China
Suzhou

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15 travelers at this place

  • Day1

    Impressions

    September 16, 2019 in China ⋅ ☀️ 29 °C

    I really couldn't say what I was expecting of China, other than an adventure into the unknown. However my first impressions are very positive. As with every positive cultural experience, it begins with the people. I certainly stand out - I haven't seen another Westerner in days, and I get a lot of glances. But despite this, I mostly see curiosity. And when called upon, the people have been notably kind and helpful (and the children unbelievably friendly! ) . It probably goes without saying that the food is great though.Read more

  • Day26

    Gardens of Suzhou

    September 22, 2019 in China ⋅ ☁️ 22 °C

    Last full day in China! It's certainly been busy, and action-packed. Another early start - of course - though at least today we had included breakfast downstairs. It was a bit average though, and we only learned on leaving the breakfast area that we'd chosen the Chinese breakfast area - on the other side of the building was a Western breakfast area complete with a waffle station. Damn.

    Next door to the station where we hopped on our early train to Suzhou, a city not far north-west of Shanghai. Here is the location of our last World Heritage Site for China (on this trip, we're still not even halfway through the full gamut of China's sites!): the Classical Gardens of Suzhou.

    In Ming and Qing era China, Suzhou was a very quiet and peaceful place where court officials and bureaucrats would retire, and having done so they would often take up gardening. There's now hundreds of these gardens across Suzhou, and about 10 of them are inscribed on the World Heritage list.

    We headed for the biggest and best known one, the Humble Administrator's Garden. The weather had improved but it was still drizzling on and off, so we were hopeful for a reasonable day. The gardens were quite nice - Chinese formal gardens, where it's essentially a series of imitated natural scenes. Rocks, pools, trees, pavilions, covered walkways and so on. If you've ever been to a Chinese style garden, it was likely inspired (or even directly copied) from this garden, or others in Suzhou. The overall effect is very nice, but it was incredibly crowded.

    I know that's been a running theme on this trip, but aside from Fanjingshan and the Forbidden City, I think this probably ranked 3rd in terms of crowding. You find yourself waiting endlessly for a photo opportunity, and even in quiet corners of the gardens you're surrounded by people. It's very draining, though I guess the locals don't mind because it's like that everywhere they go!

    After a nice but tiring couple of hours we headed outside and grabbed some street noodles. Caught a bus across the city to the Lingering Garden, which although busy was thankfully far less crowded. This was more focused on rock landscapes than the previous garden which had largely focused on pools. There was also a decent museum attached which clearly the locals weren't interested in - it was the quietest place we'd been in days! Though I got stung by some sort of insect on the way out, a large dragonfly sized thing. It landed on my left elbow and as I brushed it off it stung me which hurt like a bastard. The old man at first aid gave me some sort of anti-sting thing, but it still hurt for days afterward.

    Back outside where we had one last stop. We walked about two kilometres along a waterway from the Lingering Garden to see our final stop on the trip: the Grand Canal. We'd first seen it in Beijing, nearly four weeks ago, and here we were at nearly the far end of it, thousands of kilometres away. A nice metaphor for the trip I guess. The canal is much wider here, with ships plowing up and down the waterway. Unlike the spot in Beijing which was pretty much a storm drain. One of the world's greatest engineering works, and nobody knows about it. Odd.

    Another bus back to the station where we made our train back to Shanghai. Both feeling tired, footsore, over Chinese food and a little damp - we caved and had train station Maccas for dinner. Our last night in China and everything.
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  • Day8

    Suzhou und Tai Hu See

    October 21, 2019 in China ⋅ ☁️ 24 °C

    Von Kunshan nach Suzhou ist es nur eine Stunde mit dem Auto. Die Grenzen der Stadt sind aber nicht wirklich. Die Betonreihe setzt sich fast durchgehend fort. Unser heutiges Ziel ist eine sehr alte Stadt, die vor allem Mitte des letzten Jahrtausends prosperierte. Ein Kanal bis nach Peking ließ den Handel florieren. Wenig ist von der Altstadt mit vielen Kanälen und großen Gartenanlagen geblieben. Auch hier wich vieles dem Bauboom. Dieser ist aber eine wirkliche Oase. Eines der bekanntesten Gartenanlagen haben wir besichtigt. Einst in Privatbesitz ist es nun in staatlicher Hand. Hinter zwei Eingangshöfen liegt ein unermesslich grosser Garten. Mit Teehäusern, Seen und Brücken und viele der bekannten Felsformationen vom Grunde des Tai Hu Sees. Viele Nischen sind durch gestaltete Wände geschaffen, was den Garten noch grösser wirken lässt.

