We woke to more rain. But fortunately it’s not heavy just a constant mist. Our plan for today was more gardens but on the way we walked down Pingjang Lu street right next to one of the canals. It’s a pretty famous street in Suzhou and is lined with restaurants, food stalls and silk shops. When we went it really wasn’t that busy so we got to meander our way down without fighting the foot traffic. Obviously we had to watch out for scooters but we are getting pretty used to that. The street really is beautiful with the canal, bridges and trees with hanging branches sweeping into the water.
The next stop was the couples garden. Along the way we took a turn off Pingjang Lu Street and walked along another canal lined with homes. They all had little planter pots filled with veggies growing along the river.
The couples garden was also pretty quiet and we got to experience most of it without seeing too many people. Although still very nice it wasn’t a patch on yesterday’s garden. While I was in the toilet, Tim was asked if someone could take his photo which he obliged and soon had the baby in his arms and the whole family surrounding him. I missed it all so now we have started a competition to see whose photo gets taken the most.
We then headed for some lunch and our first place although really busy didn’t have any pictures or English and it seemed as if there was a complicated ordering system involved so we ditched that and found another equally as busy but with nice big pictures on its menu for us. Again the food was so delicious and cheap!
We then had to make a pit stop at the free museum we went to yesterday as nature was calling and European toilets have become few and far between. I don’t have much trouble getting myself into the required position but it’s quite a difficult position for western men. Well my western man anyway 😂.
We then walked to the North Temple Pagoda which was once the tallest building south of the Yankee river. It really is quite impressive but even if we could climb it there was absolutely no point as the weather had gotten worse and I think we would have seen about 100 metres.
Suzhou is the home of silk production in China and fortunately the silk museum was right opposite the pagoda. We headed in there to get away from the weather. The most impressive sights in the museum was seeing the old manual looms in action. They were so intricate and needed two people to work them. We also got to see silk worms up close in a basket eating the mulberry leaves. I didn’t purchase any silk items as they weren’t cheap but I bet if I looked up how much I would pay for that quality of silk I probably would have filled my bag with it.
We then were both pretty tired and decided to catch a taxi to our next stop. But unfortunately it took us awhile to find one so we had to walk a few kms down the road. But along the way we managed to a stumble across a fresh produce market. The market itself was so clean and all the produce including the fish and meat was so fresh. Definitely a step up from South America. I also must mention that you can apparently also drive your scooter in the market and shop from the comfort of your own chair.
We soon found our taxi and although it was nice to sit down it wasn’t that relaxing. Everything i said about cars in Shanghai doesn’t apply to Suzhou. Lots of beeping and over and undertaking. But we made it one piece to Pan Gate. Which is situated on one of the original city walls. Within the Pen scenic area is another beautiful pagoda surrounded by stunning waterways and gardens. We again got asked for our photo and we certainly get many looks walking around town. By this stage we were knackered and went back for some early dinner and bed. S
Pingjang Lu Street
Some of the wares on offer.
The couples garden.
Just another side street. So picturesque.
Silkworms eating mulberry leaves.
The two person loom. The guy up top was manually lifting certain strings of silk while she created the pattern. It was all very confusing and to tell you the honest truth I had no idea how they were making the pattern.
The food market.
The pagoda at Pen Gate.
Pen Gate was a little less busy so we managed to get some really great shots.