In October, I took a trip south by train No.Z85. At 6:40 early in the morning, when the city just woke up, I got there again.
I walked through the plaza outside of the train station and got on bus No.1 at the in front of the bus station. The bus took me north along Renmin Rd., which is the main north-south road in Suzhou, I passed the Guanqian Block, then stopped at Yinmaqiao Bus Stop. I walked back about 50 meters, and turned left. That¡¯s Dashitou Lane near the police office. Finally, I arrived here at Suzhou Watertown Hostel.
After breakfast, I rented a bicycle in the hostel, wow, an excellent bike made by Giant, so cool. Actually, it¡¯s a popular exercise in many countries. There are separate bike lanes in Suzhou, even in the Singapore-industry-park, and in the narrow ancient lanes. At 8:00 I set off and went straight up Dashitou Line. At the end of Liu Lane is Yangyu Lane. There you will see Zhongjie Street connecting to Yangyu Lane. On this route there are so many beautiful trees that stand on the street, most of which is more than 50 years old.
Then from Zhongjie Road to Dongzhongshi Street, I went West through Xizhongshi Road and through the ancient city Changmen Gate. Ok, I took a rest on the bridge. Changmen Gate is still in use, the middle gate had been used for ancient government carriages, but now it¡¯s the car lane. Through the side gates were bike lanes. I rode across the bridge and rode to another bridge called Duseng Bridge so it¡¯s the torri carving ¡°Shantang shengjing¡±appeared in my sight.
I entered the ancient street from ¡°7-mile part of Shantang ¡± on the special stones paving the street then there were other sights, such as Shantang Ancient Street, Suzhou Hundred Year Business Museum, Shaoxing Assembly Hall, Ancient Kunqu Opera School and Museum, Antai Fire-Protection Team, Jiangnan style tailor, and Yuhan Hall (Wu Yipeng Residence).
I had another rest, then rode along Shantang Street and went north. I took a right at the other side of Xinmin Bridge, the rest of the road was preserved in the original condition of the whole Shantang Street. The 7-miles Shantang Street was mainly designed and building by Baijuyi, who was a famous poet in the Tang Dynasty. When the poet was a goverment official in Suzhou, he had many canals as well as roads so it connected the waterway and land, thus connecting Tiger Hill and the ancient city. All of the old streets and lanes are agent, if you want to have a visit, just go ahead, but don¡¯t forget to go back to Shantang Street.
The Tiger Hill gate is at the end of Shantang Street.
After parking my bike, I bought a ticket to Tiger Hill. It¡¯s famous for a saying by Sudongpo ¡°If you come to Suzhou, it¡¯s a great pity not to enjoy Tiger Hill.¡± It¡¯s the best advertisement for Tiger Hill. Tiger Hill is big sight seeing place, containing Tangbohu, Emperor Fuchai in the Wu Kingdom, Emperor Goujian in the Yue Kingdom, as well as the beauty Xishi so you¡¯d better rent a electronic guide. You need 20 rmb for rent and get your deposit back when you finish the trip.
Then I kept moving to the road outside the gate and went south, I suggested you have a vegatable dinner in ¡°Gongde Lin Restaurant¡± at the crossing of Tongjing North Road and Xiyuan Road. After your dinner, I turned left to Liuyuan Road, and began my trip in Then Lingering Garden.
The Lingering Garden is one of the 4 famous gardens in China. The ticket is 60rmb/person, it costs you about 1 hour to enjoy the garden. After that, I rode W est and turned south to Tongjingbei Road. After about 10 metres I turned west and fellow Fengqiao Road for another 1 kilometers. Then I
arrived at Hanshan Temple, which exists more than 1000 years.
At about 5:00 in the afternoon, I finished my whole day trip and went back to the hostel along Ganjiang Road.
If you are still ok to have more trip, I suggest you go to Ligongdi, where you can enjoy luxury foods. I¡¯ m sure you must be shaken by the nightsight of Jinji Lake. You can chose Suzhou style foods or Western foods. It¡¯s up to you. The only problem is that maybe it¡¯s a bit expensive£150rmb/person. After dinner, here is another suggestion£ Taking taxi to Jinji Lake Bridge to continue your sight dinner on the bridge. Otherwise, it¡¯s a good idea to watch moive in Suzhou Science and Cultural Arts Centre, where the Golden-Rooster Hurnders-Flowers Film Awards is hold ?actually it¡¯s one of the great luxury cinemas with IMAX circumstance in Eastern China.
If you are not interested in such programme, so do something like me. After having a break and my dinner, I rode to the Ancient Canal Port on Changxu Road. There were some great bars such as Old House, Royal Pavilion No.2 and SOS etc. Don¡¯t miss the chance to experience the crazy night in Suzhou. For me I still liked to take a boat trip around the ancient city with cool wind. It¡¯s absolutely pretty and special. At nearly 9:00 when the boat trip was over and I rode back to the hostel. It¡¯s a wonderful cycling day and a good dream night.
