Posted by: csuschina2011 | June 15, 2011

Sightseeing in Suzhou – June 15th

This morning was our first time waking up in China. After getting ready, we headed down and had our first Chinese breakfast, which consisted of sausages, noodles and fish chips. Following our meal, we collected our bags and boarded a bus to head for the city of Suzhou. On the bus, we met our tour guide, Becky, who led us through the day.

Our first stop was the Humble Administrator’s Garden, the largest garden in Suzhou. Despite the rainy weather, we thoroughly enjoyed wandering throughout the garden, among the lotus blooms. What interested us about the garden was the unique architecture of its buildings, particularly the slanted roofs and circular doorways. After spending the majority of the morning there, we returned to the bus and headed for lunch, where we had a delicious local meal of noodles.

The next stop was the Suzhou #1 Silk Factory, where we learned about the process of making silk. We saw the life cycle of a silkworm, as well as the machines used to extract the silk from the cocoons. We saw the workers weaving the silk, and then walked to the gift shop, where we got to see and purchase the final products of this process. Most of us purchased souvenirs and enjoyed looking at the various scarves and other clothing items.

Later, we headed to the part of Suzhou that gave its name, “the Venice of China,” a.k.a. the Grand Canal. There, we split into two groups to each board a separate boat. We all enjoyed watching the houses pass by as we floated along the canal. Following the boat ride, we were given some free time to explore the surrounding shops and put our haggling skills into practice. (Most of us were successful.) We then thanked and said our goodbyes to Becky, our tour guide.

After a long day of sightseeing and touring, we went to a restaurant, where we were treated to another wonderful dinner. (We’re starting to get used to Chinese food.)

Finally, we boarded the bus for an hour-and-fifteen-minutes journey to our new hotel, the Du Kang Yuan hotel, where we received a warm welcome from the school in the form of an electronic message, saying “Warmly Welcom [sic] the American Crystal Springs Uplands School.” All of us were tired, all of us were longing to go to bed, and all of us were anxiously awaiting the teaching lessons and activities that would proceed the next day.

-Crisula and Ansel

A row of bonsai trees in the Humble Administrator's Garden

A pagoda in the Humble Administrator's Garden


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