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A Day of Cheap N Beautiful Suzhou Gardens

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya, Mate, am I buggered! And by that I don't mean I've had a wonderful day with Boy Wonder! It's now nine in the evening and I've finally sat for an ElcheapO Coffee at KFC. What an excelled day today was and full of beautiful Suzhou Gardens. After saying good morning to Luo Wei I headed along Pingqi Lu which took me northeast once again and soon I was standing on the bridge than crosses Waicheng He (River). Today I decided to see some less expensive gardens so I began my adventure in the East Garden which runs along Waicheng He.

It cost only 10 Yuan to enter and the reason it is so cheap is because it should be free. It's pretty much a simple river side walk but a nice one and very peaceful. One thing I did learn today is that here in Suzhou if there is a free space where there is a rock, grass, a tree or two or all of them together you will be charged to look at it! Combine several of the above and somehow it becomes one of Suzhou's fine Gardens.

After watching a couple getting their wedding photos take I headed to what is known as the 'Couples Garden' which was another 20 Yuan to enter and here I got angry at a couple for the first time this adventure. I was trying to take a photo and had been waiting for a tour group to move on and I was just about to Happy Snap when a couple who I know had seen me walked right to what I was taking a photo of and the put his girl where he wanted her and stepped back to take a picture of her. That was it for me, I walked over, grabbed her hand, led her back to her man, politely asked them to wait and two seconds later I had my photo and left. Sometimes it really just becomes a little too much. It's like many people here really don't understand the word patience or have even been taught how to wait for the person before them. I then decided to sit and watch how the tour groups interact with each other with the above in mind. It really is an amazing thing to observe. They just push and shove and race here and there in front of each other not worrying if someone is where they want to be, that's where they want to be or that's what they want to photograph so they just move on in and strangely it's just accepted. It really is like....it's so hard for me to comprehend the different ways we think sometimes. It really is like there is no thought involved, its part of life, as always been that way so it's like there isn't an issue. It's like maybe there would be an issue if someone was to wait for another to finish their photo instead of just racing in. Maybe that would be strange behaviour and upset the noodle cart and cause confusion. Well I know where my noodle cart stands and I don't want it full of people while I'm trying to take a photo of it! After the beautiful 'Couples Garden' I wound my way through the back streets and stopped for some noodles at a little Japanesey looking Noodle Bar. I then made m y way over to Lindun Lu and Guanqian Jie which to make things easier I renamed The Taoist KFC Square. All the little streets in this area that surround the Taoist Temple are filled with little stores and stalls. It's just like a big market and reminded me of the Taoist Temple in Hefei city. Running through the actual Mall can be found all the brand name stores that sell clothes, jewellery and other expensive everyday items.

Inthemiddle of all this hustle and bustle the Taoist 'Temple of Mystery' can be found (also known as Xuanmieu Guan). To enter Sanqing Dian (the main temple hall) it will cost 10 Yuan but the same ticket gets you into all the other little halls that can be found scattered around the little market streets. For some reason they continue to hole punch your ticket at each little Hall. For the life of me I can't understand why, maybe they count the little paper circles at the end of the day. I love Taoist Temples, its open season with your camera and each time I've asked if it's ok to take photos they look at me and giggle and give me a look like I'm an idiot. This temple was first constructed during the Jin Dynasty (AD 936 - 947). I spotted a KFC near by and headed across for an ElcheapO Coffee and spent some time sitting on its open air balcony watching people heading to and fro loaded with plastic bags full of new goodies. It's been awhile since I've actually sat to watch people in a mall. All were well dressed and happily buying all things new and wonderful.

After leaving Taoist KFC Square I headed along a little canal and zig zagged my way around for awhile and soon came across the Twin Pagodas. Though the grounds are small they really are so simple and beautiful. There is a small tea house and surrounding the gardens are many rock carvings and engravings. I sat watching an elderly man doing Tai Chi and walked around the two pagodas staring up at them as they reached for the blue skies above.

I then joined the crowds on the streets and made my way towards the Blue Wave Pavilion (Cangland Ting) which is found down near the corner of Renming Lu and Zhuhui/Xiish Lu and across the road there is an old Confucious Temple. To enter the Blue Wave Pavilion you have to head down a little street that has a pond bull of lilies. The entrance fee is 20 Yuan and it really is a nice place to spend a few hours. The buildings and the gardens are wonderfully set up and full of bamboo and rocks. It was first built in the 11th Centaury by a prince and then handed to a poet. After the gardens I headed outside the walls and across Waicheng He (river) and walked towards the North West corner where Ruiguang Ta (temple) and the Wumen Bridge are found. The temple was closed so I crossed the river to grab some shots of the walls and slowly made my way along Changxu Lu which ran along the river. The day slowly changed into night and all the expensive coffee shops began to open. Thunder could be hear rumbling in the distance and as I walked lightening began to fill the western skies. How beautiful it was! When I reached the Urban Planning Exhibition Hall I crossed a beautiful stone bridge and re-entered the city through the cities West Gate. I made my way through the back streets and stopped for Clay Pot Noodles and a beer with two guys who were trying their hardest to get me totally hammered on cheap rice wine. When I say cheap try drinking rice wine that cost 4 Yuan for a big bottle. That's like 50 Aussie Cents. BLAHHHHH! Soon I was back on Renmin Lu and I luckily found a 'Watson's' which is like Amcal in Australia which is a chemist cross everything else. Here I found some razors and by now Monkey Boy really does need a shave! So now I sit in KFC with my ElcheapO coffee and a small popcorn chicken. Amigo's gone to KTV with her friends and I'll have to happily read a book and watch all the beautiful girls walk past the Revlon counters out side the window. Soon I'll head out in search of a Net Bar. Strangely it seems that there are more gardens and canals than Net Bars here in Suzhou. It really is strange indeed! If you've ever been to China then you'd know that each city seems to have an entire Net Bar for every single person! So many of them there are. But here it seems there is only several Net Bars for the entire city. Oh how tough is life on the road hey. You see the difficulties I have to put up with here in China! No wonder so many Foreign Teachers go into worried fits and head home early! Beers N Noodles toya....shane _________________________ The soundtrack to this entry was The Dandy Warholes The album was the very 80ish 'The Monkey House'

