Blogs from Suzhou, Jiangsu, China, Asia - page 3


Asia » China » Jiangsu » Suzhou August 6th 2014

Ye-ha, we board another overnight train to Suzhou. The enthusiasm has waned a little but we've come prepared. Armed with weird little butter filled coffee cakes, the packet looked like chocolate and custard to me, and bread with an unfathomable number of preservatives, we set off. We pass smoke stack after smoke stack...perhaps Mr Abbott should have ridden an overnight train in China, and press on. Day 7 A slight hurdle, our train terminates in Shanghai and we have to get off 80km before this in Suzhou. No English here, not a single word. And for some reason when they say Soo-chow its fine but when I say Soo-chow, I get a look of puzzlement. We wake the kids and wait and wait and wait, carefully decifer every station sign until we finally reach Suzhou. Shiny ... read more

Asia » China » Jiangsu » Suzhou May 3rd 2014

We are just on the tail end of our week long spring break and it was enjoyable. Chinese citizens get a labor holiday of 3 days (formally 7 days) and our spring break falls in line with the old week long break. We weren't quite sure where to go on vacation up until the break began. Helen and I agreed that it would be wise to stick around China and avoid unnecessary spending in anticipation for the summer vacation. That being said, the vacation time I do get from work is well earned and the family deserves to see something new. So Helen suggested Jiangsu province to visit her middle school friend Bonnie and her family in Wuxi. We then decided to include visiting the cities of Suzhou and Hanzhou (which is in the neighboring province ... read more
How about scale?
Gift shopping
Even Meili got lost in the maze!

Asia » China » Jiangsu » Suzhou April 10th 2014

Trip to Suzhou – China’s Venice When I found out that I would be transferring in May I knew I had to get my ass into gear and do some exploring outside of Hangzhou (the trip to Hong Kong does not count) Its April now and although I’ve barely seen everything that Hangzhou has to offer – to be fair some of the so called tourist spots don’t really interest me, I knew I needed a break and get out of the city. One of the onboarders that I met in December works in Shanghai and I knew she was itching to do some exploring to as she has yet to escape Shanghai. On my to do list having looked through my handy Eye Witness Travel China book were Suzhou, Ningbo and Wenzhen. They were simply ... read more
The hostel room
Wondering around
Wondering around

Asia » China » Jiangsu » Suzhou December 24th 2013

I'm glad it's bright and sunny today. I won't get too cold. I started my day by climbing the stairs up the north temple pagoda. I had a great view of the city from there. At the back was a garden with a lot of cats and two Buddhist monks. The atmosphere was really quite and peaceful. The most famous garden in Suzhou is called 'The Humble Administrator's garden' and the Lonely Planet comment on it is 'you will have to battle with the crowd'. Well if you go on Christmas Eve, this comment doesn't apply. I can't say I had the garden for myself but no crowd. This garden is an UNESCO world heritage site. It's really huge and very enjoyable. Once again there is lots of ponds, zigzag bridges, pavilions, hidden corner, moon doors ... read more
big buddha
snack in the way up to the top of the pagoda

Asia » China » Jiangsu » Suzhou October 31st 2013

So we are now starting the last leg of our journey. It's incredible how the time has flown. We wake in Nanjing, but we will not spend too much time in this city of 4 million with its wealth of history. Breakfast at the hotel, which makes a few concessions to Westen tastes but is mostly Asian. My new experience for the day is Mung bean porridge, which turns out to be fine with milk. On the bus with Jack as tour guide. It is overcast but mild. As we drive through the city, we garner impressions of Nanjing. In some indefinably way, it feels old. It has lots of older, faded buildings, many falling into decrepitude. There are frequent vacant lots where buildings have clearly had to be knocked down. At the same time, lots ... read more
Dragon frieze, old city, Nanjing, China
Confucius temple, Nanjing, China
Marking exams, Nanjing, China

Asia » China » Jiangsu » Suzhou July 18th 2013

Theway for a tourist to see Suzhou is by rickshaw so this morning we were all taken in convoy around the canals. We went early, to avoid the heat of the day, but even so we felt bad for the poor rickshaw drivers, lugging us lazy tourists around - in fact it felt a bit embarrassing when they came to a slope and some had to stop to walk the rickshaw up, as we were too heavy to cycle. It was interesting to see the alleyways and backstreets behind the canals, and we also stopped at a local market, where the most talked-about sight was the fish which are kept alive in small tanks of water until they are purchased, when they are bloodily killed by having their heads chopped off, and it is possible to ... read more
Rickshaw ride
Rickshaw ride
Garden of the Humble Administrator

Asia » China » Jiangsu » Suzhou July 18th 2013

Suzhou is a small city called the "Venice of the East" by tourist guides, so we had imagined a gentle, peaceful place, forgetting of course that in China a "small" city is still huge by European standards, in this case ten and a half million people. We took a boat trip through the canals, but although it is pretty, with pagodas and traditional homes, there are plenty of visible signs of industry and of the huge population, as we passed under concrete flyovers and past Soviet-style apartment blocks. The heat in Suzhou took some getting used to: by the afternoon it was in the high 30s, and we began to relish walking down the shopping streets, because every time we passed an open shop we would feel a blast of the cook air-conditioning.... read more
Canal trip
Canal trip
Canal trip

Asia » China » Jiangsu » Suzhou July 15th 2013

Rainy days in Suzhou... I had been looking forward to our Suzhou trip for a number of weeks and checked the weather frequently. Therefore, I was quite surprised to find that the forecast had changed dramatically in the hours before our departure; moving from a mere 20% chance of showers to a torrential 100% Still, we’d booked our train ticket in advance and decided to go make the best of it. The ride to Suzhou was my first experience on one of China’s newer trains. During past trips we had bumped around on the older variety, which, though efficient, consisted of a mad dash for hard plastic seats and the occasional cockroach sitting. This new train was a marvel: sleek, fast, and clean. The broad aisles and bullet-shaped nose made it look like an airplane without ... read more
Lovely couple
C by the canal
Picture perfect

Asia » China » Jiangsu » Suzhou July 3rd 2013

It occurred to me that two days left isn’t enough. Not enough time left to do all the things I haven’t done yet and all the things I don’t know that I haven’t done and are still left for me to find - but two days is it. So, I sit on the roof of my kitchen and write a list and I figure a route to best cover as many things on the list taking the most efficient route but I’m always awake before the train ticket shop is open, or the calligrapher opens his windows, or The Bookworm is open and my tummy is rumbling through not eating breakfast. It is 6.30am and, in some parts, this city has already been fully awake for 2 hours. So, I figure I’ll start the day by ... read more
a duck's tongue?
a chicken and a melon
and a barrel of dirty water with dead things hanging in it

Asia » China » Jiangsu » Suzhou June 27th 2013

Please don't think that I only see and write about bad things - I don't. I've lived in this city for about 2 years in all over a period of 5 years and know it very well. I don't write about regular things like the shops or Jade, or dresses or Chinese umbrellas or any other things to buy or eat or do because I don't see those things as important and actually, I hardly see those things at all because I'm used to them. I write about the things that make me stop and feel. Here are some real things of beauty. In a small room at the ‘Innovation Center for disabled persons of Suzhou’, facing Ping Jiang Lu, the child has come for her one hour calligraphy lesson. She is seven years old and ... read more
Master and 7 year old student
No Frippery

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