A reflection of Suzhou, China
Suzhou was one of those last minute decisions. Only the night before we were to check-out of our hostel in Shanghai did we decide we'd catch a train to Suzhou. Why not, we thought? It was recommended by a fellow Aussie who lived and worked in Shanghai. He highly rated it, and told us he's been back many times.
Friday morning we checked-out of our Shanghai hostel and waddled over to Shanghai Railway Station to buy two one way tickets to Suzhou (39￥). Now, I use the term waddle because China's public transport system is an array of staircases, and we were carrying around 30kgs between the two off us. So you can imagine we grew very tired for lugging our life around behind us. But, we did return to Melbourne with nice toned legs (#win!).
Before we had the chance to get comfortable on the bullet train, we had arrived! It took 30 minutes, at an average of 300 km per hour! Amazing!
After arriving in the middle of nowhere, no map, no clue where we were going, we stood around contemplating what to do. And like clockwork, a lovely Chinese boy came over to offer his help for a little practice at speaking English. Once we arrived in the old town of Suzhou, we were blown away by its beauty! The small streets were alive with locals going about their typical Friday afternoon. The hustle and bustle was different from Shanghai – the pace was slower, and heads turned as we walked passed. We definitely stood out here.
We spent the weekend in Suzhou, getting lost in the gardens, temples and old streets. On Saturday Pingjiang Rd. was full of locals and tourists from all around China, enjoying the day together. It was fantastic to see the street alive and to be a part of the weekend hustle and bustle.
If you're ever in Shanghai, I highly recommend spending a weekend in Suzhou!