Is Suzhou really Paradise?

Dear Bloggers,
Suzhou is about 1.5 hours drive from Shanghai, so a good place for a short visit. Yesterday (Monday) we checked into our hotel & after lunch we went for a walk in the gardens behind our hotel – Panmen scenic area. There was a very old pagoda – Ruiguang – as well as lots of bridges & canals & a piece of city wall (there is not much remaining, but interesting land & sea gate, or coil gate). We went on a very short boat ride, with a singing lady driver!
Today (Tuesday) we arranged a tour guide & went to visit 2 gardens – Master-of-Nets Garden (small, Qing Dynasty & World Cultural Heritage since 1997) & then Humble Administrator’s Garden (big). We then went on a boat trip to see the canals of the “ancient area” of town. We then went to a silk factory which was built in 1926. I held a silk worm! We saw how silk is made in China & lots of big machines making fabric as well as silk quilts made from double-cocoons, which happens when 2 pupae make a cocoon together – very friendly! This afternoon we went to the South Gate market & Dad nearly bought 15kg of lard as he has been looking everywhere for it. Mum says that the air was not fresh, and we still have two things ‘to do’ on the list of 15 things to do, even though we have left Suzhou.

Big Fat Silk Worms - they feel like jelly.

Big Fat Silk Worms – they feel like jelly.

Venice of the Orient

Venice of the Orient

Lounging Around

Lounging Around

Move Over. You're Not Doing It Right.

Move Over. You’re Not Doing It Right.

The Huge Bell Which I Rang.

The Huge Bell Which I Rang.

Ruiguang Pagoda.

Ruiguang Pagoda.

The Water Gate At Panmen.

The Water Gate At Panmen.

Chinese sentence of the week:
Ta bu ju dao – means ‘he/she does not understand’

Fun Facts:
Suzhou & Hangzhou are famous for silk
Saying goes that “Just as there is paradise in Heaven, there are Suzhou & Hangzhou on Earth”
(As we are World travellers, we think there are places more like paradise! & although Marco Polo referred to Suzhou as the “Venice of the Orient”, I think he might have been away from home so long that his memory had faded)

Survey:
From your own experience, where do you think “Paradise on Earth” is? – reply via a comment.
I think it might be in Bali – because everything there is just what you need to be happy (beach, surfing, mangoes, sunshine, icecream, sunsets & smiley people – & Mum says “& baskets”)

Back to school tomorrow.
From,
Thomas

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6 comments

  1. Amelia · · Reply

    I’d also like to go somewhere like Bali or Bora bora, but sometimes, getting out of bed to go to school in the morning feels like leaving paradise so maybe that’s the answer! 😉

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  2. Auntie Hannah · · Reply

    I’d like to try either Bali or Bora Bora, but I’m the same as Granny Fixit, don’t really know. I went to Goa in India for my honeymoon with U. Lofty, that was very beautiful. But I have to say that here in rural France is very beautiful too and I’m lucky that I live here all the time (don’t have any mango trees though, have walnuts instead!!).

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    1. Amelia · · Reply

      Mangoes are definitely better than walnuts! :p

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  3. Granny Devon · · Reply

    I was very interested to hear about the silk worms I had some when I was at school but they weren’t as big and fat as the ones you saw, I fed mine on mulberry leaves – what did they feed theirs on?

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    1. They fed them on mulberry leaves!

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  4. Granny fixit · · Reply

    Another interesting trip Thomas. I like the double cocoons, not heard of them before – good way to keep warm, like a double sleeping bag.
    Paradise on earth – Bali does sound pretty wonderful. I am going to suggest Bora Bora, but what do I know.

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