I understand why Ikan deleted it, though I think he was wrong, and do not want to start an edit war by restoring it. Other opinions? Pashley (talk) 09:30, 29 December 2014 (UTC)

This discussion died out the better part of a year ago. I still feel strongly that the link should be restored, that this is quite clearly a place where an exception to our usual policy is warranted. Pashley (talk) 13:30, 26 October 2015 (UTC)

I don't think that's clear at all. You've enumerated arguments for including the link, but you haven't explained why this case is significantly different from all the other cases in which editors would like to link to Wikipedia articles. At the moment, I don't see anything novel here that would outweigh the basic objection to Wikipedia links in general. Powers (talk) 19:26, 26 October 2015 (UTC)

What is different here is that there are nine World Heritage listed gardens, we list them, each has its own WP article, and there is a tenth WP article which is an index for the other nine. I think we should link to that index since ttcf and the index provides an easy way to find more information for anyone who wants it. Current text, just after our list of the nine gardens, is:

Each of those gardens has both its own Wikipedia article and its own page on the Suzhou Tourist Bureau site (index); see those for additional detail if required.

I wrote it like this, & want to restore it:

... its own Wikipedia article (index) and its own page on the Suzhou Tourist Bureau site (index) .... Pashley (talk) 20:19, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
There are lots of cases where we would have a list of attractions, each with its own Wikipedia article, as well as another Wikipedia article that lists them. What about this scenario overrides the concerns that led to the deprecation of inline Wikipedia links? Powers (talk) 21:07, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
Any exception to policy has to be a judgement call. As I see it, this one is obviously justified and I have given the reasons above. It is just far more convenient for travellers who want more info, and not problematic for those who do not.
It seems distinctly bizarre that the link to another index on a Tourist Bureau site is allowed without question but a parallel link to a WP index is vetoed. Granted, there is good reason to limit our use of WP links, but they are a sister project so arguably we should link to them whenever that is reasonable. Pashley (talk) 08:34, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
My point is that this is not a singular exception. This is a common enough scenario that allowing it here would necessitate allowing it in hundreds of other articles. The reason the Tourist Bureau site is allowed to be linked is because it is a presumptively reliable primary source, while Wikipedia is a tertiary source (and its index articles could be considered worse yet). Powers (talk) 19:45, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
I guess I don't see how this is a special case, either. Most attractions have their own WP article which if developed and written well would have more information that we would be able to provide in our descriptions. That also includes historic events, people, etc. It would seem that if the argument is that there is more information, it could be said about nearly any attraction. I also think it's sort of obvious that if you want detailed information about specific sites, you would look at sources specifically about those locations without feeling WV let you down. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 13:52, 8 January 2016 (UTC)
I agree: it is not a singular exception. Frankly, I wish inline WP links were freely allowed. I wish a tourist, reading on her mobile device about a Czech military museum with a pink tank in front, could click the link to read the interesting story behind it, without having to open a WP app and type "pink tank" in the search field. And I would love to wikilink the public art depicting people and events in my home town. But that is not how WV is currently structured, and until we have consensus to change the MoS, we should be consistent. Peter Chastain (talk) 08:41, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
But that raises the question of why you would want a reader to stop reading our site and go read some other site. Powers (talk) 15:36, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
Our Prime Directive trumps almost everything else, so the question here is whether easy access to encyclopedic information is important to the traveller. I know it is for me: the joy of travelling is learning, understanding, seeing interesting stories, and I don't want obstacles placed in my way for proprietary reasons. But I don't want to have to wade through the extra information in Wikivoyage: we cannot be encyclopedic. After satisfying my curiosity, I will probably use my back button to get back to this very cool site that lets me explore the way I want to. Moreover, Wikipedia is not "some other site"; it is a close sister project with goals complementary to ours. I am not advocating that we should become link farms for travel sites with which we compete. Bottom line: if I am the only traveller who likes to dig deeper, then we shouldn't have Wikipedia links, but if a substantial percentage of others would find the links useful, I hope we can accommodate them. Let me repeat, since we are on the Suzhou talk page, that I am not advocating that we make the exception that Pashley has requested. Departing from an agreed-to style would be a disservice to our readers. Peter Chastain (talk) 20:48, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
Well our Prime Directive is not a good policy tool since it can be used to support pretty much every specific argument carried out here. It is better employed as a guide for forming other policies.
Although consensus was reached around Wikipedia links before, there is no reason why you can't revisit it. I suggest that you raise this on Wikivoyage_talk:Links_to_Wikipedia Andrewssi2 (talk) 21:20, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
I don't remember a consensus being attained; rather, my memory is that because no consensus was attained, the status quo was maintained. Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:00, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
I hope we eventually revisit the issue but think it would be difficult to get consensus now. My comments, above, were by way of saying that Suzhou should not be a special case, and of planting the idea that our policy on WP links might not be serving us well. But I am really new here—despite joining in early 2013, I didn't start editing in earnest until 6 weeks ago—and would like to understand the Wikivoyage we have now, and its long-standing policies, before proposing major changes. Peter Chastain (talk) 22:40, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
That is factually more correct. A discussion was had, and worth reading before considering how to take that discussion further. Andrewssi2 (talk) 22:27, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
A different but marginally related issue was discussed. The "wikipedia=" field in the {{listing}} template, exists quite happily on fr: and maybe elsewhere, but not here because an extensive January 2013 discussion deadlocked right down the middle - just as many just as strongly for or against. That proposal was specific to the individual templated listings. There are other approaches which could've been considered:
  • An inline link, which WP allows for Wiktionary entries if there's no encyclopaedia article. "Anytown is known for w:X, w:Y and w:Z." Point blank. Unlikely to be desirable as the links look too much like internal links to pages on the same wiki.
  • A link permitted wherever an external link is permitted. This is WP's policy toward most of the sibling projects, as a WP article has an "external links" section; they allow any Wikimedia project a templated box with an interwiki link in that section on any page. The deadlocked {{listing}} proposal is somewhat analogous as it would have proposed Wikipedia links on the same terms as links to the venue's own promotional website.
  • A sidebar link. This depends on various non-standard extensions like "Related Sites" and works poorly in that it assumes (falsely) that one WV article corresponds to one WP article. It also heavily overlaps the page-level Wikidata link in capability. Apparently our current status quo.
None of these are the same as "Anytown is known for X, Y and Z. (...brief description...) More information on w:X, w:Y and w:Z is available in Wikipedia." as a "see also" style mention where the summary and the fact the links point to Wikipedia (and not to individual Wikivoyage travel topics) is spelled out explicitly. Something like {{seemain}} or {{seealso}} looks like a reasonable solution, but is a different animal from the {{listing}} field which was discussed and deadlocked a few years ago. I am not adverse to a discussion being had on explicitly-marked "see also" links, as they're not the same proposal that deadlocked last time. K7L (talk) 17:27, 8 April 2016 (UTC)
I recommend posting these kinds of proposals at Wikivoyage talk:External links. Since external links now open in a new window by default, this may be a good time to revisit the issue of allowing more links to sister sites, including inline links. Ikan Kekek (talk) 09:01, 9 April 2016 (UTC)
It is now possible to add wikipedia links to listings as per Wikivoyage_talk:Links_to_Wikipedia Drat70 (talk) 01:42, 14 March 2017 (UTC)
All the gardens have WP articles & all are now linked from our garden listings, so the controversy above is now moot. Pashley (talk) 01:35, 1 August 2018 (UTC)

