Wednesday, February 07, 2007


So after spending three and a half days in Suzhou I'm moving on to Nanjing. Thought I'd take advantage of the hostels "basically free" internet to keep everyone updated.

I've really enjoyed my time in Suzhou. I think the great weather has helped- been able to walk around in T-Shirt Sleaves for the first time in ages and wish I'd brought shorts instead of thermal bottoms - but also the town is so green and clean that it has a real european feeling. Add to that the fact that it's a water town and has some beatufiul canals and scenary and you'll start to appreciate why I like the place.

Whilst I've been here I've done some pretty interesting things. Suzhou is famous for it's fine example of Chinese gardens. So I've taken in both "The Master of the Nets Garden" and "The Humble Administrators' Garden". Whislt there are a few others in the city, they are all quite similar so I think 2 is quite enough. I also went and walked around the Pan Ling Scenic Area and climbed the huge pagoda that they have there which gives a fine view of the city. The scenic area was very beautiful and was very interesting to walk around and look at.

The nights have been quite lonely as I've been the only westerner staying in my hostel really but the days have gone quickly as there is a lot to do. Another day I went to Tiger Hill which is a huge garden reserve with a pagoda at it's centre. I was impressed by the park but was annoyed as you couldn't go up the pagoda which would have given a great view of the city. I couldn't see the point of the park having this famous pagoda if you couldn't go up the bloody thing.

Yesterday I went to ZhaoZhang - about 1 hour on the bus - which is billed as "China's No.1 Old Water City". I managed to meet a nice chinese couple on the bus who directed me on how to walk to the old town from the bus stop and then didn't mind me walking with them around the place. It was about six pound to get in and none of us werer eally sure if it was worth it. It was great fun walking around the old town, exploring the old passages and walkways whilst taking in some refreshing clean air, but it was annoying that the whole place has been turned into shops and bars for Chinese Tourists. I think the scenary in Suzhou was equally as beautiful in places (and free to see) and wish that I had gone to Tong Li instead which is supposed to be a less touristy version of this place. But still, it was a enjoyable day and I enjoyed meeting some chinese people who were not trying to con me and came away with two new friends.;

So i'm going to catch the bus at about 3pm but being in China I need to turn up quite a bit early and battle for a ticket- wish me luck!

Next stop: Nanjing

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