What You Need To Know

Changzhou (Chinese: 常州) is a prefecture-level city in southern Jiangsu province of China. It was previously known as Yanling, Lanling, Jinling, and Wujin. Located on the southern bank of the Yangtze River, Changzhou borders the provincial capital of Nanjing to the west, Zhenjiang to the northwest, Wuxi to the east, and the province of Zhejiang to the south. Changzhou is part of the highly developed Yangtze Delta region of China extending from Shanghai going northwest, which now has more than 36,000,000 inhabitants. Its total population was 4,592,431 inhabitants at the 2010 census whom 3,290,918 lived in the built-up area made up of 5 urban districts. The agglomeration is now part of the Suzhou-Wuxi-Changzhou metropolitan area which has now more than 36,000,000 inhabitants, only second in China after the Pearl River Delta Economic Zone.

 

Area: 4,385 km²

Population: Estimate 2,986,819

Currency

  • Hangzhou Currency Exchange. Chinese Yuan (also known as Renminbi, rmb for short) is the official and legal currency in circulation. Use of foreign currencies is generally not allowed.

Culture

The Changzhou dialect is a member of the Wu Chinese language family. Comb Lane in Changzhou is the scene of the last farewell of Jia Baoyu with his father in the classic novel A Dream of Red Mansions. Other famous handicrafts of Changzhou are silk embroidery in a “crisscross” style and carvings made from green bamboo. Noted snacks made in Changzhou include pickled radish, sesame candy, sweet glutinous rice flour dumpling with fermented glutinous rice, and silver thread noodles (also known as dragon’s beard noodles).

Economy

Changzhou’s traditional role has been that of a commercial center and in particular a distribution center for agricultural produce, which was shipped by canal to the north and later, to Shanghai. The city began to develop a cotton textile industry in the 1920s, and cotton mills were established in the late 1930s, when Japanese attacks drove many Chinese businesses to invest outside Shanghai. The city has remained a textile center and the most important location in Jiangsu Province for weaving. It also has large food-processing plants as well as flour-milling, rice-polishing, and oil-pressing industries. After 1949 it also developed as a centre of the engineering industry. Qishuyan, some 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) southeast of Changzhou, has one of the largest locomotive and rolling stock plants in China. Other engineering works in Changzhou produce diesel engines, generators, transformers along with agricultural and textile machinery. At the time of the Great Leap Forward in 1958 a steel plant was also built to provide raw material for heavy industry. Since 1908, Changzhou has been linked by rail with Shanghai and Nanjing (see below for transportation). Up until now, Changzhou has remained one of the most developed cities in Jiangsu, ranked third after Suzhou and Wuxi. The city’s 2009 GDP per capita of ¥70,103 in 2009, less than that of Suzhou and Wuxi but more than the capital city Nanjing, ranked the city third in Jiangsu, . Changzhou is also one of the top business cities in China. According to Forbes ranking, Changzhou was the 9th best business city in mainland China in 2008.

 

Health systems

Healthcare in China consists of both public and private medical institutions and insurance programs. About 95% of the population has at least basic health insurance coverage. Despite this, public health insurance generally only covers about half of medical costs, with the proportion lower for serious or chronic illnesses. Under the “Healthy China 2020” initiative, China is currently undertaking an effort to cut healthcare costs, and the government requires that insurance will cover 70% of costs by 2017. The Chinese government is working on providing affordable basic healthcare to all residents by 2020. China has also become a major market for health-related multinational companies. Companies such as AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, Eli Lilly, and Merck entered the Chinese market and have experienced explosive growth. China has also become a growing hub for health care research and development. The above applies to Mainland China. Taiwan and the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau maintain their own separate universal healthcare systems.

 

Language

Changzhou dialect (Simplified Chinese: 常州话; Traditional Chinese: 常州話; Pinyin: Chángzhōu huà), sometimes called Changzhounese, is a dialect of Wu, a Sino-Tibetan language family, and belongs to the Taihu dialect group. It is spoken in the city of Changzhou and surrounding areas in Jiangsu province of China.

