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