    Die Stadt hat viele kleine Läden, die auch viele Touristen anziehen. Selbst ein paar Europäer haben wir heute mal wiedergesehen. Die kleinen Gassen und Kanäle sind ein wirklicher Gegenentwurf zu den wenig inspirierenden Großstädten.

    Weiter geht es Richtung Süden zum See. Dieser ist viermal (sic!) so groß wie der Bodensee. Eigentlich ein Naturspektakel mit vielen Inseln. Vor dem Boom war er sehr fischreich, bevor er vor 15 Jahren durch Abwässer kippte. Erst seit einem Jahr ist der Fischfang wieder zulässig. Baden ist aber noch verboten. Unser Ziel war die südlichste Insel die mit Brücken erreichbar ist. Dort erlebten wir einen wundervollen Sonnenuntergang, der der Grund des Besuches war.

    Essen und Übernachtung fanden wir bei ehemaligen Bauern, die nun vom Tourismus leben. Sehr einfaches Essen aber sehr liebenswert. Sie fühlten sich durch den ersten europäischen Besuch sehr geehrt!

    Gleich neben bei ist ein altes Dorf aus der Ming-Zeit, was unter Denkmalschutz steht. Die dunklen Gassen waren ein wunderbares Fotomotiv.
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  • Day14

    Week 2

    September 29, 2019 in China ⋅ ☀️ 27 °C

    A short update this week, as I have been mostly been getting into the swing of things at work, and further adapting to life here. National Day is fast approaching, a national holiday where the country celebrates the founding of People's Republic of China. During this time, many people get a week off work, and go travelling to different parts of China. It can be very busy in the big cities during this week, with lots of activities and festivities taking place. For this reason, I will likely remain in Suzhou, as there is still so much I haven't seen here.Read more

  • Day85

    Su Zhou

    March 9, 2018 in China ⋅ ⛅ 11 °C

    Our second day docked at the port of Shanghai was spent in the ancient city of Su Zhou, a town that makes an unforgettable presentation of traditional Chinese culture. After a two-hour drive we arrived at the old canals of Su Zhou where we boarded a boat for a ride through the old waterways. Homes and markets line the canals. All of the everyday activities of laundry, bathing, cooking and cleaning were in view. After the canal ride we visited the embroidery institute where we saw master craft women creating incredibly intricate and beautiful works of art. Our favorite piece was a six-panel, five-foot tall screen that took two women three years to complete. It depicted egrets amid bamboo. For a mere $269,000, we could have brought it home with us. After a Chinese lunch at a hotel, we headed to a classical Chinese park called The Humble Administrator’s Garden about 50 miles west of Shanghai. I gave up trying to capture photos that were not crowded with a multitude of tourists. The ride back to the ship was three hours long because of Friday rush hour traffic. We ran to our rooms, changed clothes and headed out to celebrate Gil’s birthday at Manfredi’s on the ship, while our designated driver Captain Knutsen set sail for Hong Kong. This morning we were surrounded by Chinese “fishing boats.“ I counted over 70 from our balcony. It is amazing how many of these “fishing boats “ have so much electronic equipment. This afternoon Chuck and I took a Chinese cooking class and a long napRead more

  • Day4

    Suzhou

    August 12, 2019 in China ⋅ ☀️ 31 °C

    We travelled 30 minutes by train to get to Suzhou. The city's magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Sites include the stunning Grand Canal and dozens of classical gardens.
    We visited:

    - The Humble Administrator's Garden
    - Lion Grove Garden
    - Tiger Hill

    The gardens were really nice but crowded so we didn't enjoy them like we could.
    The Tiger Hill was better and the park was really quite. We had a nice stay there.
    Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Suzhou, Sutsjou, سوجو, Сучжоў, Суджоу, Sŭ-ciŭ, Сучжоу, Su-čou, Σουτσόου, Suĝoŭo, سوژو, Sû-chû-sṳ, סוגואו, सूझोऊ, Szucsou, Սուչժոու, SZV, 蘇州市, 쑤저우 시, Sudžou, Сүжоу, So͘-chiu-chhī, Suzhou i Jiangsu, ਸੂਜ਼ੂ, Суџоу, சுசோ, ซูโจว, سۇجۇ شەھىرى, سوژوو, Suchjou, Tô Châu, 苏州市, 蘇州, 苏州

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