Sunday, October 25, 2009

Day trip to Suzhou

Yesterday, we went with our friends Ron and Juni to the city of Suzhou, about a 40 minute high-speed train ride out of Shanghai (the train went up to 205 km/hour at some points.) We started the day with street food breakfast before taking the metro up to the North Railway Station. From there, we enjoyed our first class train seats to Suzhou. (First class cost us about 70 cents more per ticket, so we decided it was worth it for the big, comfy seats.) Once we got into the city, our first stop was the Suzhou Silk Museum. Suzhou has over 4,000 years of history in silk production and has been considered China's leading silk-producer. The highlight of the museum were the live silkworms, chewing away on mulberry leaves and spinning cocoons.

Next, we headed to Shiquan Jie, a road lined with shops and restaurants, for lunch before heading to the "Garden of the Master of the Nets," one of several gardens in Suzhou listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. This one dates back to the 12th century and was a great spot for wondering and soaking in the beautiful weather. We spent the rest of the day exploring town, experimenting with street food, and taking in some more sights (several pagodas, bridges and canals, hairy crabs - it's hairy crab season, and a mobile pet shop on the back of a bike among them.)

We ended the night on a street teeming with street food vendors. We choose one who was especially friendly - in fact he and his wife took a break to sit down with us for a while. For 37rmb (about $6), we had three incredible (and spicy!) entrees and four (large!) beers. A perfect ending to a great day. Pictures here:


  1. I'm afraid you'll never want to come home with all the fun you're having. P.S. - I got my first Redbook mag. from you guys this month...what a fun treat, except I stayed up too late reading it. :)

  2. Wow - your one day was waaay more exciting than my whole week! Although I did share an elevator with two members of Congress this afternoon :). Crazy how such ugly worms can make silk! Seems like a children's book waiting to happen.

  3. Hi Carrie and Jeff...
    I've had such a busy October hosting our Tanzanian guest and attending two weddings - one in Vegas. Now I need to catch up reading all your posts, but it looks like life is still great for you and a bit in the fast lane as well! Take care, Sandy

  4. Love your pics! You are developing quite a creative eye! I really like the ones where you are inside something - just great! How are things going in the classroom for you both? I would love to hear. I am preparing the "Mary Poppins" bag of tricks for my next tour of duty in Santa Rosa beginning 11/13 thru 12/1. It's a good thing I love babies so much:) Love to you both. xoxo Mom
    PS - Jeff, "THE BOX" is almost full:)

  5. More great pictures! It's fun to see your friends, too. You drink beer with straws?

  6. Ahhh... no. That was (very rich) iced tea. It was brought to us automatically and, at first, we thought it might be beer. But, alas...