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Category Archives: Suzhou

SUZHOU – part 2

After our fantastic traditional Suzhou lunch, we headed off to ”Wedding street” – a block of shops that sells bridal gowns and suits. It was pretty crazy ‘cos there are SO many stores there you have no idea which one to go into.. and frankly, all of them are the same :P

The idea was to see if I could get my wedding gown made in China, but frankly, it’s just not possible. First of all, we were a bit harassed at every store. They leech onto you and make it pretty traumatizing – you can’t browse the racks properly without them blabbing away and shoving dresses in your face! But horrid ‘service’ aside, I just didn’t like the gowns – to each their own I suppose! The ones on display would never ever ever ever grace my body, they were the total opposite of what I would wear. Extremely frilly, loads of psychedelic colours, and just all-round unsuitable for me. I like simple, classic styles with a scatter of crystals.. and most importantly, with gorgeous, draping fabric. And whilst I know I can get them to make it from scratch, 2 key issues:

1) How to explain exactly what I want, when I don’t even have photos of what I’m after (nor do I know exactly what I’m after either). Not to mention language barrier, all of them spoke zero English.

2) The quality of the fabric was not great. It was a far cry from the gowns I touched in Singapore and Australia. I like luscious, smooth, draping silk.. and these were all hard rough fabrics. It was a bit strange!

There were just too vast differences to what I was after, and considering I can’t even say what I want in Chinese, I gave up with the thought of having a dress made there. I’ll get it done in Singapore instead – I know the price is astronomical there, but you get wonderful, discreet service and superb quality.. so the decision is really clear :P However, I will get a qipao (cheong sam) aka traditional Chinese dress from China, because they are the BEST here!!! :)

We then headed to the main shopping street (Guan Qian Jie) but then I felt really really really ill. Think it was the heat, and though I drank 5 bottles of water (!), I got a MASSIVE headache, so bad I couldn’t even walk or stand properly. Crashed at Starbucks and slept for about an hour there :P Then went to McDonalds for a banana pie (it was awesome!!!!!!) and then KFC for some fries – all my comfort foods to try and feel better.

Still didn’t so ended up wandering around a bit, taking some medicine, then heading to the train station to crash and wait for the train home. And on the journey back, I felt OK again, lol!

It was off to Hu Qiu Lu, the “wedding street”, where we
poked through the stores looking at bridal dresses

There were also these little carts selling food, but it looked far
from hygienic, so we didn’t dare try any!

I came down with a MASSIVE headache from heat stroke, so
we went to Starbucks where I promptly fell asleep for ages..

Then woke up hungry so had Banana Pie at McDonalds (OMG THIS IS SO GOOD)
and then fries from KFC.. but still didn’t feel any better :(

So tried taking a walk around the area

Guan Qian Jie, the main shopping street in Suzhou

Then we headed to the huge lake to sit down on the grass and chill out for a bit

And no, I still didn’t feel any better :(

It was such a shame, cos would’ve loved to have eaten at one of these lakeside restaurants!

How gorgeous is this lit up pavillion?

So so sick, so caught a cab back to the station to go back home.
We saw fireworks along the way!

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Posted by on 3 June 2009 (Wed) in Suzhou, Uncategorized

 

SUZHOU – part 1

We planned a day trip to Suzhou over the Dragon Boat Festival long weekend. Suzhou’s almost 3 hours if you drive, but the new express train gets you there in about 45 mins. How cool is that?! Been meaning to go for a few weeks now but never got round to it, so figured the long weekend was the perfect time to go, and fortunately it wasn’t too crowded.

We kicked off at the Humble Adminstrator Gardens, which has a totally strange name, but China tends to name things very oddly. Well, there’s really love meaning behind the Chinese names of the places, but once you translate it to English, it loses its core meaning so ends up sounding a bit weird! These gardens were pretty big, and filled with ponds and bridges and lots of trees. Was lovely, and gave us much needed shade, because the day was HOT HOT HOT!!

Tried to find this specific “Old Suzhou Restaurant”, but when we did, they’d just closed for the afternoon – and it was only 2pm! Arghhh. Fortunately, on the way there, the cabbie pointed out another Suzhou restaurant (name unknown) nearby, so we walked over there and fortunately they were open. The waitresses were giggly and sweet, and recommended a couple of dishes that we blindly agreed to :P They recommended well, the food was awesome!

At the humongous Shanghai Train Station

Grabbing breakfast at “Mister Lee”, some Chinese fast food restaurant

Beef noodles, was delish!!

Getting on the new D-train Express

Whizzing from Shanghai –> Suzhou

Travelling First Class, for only 5元 extra!

Wandering around a long market street

Guy carving inscriptions in wood

At the Humble Adminstrator’s Garden (Zhuozheng Yuan 拙政园)

Gorgeous flowers in bloom

Hot guy alert!

Climbing up the path

And up amongst the rocks

Trying to be a geisha girl, ROFL!

Chris is…. very excited

They had tons of these pavillions around the gardens

Chris ponders the meaning of life

Lots of little ponds and bridges

Showing off my Tokidoki for Hello Kitty fan :P

Me, wondering why the water is so murky. Can’t they clean the stuff?!

LOL

A cute pic of us :)

Stopped by a traditional Suzhou restaurant for some lunch

It was so local that there was no English/photo menu. So we just asked
them to bring us their best dishes!

Some sorta green veg cooked in garlic. It was delish!

Boiled shrimp with a splash of vinegar. Ooooh these were awesome.

A huge mound of pork, with fat wobbling away

All carved up – look at that (unhealthy) luscious goodness!!!!!!
It was hands down the best pork we’ve had in our lives.

 
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Posted by on 2 June 2009 (Tue) in Suzhou, Uncategorized