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Private Suzhou Day Tour with Chinese Hairy Crab Food Tour at Yangcheng Lake Suzhou

From $90 per person

Tour Style:
This private Suzhou food tour will take you to try the Yangcheng Lake Hairy Crab in Suzhou, to learn how the Hairy Crab be sourced, how to eat Hairy Crab from our Suzhou local guide and take a leisure walk around the tranquil Yangcheng Lake.

Duration: 6 Hours

Yangcheng Lake, Eat Hairy Crab, Hairy Crab Culture

Pick-up point:
Suzhou Train Station or your hotel lobby in Suzhou downtown (based on your requirement)

Finishing point:
Suzhou Train Station or your hotel lobby in Suzhou downtown (based on your requirement)

Tour Customizable:
Absolutely! (Tell us your requirements in your inquiry)

Payment Types:
Cash, Wire, Paypal, WesternUnion, Alipay, WehChat

Available: Autumn

Payment Guide | Terms & Conditions

Tour Itinerary

In the morning, our Suzhou tour guide will pick you up at your hotel lobby or Suzhou Train Station with a welcome signage “Suzhou Private Tour” and your food tour of Hairy Crab in Suzhou Start.

Our pick up signage"Suzhou Private Tour"

From Sep to Dec, Yangcheng Lake enters the harvest season for Chinese mitten crab, also known as the hairy crabs favored by gourmet food lovers. The crabs harvested this year are expected to be bigger and stronger than usual due to the favorable weather for breeding in July and August. In China, eating Hairy Crab or Chinese Mitten Crab is messy but rewarding undertaking. The seasonal peak for these hirsute crustaceans kicks off in October but reaches its pinnacle in November.

It's easy to find hairy crab all over Shanghai, the more adventurous diner can also make their way out to the banks of the waters these celebrated crabs call home. Jiangsu Province is home to the Yangtze River Delta and East China Sea estuaries where the crabs get together and procreate, making it the epicenter for hairy crab production.


Yangcheng Lake is a freshwater lake in the northeast of the city of Suzhou. It is the most famous area of origin for the Chinese mitten crabs which are considered a delicacy. It located between Lake Tai and the Yangtze River. The Chinese mitten crabs migrate from Yangcheng Lake towards the Yangtze delta for mating in September and October. The local fishermen harvest the animals during this migration.

Hairy Crabs in Yangcheng Lake: Yangcheng Lake is the heart of the hairy crab industry and the critters from this lake are most highly-prized. An indication of just how important an origin this is can be seen in the practice of assigning each and every crab harvested from Yangcheng Lake with an individually numbered tag. The murky green waters of Yangcheng Lake are placid in the late afternoon sun as we navigate its surface in a crude, motorised boat, hoping for a glimpse of its famous inhabitants. The crabs must be frolicking at the bottom of the lake, rubbing their bellies on the pebbles to get that famous “white belly” look – the sign of a genuine Yangcheng Lake crab – for there is nary a ripple on the water’s surface. 

The lake is carved into coveted prime aquaculture plots, which entrepreneurs lease from the local authority. All the farms here are licensed and regulated, and the creatures and waters subjected to regular health and quality inspection. “The superior water, air and environmental quality of Yangcheng Lake are what contribute to the health and sweet taste of the crabs,” someone said.

The rich aquatic plants and other crab food present in the lake are its unique properties but with intensive and widespread farming, the crabs need to be fed a supplementary diet including corn kernels, wheat, chopped fish, clams and crushed shellfish.


Yangcheng Lake Hairy Crab Culture Festival
The Second Yangcheng Lake Hairy Crab Culture Festival opened on July 23 in Suzhou, Jiangsu province. Anglers pulled in a huge haul of more than 500 kilograms of tasty crustaceans from the west part of Yangcheng Lake on the opening day. Yangcheng Lake is famous across China for its Chinese mitten crabs, which are considered to be the tastiest crabs in the country. 

Festivalgoers were keenest to catch a kind of young male crab called Liuyuehuang. If they are caught during July or August, when they are just going through their third shell molting and weigh around 100 grams, the Liuyuehuang are extra delicious, with thin shells, tender meat and rich roe. 

This year's festival will run for two months, giving people plenty of time to get their hands on the lovely Liuyuehuang. The event is expected to once again raise the profile of Yangcheng Lake's famous hairy crabs.

Eat and Choose Hairy Crab with your Tour Guide
The favorite recipe for hairy crab is to simply steam it and enjoy it dipped in a little vinegar accompanied by slices of ginger –that was how hairy crab was celebrated in most restaurants. But not just any vinegar – it must be the other famous product of the Jiangsu region, the elegant and complex Zhenjiang black vinegar.

It’s a debate – and matter of personal choice – whether one prefers the male or female crab. The male is praised for its yellow, creamy roe and more ample meat and the female for its brilliantly red, compact and rich roe, but hardly offers any meat. “You must understand that the hairy crab is primarily sought-after for its roe and not meat,”

Connoisseurs will also enjoy it with little glasses of Chinese wines – either white or yellow. As the crab is considered a yin food that has a cooling effect on the body, the meal is often finished with a cup of warming ginger tea.

Why Autumn is the Best Season to eat Hairy Crab
Every March, Chinese farmers source the crab larvae from the mouth of the Yangtze River where larval development occurs in brackish water at the confluence of fresh and sea water. They are then transferred to the lake, where they live in netted enclosures, hibernating in the winter months by burrowing into the lake bed.

The crabs reach sexual maturity at around two years when they are roughly palm-sized. The females are bulging with roe in Autumn. The crabs from Yangcheng Lake have a dark green carapace, ivory underbelly, and golden hair and claws. The females can be identified by their rounded underbelly, while males have a pointed, V-shaped middle and more leg hair. Males also tend to be larger. The females ripen earlier in the season, in September, and males are available for the table from October. The best time to enjoy hairy crabs is from mid-October onwards.

After the tour of Yangcheng Lake Hairy Crab in Suzhou, drive you back to your hotel or Suzhou train station.

Price Per Person in US Dollars

Price Includes

1. All transfer and city transportation
2. Air-conditioned car or van
3. Hotels specified in the itinerary, all based
    on two persons sharingone standard room;
4. Meals specified in the itinerary: Western
    breakfast in hotels Chinese lunch and
    dinner in local restaurants
5. Sightseeing: All arrangements mentioned
    in the itinerary will be covered All first
    admission/entrance fees in the itinerary
6. Tour guide: Conducted by a professional
    tour guide

Price Excludes

1. International air-tickets
2. Airport departure tax.
3. International or domestic air tickets which
    are not listed in the itinerary.
4. Insurance coverage of personal loss, illness
    or damages incurred during your trip
5. Tips to the tour guide and driver
6. Meals not specified in the itinerary.
7. Personal expenses: phone bills, laundry,
    optional tours, postage, excess baggage
    charge, entertainment fees out of the
8. Single Room Supplement.

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