I have to admit that even though Suzhou is just a 30 minute train ride away, I haven’t made it there until recently! A little knackered from the previous long day at Hangzhou’s Xixi Wetland Park and Lonjing tea fields at the West Lake (catch up on my previous blog entry here), my friend – who came all the way from Germany to visit me!! – and I made an early start to catch the fast train from Shanghai Central train station.
Blessed with another day of sunshine, we were surprised about the amount of visitors on a random Tuesday morning. But the Humble Administrator’s Garden, which is not only Suzhou’s undisputable top sight, but also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, just can’t be missed. We reached the garden by taking the metro for one stop and then walking with the help of Apple maps which, unfortunately, was outdated and so we walked in circles for a good half an hour until we finally found the right entrance. And it was worth it! The Humble Administrator’s Garden is stunning and huge with lots of different areas to explore. To our surprise, we discovered a Bonsai garden at the end of our walk and it was interesting to see so many different types of bonsai.
After visiting the garden, we went for a stroll along the canal to see the old town. Okay, to be honest, we stumbled onto this path, planning to take a short cut through this historic canal area to a restaurant, but in the end, we liked this area so much that we even skipped that restaurant to stay in the canal area longer. There are narrow, old alleys you can walk along with the canal to one side dotted with little souvenir and clothes shops, restaurants and milk tea shops on the other side. The only annoying thing are the scooters driving on the pavement and you constantly have to make way for them. Our highlight was a little postcard and crafts shop with a coffee shop on the top floor (Momi Café) as well as a boutique hotel in a hidden courtyard where we enjoyed the sunshine.
Like in Hangzhou, our beautiful day in Suzhou passed so quickly and looking at the photos again now, reminiscing, I would love to visit Suzhou again within the next couple of weeks!
P.S.: Greetings to one of my favourite bloggers whose stories from Suzhou I’ve followed now for about a year – make sure to check out her blog ‘Marta Lives in China’ for lots of fun, interesting articles about Suzhou and China.