Suzhou (苏州) and 太湖

Having read all about Hangzhou’s West Lake (here), we hope your appetite has been whet for more stories of what short road trips one can take while in Shanghai. Literally a stone’s throw away in today’s terms, Suzhou can be counted as one of the places where a day’s journey can yield a treasure trove of experiences that brings you back to the time of the Song/Sung dynasty.

Whereas Hangzhou is a city of tea and home of Longjin (龍井), Suzhou is a city of silk it is said. And when we were in the city it seemed evey corner there were vendors trying to sell you the most wonderful quality fabric… let’s just say we were not interested to buy any…

What some might know of the other side of the city is its famed gardens. Home to quite a few of the largest private classical gardens in China, they were the abode of bureaucrats or merchant princes from a golden age. For as one of the cities of eastern China, it had grown wealthy from being the terminus of the grand canal – the source of booming trade that flowed between north and south China, someday which we want to explore too.

But Suzhou is not just the city. It is also near lake Tai, one that is so large that it continues to supply freshwater to surrounding cities. Let this essay enchant you into perhaps not just road tripping there, but stay longer. Have you been the this half of heaven?

Author: Mel & Suan

Mel works his day job for a living, but lives for antiquities, history and geography at all other times. He enjoys writing and thought sharing and obviously traveling. Suan is a homey person, who like girlie stuff such as cross stitching etc. Enjoys shopping & modeling for Mel. What a match!

16 thoughts on “Suzhou (苏州) and 太湖”

  1. I lived in Puxi 200-2002, the Pudong 2002-2007 working for Agilent Technologies with R&D, Marketing and Mfg of Chemical Analysis electronic analyzers for food safety, environmental safety and also used for Olympic blood testing. My family and I loved our Chin/Asia travel and life!!

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    1. Oh wow, then you’d seen the transformation that took place in the city. So much different now even from 2007 we think! Will you write more about your travels in China? Sure would be interesting to know what a different set of lenses view are of the middle Kingdom!

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      1. Yes, I have some catching up to do. Am working on a retrospective post of our 3+ weeks during across Mongolia. Then have India, Xinjiang, Fujian, Tibet, Vietnam, Cambodia and an endless supply of other trips to catch up on plus, of course, current experiences. Missing Singapore hawker food, chili crab and peranakan food. Tough to find in Colorsdo!

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        1. LOL. Singaporean food in Colorado is rarer than the the precious metals in the deserts!
          Yeah, as you might see from our profile we have been spending the last almost 2 years transferring our writings (offline) into WP friendly pages. So it might take some time yet! Take it slow. We post one past story every week… too much to do in real life!

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          1. Forgot to mention laksa and sago hula malaka. Making me very hungry. Also liven in Europe for 3+ years, so I need to catch up on Italy, Germany, Denmark, etc and African trips.

            I look forward to perusing your archives. The little I have done turned up some lovely posts!

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            1. Well all these foods are rich and should be taken not too regularly!
              Oh there will surely be a lot to write about. We summarized with a handprint map. That helps.
              Well take your time. Some folks post too fast and run out of content. And its more fun to do it slowly too.

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  2. no, never been to China. I Asia : Only at the airport in Seoul, one week in Thailand ( I am trying to find time to blog about my 2014 trip but I don’t have much time), 2 weeks in Vietnam then some days in Cambodia and finally HK..it was one trip in Asia and that is all .. So China… I really don;t know but you live a little closer and it must be easier to go

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