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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

China Trip- Day 3: Suzhou

We started another new journey in the morning to Suzhou. While walking down the park, we saw this old man writing calligraphy in the park with a giant brush. At first glance we were thinking: "Oh my God! How is he going to clean up the ink???". Upon closer inspection, we realize that it was just water, but still, nice!

We took a train at the local subway to Hangzhou Railway Station to take the express train to Suzhou. Ticket from Hangzhou to Suzhou cost RMB 117.50 per trip/person, around 1 and a half hour journey.

We took a taxi as usual from the train station to our hotel as we were not familiar with the area. In Suzhou, we stayed in Holiday Inn which is the nearest hotel to shopping area. One night is around RMB 495 which is more expensive than a lot of hotels, but we chose Holiday Inn because the location was really convenient. 
We didn't manage to get a photo during day time as most of the time we were sight-seeing.

We booked the superior room and it is quite spacious and clean. One disadvantage is that our room was facing the sun during the afternoon, which made the whole room so hot. We have no choice but to ask the hotel staff to check whether the air conditioning was malfunctioning. In the end they determined that it wasn't and they gave us an additional fan for use. Nevertheless, their service was quite fast and efficient.

After checking in and settling down our luggage in the hotel, we took a public bus near the hotel to one of their main attractions: The Humble Administrator's Garden (Bus no. 301 if I remember correctly. One of the main advantage of staying in a reputable hotel is that you can ask their concierge almost any question. So don't be afraid to ask for directions or where might be the best food around, we were able to eat some great food in Bandung thanks to this service.). The Suzhou map is available in the tourist information centre for free which I got it near The Humble Administrator's Garden.

The Humble Administration's Garden is one of UNESCO's World Herritage Site, also the largest garden in Suzhou. Another famous garden called Lion Grove Garden is just about the same road as Humble Administration's Garden, a lot of people were there when we passed by. Basically, if you visited this place, other gardens in Suzhou will much or less be the same. So, we choose to come here because it is the largest and it did took us half a day to cover the whole place.

Ticket price is RMB 70/person.

The Humble Administration's Garden's area is about 51,950 square meters wide, it was built around the year 1509. The garden is separated into three sections: Central, East and West. It contains 43 attractions in the gardens which is listed in the back of the tickets with a guide map.

There is a small post office within the garden for you to purchase a postcard and send it back to your country. We both wrote and sent them at the same time but my postcard had never reach my house, Goodbye my cute lil' postcard! :(

Walking in the gardens, you can't expect to see something extraordinary and exciting. We were there to just simply relax. Enjoy the scenery, take some pictures, understand the culture in Suzhou. Of course, you'd expect many tourists around as well, but in the end it's really up to you how you want to spend your time in the gardens.

This is the alley when you exit from the garden. You will have to pass by all the stores before you reach the way out.

This stall selling peanut candies caught my attention at the road side. It is a handmade peanut candy which is somewhat thinner than our normal peanut candy in Malaysia, but it tastes much better!

The weather there was hot and humid, so we ran into the only beverage stall we saw in the area. Their decorations for the stall is simple yet attractive. 

We ordered one of their signature drinks-limeade. It is really refreshing and good.

We accidentally popped into this stall and I just couldn't resist when I saw the big banner which wrote: "smelly tauhu". I simply love smelly tauhu! Without having any second thoughts, I asked BF to buy some for me. He just couldn't stand the smell, especially when I have to eat beside him. XD

The lovely smelly tauhu, tastes so good! I was even approached by a stranger when I was eating while walking down the street; he stopped me to ask where I bought it. See how good is the smell!

 The street near our hotel at night was quite happening in the area.

By the time we left the gardens and back to our hotel, it was already evening and we were very exhausted by walking all day. So we decided to rest and had a simple dinner nearby the hotel.

Again, we like Holiday Inn because of its' location, location, location. There were shopping malls nearby and many restaurants. You could be adventurous if you want, but you can also always find the ever so familiar big yellow M and the ol' uncle selling some fried chicken nearby.

See also:
China- Hangzhou Trip Day 1
China- Hangzhou Trip Day 2 Peak Flown From Altar and Linyin Temple
China-Hangzhou Trip Day 3 Looking for Food

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