• Suzhou in 36 hours (差不多)

    by  • April 20, 2009 • China, vacation • 0 Comments

    posted by Sarah

    We have often heard about Suzhou, because it’s linked to Hanzhou in an old saying: “上有天堂,下有蘇杭” which translates as:

    “Above is heaven, below is Su-Hang (the cities of Suzhou & Hangzhou).”

    We decided to take a weekend trip to the city whose legendary beauty is matched only by our own Hangzhou. The weather was perfect and we got some nice pictures, which we will share here:

    Suzhou is best known for its gardens, and its bird & flower market boasts some lovely things, like perfectly manicured bonsai trees.
    We see these wisteria everywhere; they’re beautiful and fragrant.Wandering through the narrow alleyways of Suzhou’s neighborhoods, we came across a communal well – something we haven’t really seen in other Chinese cities.
    I love these old sewing machines – many women will set up shop on a corner for the day.
    The Suzhou Museum – designed by architect I.M. Pei – beautiful!The central pond in the heart of the museum.One of my favorite pieces from the Suzhou museum – carved jade figures of the eight immortal beings (I think Tang Dynasty, but I’m not sure)An elegant tree in a traditional-style courtyardSuzhou is best known for its gardens – there are about 10 different gardens to visit. We chose the biggest and most famous – called the Humble Administrator’s Garden – which was a riot of spring beauty – and a zooful of tourists, then we went to the Master of the Nets Garden, one of the smallest but definitely less crowded and still quite beautiful.

    “General Description”
    An ornate pavilionA nice stained glass motifSuzhou has two faces: the old city and the incredibly new and shiny Singapore Industrial Park area (we actually stayed in that area with a family through Couchsurfing.) The newer neighborhood is located between the old city and 金鸡湖 (literally “golden chicken lake”), which boasts a pyrotechnic light show in the evenings. We were looking forward to seeing this show but sadly it wasn’t running that night. We did manage to recoup our evening by getting ice cream from Coldstone Creamery.

    Singapore is really invested in Suzhou – this sculpture titled “Harmony” was unveiled by some political bigwig from Singapore.
    Joel is king of the world! Or so he thinks.



    Sarah grew up in Colorado but considers herself a Chinese-Malaysian-English-American. Her favorite thing to do is read in bed, or some sunny spot on a couch.

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