One of Jay’s friends told him about all the wonderful gardens in Suzhou, about 30 minutes outside Shanghai. We had planned the trip for Jay, Kaelyn and myself to go, but unfortunately Kaelyn got called to job last minute.
The day started early, out the door at 7:30am to catch the subway for our train that left at 9:15am. We had to take 3 metro lines to reach the Shanghai Hongqiao station (this is the one we departed to Beijing from). We arrived and got our tickets with 30 minutes to spare, so we decided on grabbing some breakfast. Mmm egg mcmuffin (serious, I love them).
We boarded the plan and buy 9:45 we arrived at the train station. Suzhou is a ‘smaller’ city of 10million, but they still have 2 high speed train stations and the one we arrived at was massive. A key feature of the city is it’s canal system running through the city and the train station boarders it so when you walk out, you have this amazing view. Jay and I decided to walk vs taking a taxi and so our first trek took us to this wonderful bridge to cross to get into the inner city.
In the distance I noticed an interesting building and we decided to head towards it vs walk along the canal. To our surprise, it was a Buddhist temple. What an amazing sight this was to see. So calm and relaxing, monks walking around. I want to go back just to spend hours enjoying the view and calmness.
When we finished at the gardens, we decided to head towards downtown. Jay with his adenterous spirit found a small but busy place selling various noddle soups that I’d actually been craving. I did ask for ‘not too spicy’ and it made for a great lunch. Noodles, some corned beef, vegetables in a peanut type broth. It cost just 10RMB ($1.90CAD) for my whole bowl. WOW.
After re-energizing ourselves with lunch, we headed back out. On our way, Jay said ‘Hey you want to go this way’, pointing towards an ally way and I immediately said NO. He replied ‘Ok. I just normally do that so I learn more about the people’ and I realized how cold my response was and said ‘Sure, lets do it’. It turned out to be a great sidetrack. Notice on the 1 picture all the crazy wires going every which direction.
Out of the blue, we rounded the corner and found the Suzhou Pishi Street Huaniao Arts and Crafts Market – wow what a find. We entered at the animal section, people selling mostly fish and turtles for their ponds. That changed into an insect section (listen for it in the video) and then into plants. It was so incredible.
We kept walking toward downtown and found another street/food market – look at the size of that seafood.
And ended at the Xuanmiao Taoist Temple.
We then walked back, stopping at the canal for some more pictures and then back to the train station for our 4:45pm ride. In all we walked over 16km that day. I’m going to try and get the girls out to visit this before we leave.
We met up with Kaelyn who was back and enjoyed pizza and movie night.
Kaatje was due back around midnight from her trip.
I want to be you, Mark. This is my kind of high adventure.