Suzhou (4-6 Jul 15)


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July 5th 2015
Published: July 5th 2015
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Humble Administrator's GardenHumble Administrator's GardenHumble Administrator's Garden

A Unesco World Heritage site, and probably the most famous and certainly largest of the four classical gardens in town.
After Nanjing, it was a quick 1h high speed rail ride eastwards for what should be my penultimate stop in my stay here in China - Suzhou. My plan of course is to eventually end up in Shanghai, but this historical city was en route, and I felt it warranted at least a bit of a look.

Apparently there's an old Chinese saying, "In Heaven, there's Paradise; on Earth, there's Suzhou and Hangzhou". Held in such high regard is the beauty of this historic city, whose importance in the Jiangsu provincial region far predates even that of mighty Shanghai. I have to say though, that my first knowledge of the city is really from its industrial park lying in the outskirts, because it originated from a joint venture with the government of my home country Singapore, which was much-publicised back home (along with some related difficulties in dealings with the Chinese counterparts).

Nevertheless, I decided against spending my rather brief stay here checking out the industrial park, but rather rightfully looked at its famous gardens and canals,and museums. In particular, Suzhou has four famous gardens, all dating back hundreds of years to the Ming dynasty, and I believe at
Pingjiang RoadPingjiang RoadPingjiang Road

I finally catch of glimpse of one of those classic Chinese archway canal bridges that I always visualise when thinking of old, dynastic China.
least two of which have been declared Unesco World Heritage sites. Apart from these well-preserved and curated features, some old canals still zig-zag their way across the city, crossed by very classic-looking Chinese archway bridges, and fringed by willowy wisteria. There might have been some truth in that old Chinese saying after all...

Stayed at Shangyouke Hotel.


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Suzhou MuseumSuzhou Museum
Suzhou Museum

I.M. Pei-designed, supposedly his last work.
Humble Administrator's GardenHumble Administrator's Garden
Humble Administrator's Garden

Bonsai garden within.
Guanqian LuGuanqian Lu
Guanqian Lu

Not just gardens and canals, Suzhou has its version of walking street too, but somebody tell all the scooter motorists who still insist on riding through and inconveniencing all the pedestrians.
Pingjiang RoadPingjiang Road
Pingjiang Road

A rather classic and historical part of Suzhou.
Pingjiang RoadPingjiang Road
Pingjiang Road

One of the few couples I saw taking their wedding photos here.
Lion Grove GardenLion Grove Garden
Lion Grove Garden

And it's crazy stone structures, which reminded me of the Crazy House in Dalat, Vietnam.
When in China...When in China...
When in China...

Just pee wherever the hell you feel like. This kid had no qualms, and neither did his mom you see in the background, taking it all in her stride. I'm surprised the little girl even batted an eyelid. Not the first time by far I've witnessed a scene like this, and certainly one of the several unsavoury aspects of the country.
Historical Artefacts MuseumHistorical Artefacts Museum
Historical Artefacts Museum

That's a pair of ivory tusks with incredibly detailed carvings.


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