The Gardens Of Suzhou
Suzhou Travel Blog› entry 111 of 117 › view all entries
People who lose their sight often say it's the things that you take for granted that you miss seeing the most; blue skies, green vegetation. Well, I think I can relate to that after a trip to Beijing, cos I felt like I almost felt overjoyed to see blue sky, trees and wildlife when we arrived in Suzhou after an overnight train journey. I don't think I got any vitamin D from the sun the whole time I was in Beijing.
Still feeling a little run-down, I was glad to discover the main even of Suzhou is the Chinese-style gardens. I went to visit two: The Humble Administrators, a five-hectare garden with ponds, bridges and bamboo islands; and the Garden Of The Master Of Nets, a much smaller garden with the historical buildings more of a feature.
Nearby was the North Hill Pagoda - which you could climb - complete with a giant stone laughing Buddha and surrounding gardens.
Dragon organised a boat trip for the group that evening on the Waicheng River. It wasn't really much to rave about, but that didn't matter once we had tasted what he had organised for din-dins. We ate at an Islamic Chinese restaurant - a meal that Dragon said would be, "like no meal we had ever eaten before." He wasn't too far off; it was pretty unusual, but also very good. The meat was much better than the usual sub-standard cuts you tend to get in China and the portions made it more of a banquet than a dinner. I left happily bloated, although I won't forget Dragon tricking me that it was customary to take your shoes off before you enter the restaurant, only to turn round and find everyone laughing behind me as I was the only one who fell for it.