Today we had a slightly earlier start to make sure we were ready for our trip to Suzhou. We awoke around 7am to make sure we were packed and ready for breakfast by 8am. After breakfast we had a last check of our rooms before leaving them for a few days. We assembled in the foyer and boarded out buses to Suzhou at 9:30am.
On the bus we met our tour guide Celia. She will be showing us the sights of Suzhou for the next 3 days! Suzhou is the little daughter city of China and has a population of 14 million people (Shanghai is the mother and has 25 million people). After an hour and a half we got off the bus at the Days Hotel. We went into the foyer to wait to be assigned were we will be staying, after about 10 minutes we all went upstairs to find our rooms.
Once we had settled into our rooms, we went to a noodle bar next door which had great noodles and different dumplings to what we had had in Shanghai. Jess really enjoyed the spicy noodles which we had for lunch! We had about 30mins spare to have a rest in our rooms before hoping back on the bus and heading to our next sightseeing destination, Tiger Hill.
Tiger Hill is the largest hill in Suzhou and is 36m high with a giant pagoda on top of it. It was built over 1000 years ago and is built over where one of China’s emperors was buried. The people of Suzhou tried to dig into the tomb of the emperor, but it made the pagoda start to lean over, so they had to stop. The pagoda has finally finished being fixed and looked very majestic on the top of Tiger Hill . It is an amazing place with heaps of gardens filled with bonsai trees. Our tour guide took us all around the hill showing us the important areas and telling us the legends that accompanied them! We wandered around the grounds looking at all the ancient buildings and steep stone stair cases. It was really tiring walking up and down all the stairs after a few days of lots of walking! Once we finished at the hill, we got an ice cream and headed to the Old Suzhou street which had lots of little stalls and sits next to one of the towns many canals!
We were able to have an early dinner tonight and tried lots of different traditional Chinese meals, including a fish with scales and eyes still attached!
For the first night on the trip, we made it back to the hotel before 8pm for a much needed early night before heading to Xing Cheng Gardens School tomorrow.
Unfortunately due to circumstances beyond our control, our sister school Xinghai PS has 3 days off during the time we are in Suzhou, which means we are unable to visit them while we are in China!