Transport

Railway

Located just south of the Chang Jiang (Yangtze River), Changzhou is situated on the main Shanghai-Beijing rail line. The station was completed in 2011 and is located in the north of Changzhou in the Xinbei district (Changzhou North Station). Changzhou is also one of the main stops on the busy Shanghai-Nanjing route, with two stations located in Changzhou (Changzhou station and Qishuyuan station).

Air travel

Changzhou Benniu Airport is approximately 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) from the city center. There are flights to Beijing, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Shenyang, Kunming, Harbin and Dalian, regional flights to Tapei, Taiwan and international flights to South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and Japan.

Roads

  • China National Highway 312
  • Shanghai-Nanjing Highway
  • Yanjiang Highway
  • Changzhou-Nanjing Highway

Bus Rapid Transport System

Use of the Bus Rapid Transit System costs one yuan (or, if a Changzhou Bus Card is used, either three or six jiao depending on the type of card) and provides access throughout Changzhou. The BRT has the following specifications: separate bus lanes or bus-only roadways, a vast network of routes and corridors, high capacity buses operating both outside and inside these corridors, greater passenger volume as compared to that in mixed traffic lanes (-3000 pphpd), enhanced station environments (not just simple bus shelters), automated pre-boarding fare collection and fare verification, street level boarding and alighting, low emission vehicle technology (Euro III or higher), weather protection on station platforms, centralized system controls, real-time next bus information display, a distinctive marketing identity, high-quality passenger service at bus stations, segregated bike lanes along main corridor(s) as well as station access for disabled persons. The BRT is also located in the following cities: Beijing, Chongqing, Dalian, Guangzhou, Jinan, Hangzhou, Hefei, Kunming, Xiamen, Zhengzhou and Wulumuqi. A metro network is nevertheless in planning stage.

Elevated road

Changzhou built its first elevated road, the “Outer Ring Elevated Road”,consisting of “Longcheng Blvd. Elevated Road” and “Longjiang Rd. Elevated Road”, in 2007 and it came into use in 2008. Now the elevated road has formed a ring surrounding the urban area of Changzhou, linking main Highways.

Underground

Changzhou Metro is being constructed. The inauguration is scheduled for 2019.

 

Tourism

Changzhou is the home of the China Dinosaur Park (simplified Chinese: 常州恐龙园; traditional Chinese: 常州恐龍園; pinyin: Chángzhōu Kǒnglóng Yuán) located in the Xinbei District of the city. The 5A rated Dinosaur Park has a collection of dinosaur bones and fossils from all over China. The park has 50 various fossils and more than 30 amusement programs including the Brontosaurus Roller Coaster and the Whirling Dinosaur Carriage. The fossils are located in a museum housed in a single building and the amusement rides are spread throughout the park which is categorized into six themed areas. Besides fossils and family oriented rides, Dinosaur Park is home to a giant panda and sea lions. n 2011, a new amusement park called CC Joyland (simplified Chinese: 环球动漫嬉戏谷; traditional Chinese: 環球動漫嬉戲谷; pinyin: Huánqiú dòngmàn xīxì gǔ) opened in Taihuwan near Taihu lake in Wujin District in the south of Changzhou. The city is also home to the Tianning Temple—one of the largest Zen Buddhist temple and monasteries in China. The city recently rebuilt the Tianning pagoda in the temple grounds, which is adjacent to Hongmei Park. The pagoda, called the Tianning Baota, was first built during the Tang Dynasty (AD 618 907). Since that time it has been destroyed and rebuilt five times. The current reconstruction is built to the height specification of 153.79 metres (504.6 ft). This makes it the tallest pagoda in China and perhaps also the world. Both the Hongmei Park and Tianning Temple are located just to the east of the city centre. As Changzhou is noted for its combs, the city has reconstructed its Fine Comb Lane area with contemporary architecture. Changzhou combs can be purchased in most places in the city.

Weather

Changzhou has a wide range of temperature differences throughout the year.