Read my first post on the recent trip to Suzhou, China
here (sorry I have disabled the link due to personal reasons).
Just in case you want to know how I travelled to Suzhou, I flew with AirAsia X from LCCT, Selangor, to the Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport (HXIA).
Whole journey took some dreaded 4.5 to 5 hours. By the time I arrived at HZ, it was close to 2pm. No time zone difference though, therefore worry not!
There are two alternatives of getting to Suzhou from Hangzhou:
First one is to take a bus from HXIA to the Hangzhou Railway Station (40 mins), which costs 40 RMB or RM20. Don’t take a cab – it costs heaps I heard!
From there you can catch a train to Suzhou, of which journey is 1.5 hours.
I opted for the second method by taking a van from HXIA to Suzhou directly. This may take you less effort but you will have to put up with the draggy 4-hour journey and cramped space in the van.
The van dropped us passengers in front of the Sanyuan Hotel in SZ, which is close to the location of Laurence, friend #1 whom I wanted to visit.
Upon arriving, I remember seeing Hoe, friend #2 of mine excitedly tumbling out of the hotel towards my van – like a rabbit – to welcome me. LOL.
We were supposed to travel to SZ together but somehow she got a job in Shanghai. Therefore we had to meet up in SZ.
By the time I arrived in SZ, it was already close to 7pm and Hoe suggested that I had my dinner first (she already had hers while trying to kill the 2.5 hours waiting for my arrival – poor her!) before meeting up friend #1 whom she has yet to be introduced to.
Went to a small (most restaurants I saw were tiny anyway) but cosy Muslim restaurant to have this:
A plateful of hand-pulled noodles with fried tomato plus egg, and a bowl of soup.
And the noodles were made on the spot lor WTH. They kept pulling and kneading the dough until noodles slowly formed.
That must be the most amazing dish to gulp down after having walked some distance in some night temperature below 4 degrees Celsius.
In fact weather was freaking killing the second I stepped out of the van and Hoe was asking if I felt cold.
I went like, “No leh!” in a super ignorant manner, after which I started experiencing numbness over my mouth as cold breezes swept pass me.
And the next thing that happened – I simply could not talk without getting tongue-tied!
Activities after aren’t worth mentioning so lemme skip abruptly to the next day.
Woke up super early to take photos of Laurence’s luxurious 2-storey condo loft. BTW SZ’s 6am is our equivalent of 8.00am in West Malaysia but night falls as early as 5pm during the winter period.
Just look at the sunlight at 6am! And the irony is that temperature was below zero.
Laurence must be feeling disgusted at my towel hanging in an unsightly manner by the staircase handle. This biatch has quietly turned into a hygiene/neat freak and totally acted like one orang atas!
Can’t with him lor!
Took a bus to go to the town later that morning!
By “town” (or district?) I mean one situated around the epic Pingjiang Road and outside the Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP) where my friend is working/staying.
Scenery during winter-spring period:
Winter sonata much? Haha.
Peeps chopping off and cleaning up dead branches of trees:
Some of SZ’s sweet delicacies come with minced pork, just like the read bean kueh below:
There is this anti-Lynas movement in Malayasia lately and everyone was jumping on the bandwagon to upload a green profile picture in support of the campaign.
Laurence cheesily posted this picture and captioned it,
“Stop Lynas… -All the way from Suzhou-”
Hoe and her purple-coloured scarf and kueh.
Had some mediocre Da Niang dumplings as brunch.
Three persons could not finish those dumplings!
After taking an much enjoyable stroll around the town going from shops to shops we finally reached…
THE FREAKING 800-YEAR-OLD PINGJIANG ROAD!!!
What is special about the Pingjiang Road is that there is a canal running through it, and along the canal road lies a slew of tea houses, youth hostels, and cafes, as well as art and craft shops.
However I won’t be uploading a lot of pictures depicting those shops unless they are really special.
In fact the canal is not the only one in the city of Suzhou. I just read on Wikitravel that there are 9 east-west canals and 12 north-south canals running through the city!
Much like those in Venice, Italy, and hence the nickname “the Venice of China”. You can actually take a 40-minute ride on the canal boat.
I just wanted to comment how the water in the canal is crazy aqua blue but realised my friend had photoshopped most of the pictures. -_-
A woman washing clothes by the canal, and I swear washing clothes has to be the most painful thing to during winter time! I’ll tell of my experience on that in the next post.
The canal road we were walking along was among the oldest in the city. However there is another one, called the Shantang Road – you guess how old it is?
ITS. OMFG. 1,200. YEARS. OLD!!!
Love the texture on the wall!
That, is the beauty of nature. If you think it is man-made anyway and not nature, well what is nature then without the existence of human beings?
Given a same thing, different people would interpret it differently. If this is not the nature of human beings, what else is it?
Ending this post with a picture I took with Laurence, who kept complaining that was longest time spent walking from one end of the Pingjiang road to another end.
At several points he even banned me from taking photos. Le sigh…
Some people asked why the red face/nose, well it’s because it was cold!