Suzhou - Twin Pagodas

Suzhou - Twin Pagodas


Suzhou - Twin Pagodas 1

Suzhou - Twin Pagodas 1


Suzhou - Twin Pagodas 2

Suzhou - Twin Pagodas 2


Suzhou - Twin Pagodas 3

Suzhou - Twin Pagodas 3


Suzhou - Twin Pagodas 4

Suzhou - Twin Pagodas 4


Suzhou - Twin Pagodas 5

Suzhou - Twin Pagodas 5


Suzhou - Twin Pagodas 6

Suzhou - Twin Pagodas 6


Suzhou - Twin Pagodas 7

Suzhou - Twin Pagodas 7


Suzhou - Twin Pagodas 8

Suzhou - Twin Pagodas 8


Suzhou - Taoist Temple of Mystery

Suzhou - Taoist Temple of Mystery


Suzhou - Taoist Temple of Mystery 1

Suzhou - Taoist Temple of Mystery 1


Suzhou - Taoist Temple of Mystery 2

Suzhou - Taoist Temple of Mystery 2


Suzhou - Taoist Temple of Mystery 3

Suzhou - Taoist Temple of Mystery 3


Suzhou - Taoist Temple of Mystery 4

Suzhou - Taoist Temple of Mystery 4


Suzhou - Taoist Temple of Mystery 5

Suzhou - Taoist Temple of Mystery 5


Suzhou - Taoist Temple of Mystery 6

Suzhou - Taoist Temple of Mystery 6


Suzhou - Taoist Temple of Mystery 7

Suzhou - Taoist Temple of Mystery 7


Suzhou - Taoist Temple of Mystery 8

Suzhou - Taoist Temple of Mystery 8


Suzhou - East & Lovers Gardens

Suzhou - East & Lovers Gardens


Suzhou - East & Lovers Gardens 1

Suzhou - East & Lovers Gardens 1


Suzhou - East & Lovers Gardens 2

Suzhou - East & Lovers Gardens 2


Suzhou - East & Lovers Gardens 3

Suzhou - East & Lovers Gardens 3


Suzhou - East & Lovers Gardens 4

Suzhou - East & Lovers Gardens 4


Suzhou - East & Lovers Gardens 5

Suzhou - East & Lovers Gardens 5


Suzhou - East & Lovers Gardens 6

Suzhou - East & Lovers Gardens 6


Suzhou - East & Lovers Gardens 7

Suzhou - East & Lovers Gardens 7


Suzhou - East & Lovers Gardens 8

Suzhou - East & Lovers Gardens 8


Suzhou - East & Lovers Gardens 9

Suzhou - East & Lovers Gardens 9


Suzhou - East & Lovers Gardens 10

Suzhou - East & Lovers Gardens 10


Suzhou - East & Lovers Gardens 11

Suzhou - East & Lovers Gardens 11


Suzhou - City Walk

Suzhou - City Walk


Suzhou - City Walk 1

Suzhou - City Walk 1


Suzhou - City Walk 2

Suzhou - City Walk 2


Suzhou - City Walk 3

Suzhou - City Walk 3


Suzhou - City Walk 4

Suzhou - City Walk 4


Suzhou - City Walk 5

Suzhou - City Walk 5


Suzhou - City Walk 6

Suzhou - City Walk 6


Suzhou - City Walk 7

Suzhou - City Walk 7


Suzhou - City Walk 8

Suzhou - City Walk 8


Suzhou - City Walk 9

Suzhou - City Walk 9


Suzhou - City Walk 10

Suzhou - City Walk 10


Suzhou - City Walk 11

Suzhou - City Walk 11


Suzhou - City Walk 12

Suzhou - City Walk 12


Suzhou - City Walk 13

Suzhou - City Walk 13


Suzhou - City Walk 14

Suzhou - City Walk 14


Suzhou - Blue Wave Pavilion 2

Suzhou - Blue Wave Pavilion 2


Suzhou - Blue Wave Pavilion

Suzhou - Blue Wave Pavilion


Suzhou - Blue Wave Pavilion 1

Suzhou - Blue Wave Pavilion 1


Suzhou - Blue Wave Pavilion 3

Suzhou - Blue Wave Pavilion 3


Suzhou - Blue Wave Pavilion 4

Suzhou - Blue Wave Pavilion 4


Suzhou - Blue Wave Pavilion 5

Suzhou - Blue Wave Pavilion 5


Suzhou - Blue Wave Pavilion 6

Suzhou - Blue Wave Pavilion 6

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

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