In the moring the next day, I had my breakfast in Zhuhongxing Restaurant, which is very famous for it¡¯s noodles. Then I took bus at Yinmaqiao Bus Stop outside of the restaurant and went to the first station£Suzhou Bao¡¯ensi Ta.
Many foreigners who come to Suzhou make the same decision to enjoy bird¡¯s eye sight at the top of the pagoda.?
Then I walked to the Hamble Administrator¡¯s Garden along Xibei Street. It¡¯s the new Suzhou Museum on Lindun Road, which is designed by Beil¨¸ming who is the designer of Louvre Place in French. The buildings mix Suzhou traditional style and morden factors. It¡¯s just 20rmb to get a ticket.
The Humble Administrator¡¯s Garden is nearby Suzhou Museum.
The Humble Administrator¡¯s Garden is the most famous gardens in Suzhou, so I went there without any doubt. There are free guide show you the whole garden every half a hour. If it¡¯s too fast for you to travel around the garden, then go back again where you like.
It¡¯s the Suzhou Garden Museum at the exit of the Humble Administrtor¡¯s Garden. After rebuilding and adding more items on display, it¡¯s worth to visit, and most importantly, it¡¯s free.
Taking a 2-minute walking from the Humble Administrator¡¯s Garden on the Yuanlin Road, there is another garden£Lion Forest Garden, which belonged to Beil¨¸mings¡¯ once and now it¡¯s contributed to the nation. On the other side of Lion Forest Garden, it¡¯s Suzhou Folk Museum for free. A lot of furnishings and decorations on wedding and articles of local life here, as well as introduce.
At about 12:00 when I finished these places, I¡¯d like to have a special lunch. It¡¯s no doubt the ¡°Wumen Renjia¡± Restaurant, which is built in a perfect ancient house once belonged to one who got Number One Scholar in ancient time. It owns the awards that the best Suzhou foods come from here, though Songhe Lou and Deyue Lou are more famous to the visitors. It¡¯s impossible to eat all the dishes yourself, so you¡¯d better ask some guys in the hostel to share them.
After lunch I started my hiking today. At first I walked to south along Yuanlin Road and when I arrived at Baita Xi Road then turned East, after 500 metres I reached Pingjiang Road, which is one of the two ancient roads keeping the ture primitive Suzhou-style sights. At the East end of Daxinqiao Lane, it¡¯s The Couple Garden Retreat. I walked out of this garden and kept moving South to Zhongzhangjia Lane, where Suzhou Pingtan Music Museum and Suzhou Kunqu Opera Museum locate. I visit them whenever I came to Suzhou. At 1:30 in the afternoon everyday there is Pingtan Music play, and at 2:00 in the afternoon of each Sunday, you can enjoy Kunqu Opera here. The ticket is just 10rmb for 2 hours play.
It¡¯s Ganjiang Road at the end of Pingjiang Road, where is a cool pavillion. There is a monument, on which carving the map of Pingjiang Block. Of course this one is copy article, and the primary one is under protecting in Suzhou Monument Museum. For that reason, if you do want to get there, it¡¯s easy to ride from the hostel and follow the Renmin Road. 5 minutes later, you will arrive at The Culture Temple to see the fortune of Suzhou city with your ture sight.
Taking Ganjiang Road and walking West, when you get to Fenghuang Street, you can look around The Twins-Tower and Dinghuisi Lane, where a lot of paintings and calligraphy here. If you want visit Soochow University, go the other direction. It¡¯s very beatuiful and long-history.
About 5:00 in the afternoon, I came back to Suzhou Watertown Hostel and made up my luggage and asked the receptionist taking care of it. Then I went to Shiquan Street. There are so many snacks and many foreigners. Some guy suggested me to have dinner in ¡°Yangyang Dumpling Restaurant¡±, which owned good fame on ¡°Lonely Planet¡±. Or you can go to Fenghuang Street to eat out any good taste food as you can.
At 7:30 in the evening, I set off from Suzhou Watertown Hostel and say goodbye to the little happy girl at the reception and took bus to the train station.
I would come back again and again, my dear Suzhou, my dear Watertown Hostel.
Otherwise, I suggested a trip, which many foreigners took.
- Climbing the Bao¡¯ensi Temple to have bird¡¯s eye sight at the top of the tower.
- Visiting Suzhou Museum, which designed by Bei¨¸ming.
- Visiting the Silk Museum and the history and the road of silk development.
- Visiting Silk Manufacturing Industy.
- Walking on Pingjiang Road, visiting Kunqu Opera Museum and Pingtan Music Museum.
- Taking boat trip cycling the Grand Canal.