Charlie's China Tour—One Day Suzhou Tour from Shanghai

2019-07-19China travel Guide

Awoke at 6:30 AM following a good night of sleep. Shaved and showered, breakfast, and the usual. At 9:30 AM, Blake was waiting for us and we're off and running to Suzhou. Suzhou is 100 km (62 miles) from Shanghai. Tall high rise buildings everywhere in Shanghai. Heavy traffic. Suzhou is the 'City of Gardens'. We will be visiting the 'Humble Administrator's Garden". Blake considers Suzhou a 'small city'. Shanghai is the 'Harbor City'. The Humble Administrators Garden is the largest privately owned garden in China. The gardens didn't disappoint. The gardens just went on and on. The ponds are just filled with beautiful very large leaved lotus flowers standing quite tall. By the way, it isn't raining in Suzhou.... nor in Shanghai. Yes, the 'sun gods' are smiling on us. When I was in Suzhou years ago it was raining. The gardens... ponds, trees, buildings, and furniture, all beautiful designed and so tastefully put together. Following our visit to the gardens, we were treated to a rickshaw ride. Through the narrow streets and alleys we went. Very enjoyable.

Humble Administrator's Garden in Suzhou 

Blake is drinking lemon tea. He brought us some water. Incidentally all of the hotels had complimentary bottled water for us. Also most of our local guides everywhere provided us with bottled water as all over China, tap water is not used for drinking. Our driver is utilizing the GPS on his phone. The first use of GPS by any of our drivers in any city.

Lotus leaves in Humble Administrator's Garden

Today's lunch was exceptional. It included some very tasty soup. The restaurant also featured modern Chinese decor. Following lunch we visited 'The Number 1 Silk Factory'. No purchases. For me, that would be in the category of 'Valerie's department'. During the tour of the factory, we saw silk worms, Mulberry bushes and just how silk strands become spools of silk. Following this visit we're off to the beautiful 'Pan Gate' area which includes the 'old city wall', pagodas, and small bridges. We are now off to the 'Tiger Hill Scenic Area', the most famous site in Suzhou. The site features the Tiger Hill Pagoda or the 'The Leaning Tower of China'. This tower was built long before the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Yes, this area is also beautiful, peaceful, and inspirational. 

Pan Gate Scenic Area in Suzhou

We are endlessly driving through Suzhou. We're now on our way back to Shanghai. We just passed the site of an automobile accident. A semi truck was laying on its side. Our local guide Blake does not have his driver’s license. It's now 5:10 PM. The traffic is unbelievable as we get closer to Shanghai. Because of this heavy traffic we will not return to our hotel at this time but rather will drive straight to the restaurant. Today the sky was clear blue... no rain… but it was hot and humid.  We finally arrived at our restaurant at 6:30 PM. A quick but tasty meal as we had to hurry a bit as Jay and I have tickets for a cultural show at the Lyceum Theater somewhere in Shanghai. Looking forward to the variety show. Built in 1930, this classic European style three-floor theater is now a famous city landmark. The variety show was wonderful. So many talented performers.

The driver picked us up following the show and back to our hotel we went. Tomorrow we return home so I did some initial packing tonight. To bed at 11:30 PM.

To be continued...

--by Charlie Kath (customer of Visit Our China)