Sunday, July 31, 2016
A short cab ride from our hotel is Pingjiang Road. The name “Pingjiang Road” originated from the old city name of Suzhou – “Pingjiang”. This 800-year old street is the best preserved ancient “water lane” ( in contrast with “water town”) in Suzhou. It is a 1600 meters long street set alongside with a north-south canal, starting from East Beita Road (北塔东路) in the noerth to East Ganjiag Road (干将东路) in the south. (Source) It was a very old street, with houses converted into shops and restaurants. Spend less than an hour in here and made our way out to the shopping street near our hotel. Once we were out in the main road, we came across the famous bread shop (this is another branch). The queue in this branch is much shorter than the other branch we saw the night before. So we decided to buy the bread and yes, we queue more than half an hour. Each time, they only baked 20 loaves of bread, that explained the long queue and waiting time but the bread is really served hot and very tasty. Some raisins in the bread, the bread is very soft and delicious.
Friday, July 29, 2016
Day 3 of my trip, I have fallen ill. My intention was to get some medicine from the pharmacy. Unfortunately, the Watson in China are just beauty shop with no pharmacy nor pharmacist unlike the Watson in Singapore. The chinese pharmacy in China are mainly dealing with Chinese medicine as I am more used to western medicine, I was quite panicky. Luckily I remembered about some Singapore doctors had a clinic in China-Singapore Suzhou Industrial Park. I quickly google for the address (yes, thankfully Hotel Soul has the google service available). Singhealth Medical Clinic (新宁诊所) Address: 198 XingHai Street, XingHai Building 1st Floor (opposite Global 188, XingHai Metro Station, Exit 2) Suzhou Industrial Park, Jiangsu Province Address in Chinese: 江苏省 苏州工业园区 星海街198号 星海大厦一楼 (地铁星海广场2号口) The metro station of the clinic is few stations away from our hotel so it was quite convenient. Once out of Exit 2 of Xinghai Metro Station, the clinic is visible, is just next to the exit. Luckily, a Singaporean doctor was available and I felt so much relieved as we could communicate in English and I could get the western medicine that I needed. The fee is not cheap, I paid about 520 yuan (S$100+). Important to get a travel insurance and more important to get one travel insurance for pre exisitng illness(for those who are taking medication for pre existing illness) in order to be able to claim for all these medical expenses. So there's goes my 3rd day sightseeing, we were supposed to go to Tongli but had to cancel the plan. So we just strolled around the SIP and have lunch here.
Tuesday, July 26, 2016
Guan Qian Jie is a popular pedestrian shopping street in Suzhou. It was located just next to our hotel. So it was really very convenient and we dont have to worry about taking any transport to and fro from hotel and shopping street. Preparing oysters/shellfish on the floor, looks kind of unhygenic to me. Xuanmiao Taoist Temple built in 276 AD, it has been renovated many times due to damage sustained during the wars of past dynasties. Originally, the temple was called Zhenqing Taoist Temple. It was renamed Xuanmiao Taoist Temple during the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368). It is one of the most renowned tourist attractions in Suzhou as well as a key cultural relic under state protection. (Source) The reason for the long queue to purchase the freshly hand baked bread was that they only baked 20 bread at one time to ensure the freshness and warmess of the bread when sold. I will post photo of the bread when I purchased them on the next day at another branch where the queue is shorter.
Saturday, July 23, 2016
For dinner, we were too lazy to go out to hunt for restaurants since our hotel has a very nice Chinese Restaurant. The ambience in the chinese restaurant was very cozy and lovely. I guess the band did not come as it was non peak season for travelling as there were less tourists. As we had very late lunch, we decided to have lighter dinner. We ordered fried rice in Lotus Leaf, normally it was glutinous rice wrapped in Lotus Leaf but this dish is different, it uses fried rice and steamed in lotus leaf, tasted good and not oily as most glutinous rice wrapped in lotus leaves were either oily or too mushy. ALso ordered some bbq pork pastry. (Char Siu soh) Hahaha, I just had to take photos of the beautiful wash basins in the toilet in the Chinese Restaurant in Hotel Soul, it was the cleanest and beautiful toilet I had encountered during my entire trip.
Wednesday, July 20, 2016
After our return from Shantang Jie, it was around 2.40 pm, we decided to try our luck in taking the free shuttle service from the hotel to Humble Administrator's Garden provided by Hotel Soul. The next available timing was 3 pm, yes, they could provide us the service and there's only 2 of us taking the hotel's car. About 10 mins ride away only, however, we need to make our own way back to hotel, they only provided one way.Our return trip, we took the taxi from the garden back to our hotel at only 15 yuan. We two senior citizens were super tired from the sightseeing for the day. Admission fee to the garden was 70 yuan for adult and free for children if accompanied by adult. For senior citizen above 60 there's 50% discount, so my hubby got a 50% discount (35 yuan) by showing them a photocopy of his passport details. Outside the garden, there's rows of shops selling sovenirs. The museum is also next door but we did not visit the museum. This is the non peak season, otherwise there's would be long queue to enter the garden. The Humble Administrator's Garden was originally built in 1509 during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). It was initially a private garden of a former government servant named Wang Xianchen. It was said that Wang was frustrated in his official career, so he intended to build a garden after retire and just do some gardening work like planting trees and cultivating vegetables there. He thought that was a simple life led by a humble man like him, hence the name of the garden. The garden was created upon the old relics of a residence and a Taoist temple. Water feature is the main background and its natural landscape includes small forests, hills and rock formations. It also has man-made pavilions, halls and parlors. Unlike the Grand View Garden and other famous gardens in Beijing, it is a representative work of the Ming Dynasty building style. Read more from source. Picture of a frog formed by pebbles on the pathway. There's many gardens in Suzhou, but I dont think is really necessary to visit them all, one garden is enough cause can be quite boring and tiring to walk round each huge garden.