June 17, 2010 at 2:08 am | Posted in China | Leave a comment

Suzhou is referred to as the ‘venice of the east’ with its famous canals and exquisite gardens. Suzhou was a relaxing city to walk around. we stayed right near a big shopping area with loads of shops and restaurants. all of the eating options were a big novelty for us and we really took advantage. i had a burger at TGI fridays (which is really embarrassing), but i have to admit, it tasted amazing at the time. we also ate a lot of chinese food, including hotpots that were tasty. hudson loved them. there was no english anywhere, but the waitstaff had fun trying to help us order and laughed when hudson ate a whole head of lettuce raw instead of cooking it first. they also freaked out when i tried to eat my beef too rare.

pretty shopping lanes, the famous gardens and small canals were just a short walk from where we stayed.

spending the day walking and relaxing by the canals is what makes suzhou a big tourist attraction. the canals are lovely; they’re flanked by little chinese shops and tiny eateries.

suzhou is best known for the gardens. since the entrance fees are high, we just went to a few. a free one, below, is large and well-mapped out with areas for group dancing (seriously) and yoga.

this cozy garden is based around a pond. there were a few amateur artists around painting.

we spent a few afternoons just relaxing in the suzhou gardens, they were so pretty that even my grandma would be jealous (hudson’s grandma, although her garden is very pretty).

this garden area also contained a few small buildings that had cool windows and wise chinese sayings. very calming.

kelly’s theory is that all the dogs in china look asian – i just thought this one was ugly

Suzhou is also surrounded by beautiful little canal towns. We had a trip to Luzhi and spent the day enjoying the canals and alleyways. the alleys and canals are intricate and fun to get lost in. there were also no cheesy boatrides like in venice, which was nice.

i thought suzhou was a great city to spend several days. it was nice to see a different side of china. it was also nice to walk from a secluded, ancient garden to a row of posh little dress shops all in the same afternoon. in general, china isn’t religious at all. however, it seemed that many people went to the gardens to meditate or just be calm and collect their thoughts – it was a nice alternative to other parts of asia that are highly religious.

a chinese tour bus – definitely up there with the quality of the indian buses


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