Suzhou Part 3: Touristy Stuff.

23 Mar

After a failed attempt at getting drunk in Suzhou, we got up the next day and faced a similar problem when we tried to find a place that served a Western breakfast. Not going to bore you again with our disorganisation but we ended up in a really cute café slash bookshop with sunny outdoor seating, massive breakfasts and really good fresh juices.

After fuelling up we headed to the Suzhou Museum which I highly recommend. The collection ranges from ancient jade pieces, ceramics and textiles to contemporary art but the whole thing is small enough not to be too overwhelming. There’s good English captions and the museum building is pretty cool as well.

Obligatory Mao painting... with small child and teddy.

One of the things that Suzhou is famous for is its classical gardens. We went to The Humble Administrator’s Garden (Zhuōzhèng Yuán, 拙政园) that’s just a couple of minutes away from the Suzhou Museum. It’s one of the most famous gardens in China and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Picture wooden temples, ponds, footbridges connecting little isles, lots of greenery… and then add half of China that’s on holiday.

The pictures were taken in less crowded spots in a vain attempt to capture some zen tranquility, unfortunately I didn’t take pictures of the paths where there were human traffic jams. Generally the pace was stop-and-go, every bench and rock had someone sitting on it, it was unbelievable. We walked (shuffled) around for a little bit but then decided that it wasn’t worth it. Tranquility would not be achieved that day.

(Also: It was definitely not worth the 80RMB entrance fee (£8, €9.5) which I find pretty steep for seeing a garden, even without the hordes.)

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2 Responses to “Suzhou Part 3: Touristy Stuff.”

  1. JM Vakily March 24, 2012 at 5:00 am #

    Great to read your adventures in ZENsual gardens filled with hords of tourists! Well, perhaps you should plan a trip to the Gobi desert! It seems to be a much less crowded place, and you do not need the Lonely Planet for the bar crawl. There is no bar (though there might eventually be some crawling if you happen to forget to bring along a healthy supply of water bottles!). Cheers, P.

    • miravakily March 24, 2012 at 1:00 pm #

      I’d like to go to the Gobi dessert, and Mongolia in general! I could make Yak White Russians!

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