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Beautiful Canals N a Garden to Linger In

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya, After rising around mid morning I decided it was time for a slow day of doing not much at all! I decided to stay one more day here in Suzhou and head to Zhouzhuang tomorrow. Zhouzhuang is supposed to be a very VERY beautiful water town that was built over nine hundred years ago. Only way to find out is to simply GO! Today I headed out of the walls and ventured North West. After coffee I caught Bus No: 1 on Jingde Lu which took me all the way to Huqin Shan. After finding out that it too has a 'Peak Period Entrance Fee' I decided they could shove the three thousand swords that He Lu was buried with right up their peak period butts! Instead I walked around the village and its little canals and then walked all the way back to Liuyuan Lu where Xiyuan Si (West Garden Temple) could be found. The ticket booth is found down Fengqiao Lu which runs along the canal. The entrance fee was 25 Yuan and the gardens were very pleasant. Built during the Ming Dynasty (AD 1368 - 1644) and then donated to the Buddhist community. The buildings we see today were actually built during the 19th Centaury after the temple was destroyed. Damn Red Guards!

This temple is the only one in Jiangsu Province that holds five hundred original Arhats that were created during the Ming Dynasty. The temple itself was very spacious and the grounds rather simple and plain yet beautiful all the same. There is a small lake with a beautiful little pagoda in the middle. The lake is supposed to be home to two giant ancient turtles that surprise people a few times a year when they are spotted above the water. Do the turtles actually exist? I have no idea but it's a wonderful story. On my visit I only got to see their bronze statues named after them. Their names are Fang Fang and Yang Yang. HHHhhhhmmm, takes me back to my little Tianyang town where my best friends were Yang Yang and Mandy Fang. I'll have to tell Yang Yang about them the next time we speak. We caught up a week or so ago for her birthday. She's much more beautiful than the turtle...ha ha ha! After the temple I headed down Liuyuan Lu and decided to visit a garden known as 'The Garden for Lingering In' (or Lin Yuan). The entrance fee was 40 Yuan and it was an exceptionally beautiful place to spend the afternoon. The gardens were constructed during the Ming Dynasty (AD 1368 to 1644) and all you see is from the original construction. No fires or crazy Red Guards!

There are many sections to visit and all seem to have their own beautiful buildings and themes. The Bonsai section was awesome but not as beautiful as the one in Yangzhou. Each window has a stunning view and there are several small pagodas in which beautiful girls can be found dressed in traditional silks playing traditional Chinese instruments. Unlike some of the other gardens, these musical performances are part of your entrance fee and there is no extra charge. Each performance lasts for half and hour and as soon as you hold up your camera they will give you a dreamy look that will make your knees go weak. BEEEAAAUUUTIFUL! After the gardens I made my way back towards the city and found a little back alley to wonder down in search of some food. There seemed to be a heap of renovating going on all around me as I walked. Old was being replaced by new but happily not modern new. Maybe a new 'Ancient Town' will be found here in a year or so. I found some awesome noodles and then headed across Changxu Lu and found an International Youth Hostel which I dropped into to find out some prices. They wanted 160 Yuan for a standard room. I tried to barging with the girl but she wouldn't budge. I then told her where I was staying and that I was paying 80 Yuan and what came with the room. She dropped the price to 120 Yuan but we both gave a giggle and I decided that hostels really weren't a good option after travelling China for so long. We sat and chatted for a short time and I then headed back out into the world. I then found out why the hostel can charge such horrid prices. It was located in a very touristy part of town. In fact it was a part that was neither mentioned on my LP nor marked on my Chinese map. How strange! It really was a beautiful place to walk around and full of bars and all things touristy. Pretty much like a small version of West Street in Yangshuo. The thing that made it so beautiful was the canals that ran throughout. So where am I now? Once again I have no idea. As I was 'over the river' I decided it would be best if I stayed there and had an adventure around the area. It's not on my map and I'm surrounded by high rises and all things very city. I found a KFC and dropped in for a coffee and then realised that I had not been taking care to remember my foot steps but I'm pretty sure that when I leave KFC and turn right and then left I should hit the river. So which way will I go now? I'm going to go the opposite way and will go left and then right! Beers N Noodles toya....shane _________________________ The soundtrack to this entry was a Dandy Warholes mixed CD. Can't seem to get enough of the Dandy's lately!

Suzhou - Xiyuan Si

Suzhou - Xiyuan Si


Suzhou - Xiyuan Si 1

Suzhou - Xiyuan Si 1


Suzhou - Xiyuan Si 2

Suzhou - Xiyuan Si 2


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Suzhou - Xiyuan Si 3


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Suzhou - Xiyuan Si 4


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Suzhou - Xiyuan Si 6

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Suzhou - Xiyuan Si 7

Suzhou - Xiyuan Si 7


Suzhou - Xiyuan Si 8

Suzhou - Xiyuan Si 8


Suzhou - The Garden for Lingering In

Suzhou - The Garden for Lingering In


Suzhou - The Garden for Lingering In 1

Suzhou - The Garden for Lingering In 1


Suzhou - The Garden for Lingering In 2

Suzhou - The Garden for Lingering In 2


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Suzhou - The Garden for Lingering In 3


Suzhou - The Garden for Lingering In 4

Suzhou - The Garden for Lingering In 4


Suzhou - The Garden for Lingering In 5

Suzhou - The Garden for Lingering In 5


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Suzhou - The Garden for Lingering In 6


Suzhou - The Garden for Lingering In 7

Suzhou - The Garden for Lingering In 7


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Suzhou - The Garden for Lingering In 8


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Suzhou - The Garden for Lingering In 9


Suzhou - The Garden for Lingering In 10

Suzhou - The Garden for Lingering In 10


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Suzhou - The Garden for Lingering In 11


Suzhou - City Walk

Suzhou - City Walk


Suzhou - City Walk 1

Suzhou - City Walk 1


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Suzhou - City Walk 2


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Suzhou - City Walk 3


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Suzhou - City Walk 4


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Suzhou - City Walk 5


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Suzhou - City Walk 6


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Suzhou - City Walk 7


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Suzhou - City Walk 8


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Suzhou - City Walk 9


Suzhou - City Walk 10

Suzhou - City Walk 10


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Suzhou - City Walk 11


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Suzhou - City Walk 12


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Suzhou - City Walk 13


Suzhou - City Walk 14

Suzhou - City Walk 14

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

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