To me the real family trip began when we left Shanghai. Our first stop was in Suzhou – only 40 minutes away by speed train, but definitely very different from Shanghai. When you travel with a guide you become about 3 times as effective, so even the first day we went several places. Our first stop after a light breakfast was the Tiger Hill Pagoda, which is one of the oldest pagodas in the world. You can see it in the background on the picture on top of this blog entry. The view from the top of the hill was pretty nice and you could see several other old chinese buildings on the way up there as well. Our guide, Mai, was very energetic and she made us take a lot of pictures and do a lot of things Chinese people visiting this place would do – like touching lucky statues or walk on the right tiles. Our next stop was a silk factory. Suzhou is the capitol in Anhui which might be the province in China that produces the best silk – at least according to the people living there. We got to see the entire process of making silk and even a silk fashion show – in the end we got to buy various products. I picked a chinese style silk dress as I have considered getting one and I knew it would be a real silk one when I got it at the factory. Quite interesting to see how the silk is made from cocoon threads etc ^^ I knew where silk came from on some level – but seeing it happen was something else.
The Canale Boat took us to the Lingering Gardens, which is really a huge system of smaller gardens. It was rally impressive and we got to see a lot of old buildings withing the gardens even. The Chinese gardens also have really elaborate stone hills and the roads curve arround nature to be in harmony with it. The Garden was definitely one of the most beutifull ones I’ve seen.
All of these sights we experienced in just one day -s o I have decided to divide by day rather than by city for the entries about my family trip in China – more to come soon ^^