Taicang, or "Great Granary" in Mandarin, is a county-level city under the jurisdiction of Suzhou Prefecture City. During the Three Kingdoms Period (220-280 A.D.), the Kingdom Wu began to build a granary on the land, which was called Taicang later, in order to store grain or rice. This initiated the small town's booming economy and improved its transportation in later years. In Yuan Dynasty (1271 - 1368 A.D.), the ancient town was further expanded into not just a civil community but also a military base, in which the local municipal authority built moats, town walls and streets.
A port under Taicang's jurisdiction, Liujia Port, was once honored as the "No. 1 Port in the World" in the Yuan Dynasty and it was where Zheng He began his voyages adventures. These abundant storages, excellent harbor, and advanced technologies in ship manufacture all helped Zheng He's later explorations.
As a newly shaped industrial city, Taicang has been listed in the front of the 100 Top Chinese Cities for its comprehensive economic capability for three years in a row, with its booming economy and elegant municipal landscapes.
Taicang was the place where the well-known explorer, Zheng He, started his great voyage explorations between1405-1433, and is the birthplace for many notable artists, scientists, writers, etc, in its history or in the modern society.
Geography, Resources and Climate
Taicang City is located in the South Jiangsu Plain and on the southern bank of Yangtze River, close to the mouth of the river. The city borders Baoshan and Jiading Districts of Shanghai on south, Kunshan City on west and Changshu City on north.
The most important natural resources is freshwater, which occupies 30 per cent of its land mass of Taicang including more than half of the area belonging to Yangtze River surface.
The city is under the influence of the East Asia Monsoon, like its neighbor cities of Suzhou and Shanghai. It has a mild and humid climate and seasons are distinct. The average annual temperature is close to 15ºC and the normal precipitation exceeds 1,000 mm yearly. Meiyu Season generally starts in the middle of June and lasts for about 3 to 4 weeks, during which the city experiences a period of mild rain but dampness.
Administration and Jurisdiction
Under the jurisdiction of Suzhou, Taicang is comprised of 7 towns and an economic development zone. The municipal government is stationed in the Chengxiang Township.
Area and Population
The city's physical size of the land is near 823 square kilometers and the water surface area 285 square kilometers including 174 square kilometers for Yangtze River water surface area. Its population is close to a half million.
Transportation and Tourism
Taicang is 50 km away from both Suzhou and Shanghai metropolises, and the driving times to Shanghai Hongqiao Airport and Shanghai Pudong Airport are one and a half hours, respectively. Taicang has a convenient road transportation network including highway/expressway and railway. The expressways that are still under construction are Ningtai (Nanjing-Taicang), Sukuntai (Suzhou-Kunshan-Taicang) and Xitai (Wuxi-Taicang) expressways.
Taicang Port owns 38.8 km of Yangtze bank and is one of prestigious river port along the river. The port has set up 14 national and international lines for cargo transport.
Taicang has many tourist destinations to visit, including Jincang Lake, Zheng He Memorial Hall, Taicang Museum, Tianfei Palace, and a couple of bridges built in the Yuan Dynasty.