Silkworms and Gardens – Daytripping in Suzhou

Rows of trees, exquisite gardens, ancient walls, muddy canals and fascinating silk production – is this the impeccable portrait of traditional China?   Not quite.  However, getting out to Suzhou did present a picturesque diversion from Shanghai.   It is only twenty minutes away by high speed rail… Yeah!  We are here!DSC07321 (1280x853)

Walking or by boat is the best way to travel here.

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The silk industry here has been in business for over 4000 years (so I am told by the swindling tour guides).   It is still going strong today and at the Suzhou Silk Museum you can still see the entire production process from silkworm harvesting to the laborers working hard at the looms and finally to the silk beds and comforters on the showroom floor.  Really cool experience; don’t miss it if you are in Suzhou.   Look at these little bad boys produce! DSC07329 (853x1280)DSC07328 (1280x853)DSC07326 (853x1280)DSC07331 (1280x853)DSC07332 (1280x853)

Stretch it ladies!DSC07340 (1280x853)

The town is fairly well laid out and easy to navigate.   I still need to check out my trusted maps. mmexport1431846382909

The Couples Garden was a small but delightful place with mellow gardens, old bridges and buildings that have been there for a long time.   It is a bit away from the main tourist area.  I like places with less people.  mmexport1431846415641DSC07408 (1280x853)

The contrast between ancient and modern…DSC07407 (1280x853)

Challenging architecture…DSC07359 (1280x853)DSC07357 (1280x853)

Sharp glass on the walls.  It is most certainly one way to keep people out. DSC07412 (1280x853)DSC07413 (1280x853)

I enjoy taking photos of locals just living their lives.  I had a laugh or two with a few of the elderly guys.  They are always the most vocal and interesting.  DSC07385 (1280x853)

Wake up buddy! DSC07424 (1280x853)DSC07371 (1280x853)DSC07426 (1280x853)DSC07354 (1280x853)

The contrast between young and old.  I love the balance in this photograph.  DSC07352 (1280x853)

Watching them make candy right in front of the kids. DSC07374 (1280x853)

Then Aimee had to have one as it reminded her of her childhood.DSC07375 (1280x853)

Strike a pose.  Vogue.. vogue… vogue… DSC07402 (1280x853)

It’s lunchtime!   What the hell is that ball thing? DSC07364 (1280x853)DSC07367 (1280x853)

It seems pretty popular around here.  I wasn’t too impressed with the food in Suzhou; of course I must realize we are coming from Shanghai where there are a ton more options.  Irregardless, these dumplings were delicious.  DSC07368 (1280x853)

Check out this Porsche!  Hello Stuttgart, Germany peeps! DSC07409 (1280x853)

Okay, that was random.   Speaking of random.   Hello Jerry Garcia!   Found this on a storefront window.   It is the Grateful Dead’s 50th Anniversary this year.  I got a special sign from Jerry.  DSC07415 (1280x853)

Cats!  Dogs!  Mannequins! DSC07414 (1280x853)DSC07419 (1280x853)DSC07351 (1280x853)DSC07422 (1280x853)

Anyone want an ice-cream break?  Yep.  They have these over here. DSC07345 (1280x853)

So many places to go.  So many angles of light. DSC07429 (1280x853)

I put the Ross in Boss.  Literally.  DSC07430 (1280x853)

It was a lovely day of exploring and chilling.   For all you guys in Shanghai that have already been to Hangzhou (which I enjoy much more), Suzhou presents good opportunities for chillax adventure.   Until next time, I’ll leave you with this sunset.   Good travels and positive vibrations to all.  mmexport1431846402271mmexport1431999344626

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