We met up with our bus at 7am and headed to Suzhou, it was a little less than two hour ride. Our first stop in Suzhou was the Humble Administrator’s Garden which is a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site. It was a very peaceful place with lots of water features.

I forget what Ron was trying to do…

It was really chilly but really pretty next to the bamboo…

Our next stop was the silk mill. The first thing we remembered is when we were in Korea and ate those silk worm pupa, we saw them in the case about the life cycle of a silk worm. In the middle is the pupa:

As I mentioned, it was really cold so we bought some hot soy milk from a street vendor. The guy poured it into a long plastic bag so was kind of slippery like those toys that are filled with gel and if you squeeze them, they jump out of your hand. Anyways, it was a great 1RMB handwarmer but it tasted terrible, bitter and burnt even with sugar in it.

Next stop was Hanshan Temple where we signed the New Year’s wall scroll.

We also were lucky because Jan 1st is the only day where you can ring the large bell they have in the temple. You’re supposed to ring it 3 times for good luck and prosperity. You pay a nominal fee to do it and it’s worth it, it sounds really cool.

We then stopped at the next pagoda on Tiger Hill but we did not go in, just took a picture:

Our last temple stop was the North Pagoda which is 9 stories tall. Jan 1st is the only day you’re allowed to climb all the way to the 9th level. The rest of the year you can only climb to the 6th level.

We had some free time after the last temple and explored the outskirts of the temple area. It was very similar to Nanjing Rd with all lots of shops and eating places. We only had about an hour before we had to head back to Shanghai.

We arrived back in Shanghai around 6:30pm and had a quick dinner before heading to bed early because tomorrow’s tour also starts at 7am.

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