Travel Journal

Hangzhou and Suzhou (China)

(Thursday 13 December 2007) by Lynda
"In heaven there is paradise, on earth Suzhou and Hangzhou", so runs one of
View of West Lake
View of West Lake
China's oldest tourist blurbs. So reason for me to check it out. There are 36 lakes in China called West Lake but the one in Hangzhou is the most famous. Indeed, this West Lake is the one from which the others take their name. First thing that really hit me was the temperature in Southern China, a lot colder than I expected so I've invested in gloves and long johns to keep me warm and so far it works. The walk around the lake was nice but I think it will be a lot nicer when the weather is better and the views are more clear. But still a great place to visit.

Second stop was Suzhou, it's called the Venice of the East and Marco Polo did visit Suzhou a long time ago and he used the adjectives "great and noble". Suzhou is a great place to walk around along the small canals and cross the little bridges and visit the famous gardens. You can not compare a chinese garden with an English
Humble administrator's garden Suzhou
Humble administrator's garden Suzhou
or Dutch garden; the Chinese garden is full of pavilions, rocks, pools and walkway's. Only a very small part of the gardens is planted with very old trees and most of them are bonsai trees. It's great to walk around in the gardens because at every corner you have to decide where to go next, left - right - up or down, it's like playing hide and seek and around every corner you enter another "garden-chamber" with a different style or theme. Before I left a garden I always checked in the map at the entrance if I did not miss a part of the garden, some of the "garden-chambers" are quite hard to find but that's the fun of visiting the gardens. I really enjoyed spending time in the gardens and the names are really charming: garden of the master of the nets, the humble administrator's garden, the couple's garden and the garden for lingering in. And at night all the canals are lit and gives the whole place a mysterious atmosphere, I loved it!

And maybe the best part of Suzhou: I received a package from Holland filled with all kinds of dutch treats, poste restante even works in China!!! Thanks little sister!!!!!

I'm back in Shanghai at the moment and I will travel further south-west towards Hong Kong with one or two small stops on the way. Joost will fly to Hong Kong just before Christmas so I can't wait for Christmas!!!!!!

  • Countdown by Joost
    • ..... by Lynda
  • Wie verre reizen maakt... by Guus van Waveren
    • fijne kerst by Lynda
  • Hele fijne dagen........! by Ron C.
    • Kerst in Gouda by Lynda

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