Wuxi airport[edit]

The airport is actually located between Wuxi and Suzhou, but our current ground transport directions mention only going into W by bus and getting a train to S. Are there also busses to S? Will any of the hotels in S provide transport?

Can you just get a cab to S? What is that likely to cost? It looks to me like it might be considerably more convenient, especially if you have a lot of luggage, and might not be more expensive if there are several people. Pashley (talk) 18:05, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

I don't know the answer to your transport question, however Wuxi is a pretty local airport with not many many or frequent connections. Probably best to take the high speed train to Hongqiao airport in Shanghai. Andrewssi2 (talk) 11:12, 28 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes & the article mentions both Shanghai airports plus Nanjing & Hangzhou, and describes the limitations of Wuxi.
But the question about transport to/from Wuxi airport would still be worth answering if anyone knows. Pashley (talk) 08:19, 10 December 2015 (UTC)

Auspicious light pagoda[edit]

Our current description has:

It has two storeys and is 53m (about 174 feet) high.

I'd expect a two-storey building to be about 10 meters. Do we need a correction or an explanation here? Pashley (talk) 13:02, 20 August 2016 (UTC)

Auspicious Light Pagoda
Looks like 7 storeys - maybe only two are open? AlasdairW (talk) 23:15, 20 August 2016 (UTC)