Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Shanghai, Suchow, Hangzhou and Zhou Zhuang (March 31 - April 7, 2007)

March 31, 2007

Yes, these pictures were not taken in Europe! This is Shanghai, China. Our tour guide's name is Amy. There was only an old friendly Fil Am couple from Pasadena with us on the tour, Del and Mac. We were taken to the Bund, which is the chic area beside the Huangpu River. Then we were taken to Xintianti, a district noted for its bars and nightlife, so it was quiet during the daytime. The tour ended with a boat ride on the Huangpu River.

March 31. Checked out of Motel 168 after our tour and transferred to the Summit Service Apartments near Regent Hotel. 

April 1 was quite quiet for us since Hyker fell ill on his birthday!

April 2. We decided to visit the Shanghai Zoo. All three kids got in for free since the height limit was 1.2m. It was a sprawling beautiful park. The animals were all beautiful (except the seemingly malnourished tiger! hehehe) We all enjoyed our afternoon there.

April 3 - Went on a day tour to Suchow, in Kiangsu province. Our tour guide's name is Kitty. First stop was Tiger Hill. Main feature was the ancient leaning pagoda there and beautiful flowers. Next stop was Han temple. There was an 800 year old Gingko tree there. After lunch, we went to visit a Silk Factory. The whole process of silk making was on display. Very interesting. Next stop was the Lingering Garden. Only Hyker went down to see it with me, as Elaine and the others were asleep in the bus! Last stop of the day was the silk embroidery factory. A very interesting display of artistic skill!

April 6.  This is another day trip, this time to Hangzhou. All I can say is that Hangzhou is truly a beautiful city. It is one of those places where I would like to visit long term someday in the future, like La Jolla in Southern California. I'm sure these photos will evidence this claim.

Our tour guide is Ying. Although, the kids still called her Kitty! Hangzhou is the capital of Chenkiang province. It is about 2 and a half hour bus ride from Shanghai. 

Upon arrival, we had lunch. Then, walked along the beautiful park surrounding West Lake. Despite the multitude of tourists, it was still quite breathtaking in its scenic beauty. We rode around the West Lake, although it was too bad that there was no English guide telling stories of the various sites around the lake.

Next stop was the LingYing temple. I am not sure, but I heard it was the biggest Buddhist temple in China. But surely, it contains the biggest Buddha in China. Along the path en route to the temple, the mountainside had figurines of Buddhist lore carved into its face.

Last stop was a green tea village. We were given a short lecture on how green tea was cultivated and appreciated.

April 7.  Saturday night, my parents came over to the service apartment to babysit, so Edwin could bring Elaine and I out to the see the Bund at night.  We saw the Bund by day on our first day, but this spectacle of lights was something else at night!

April 9.  Zhou Zhuang is an ancient village in Kiangsu province, about an hour and a half away from Shanghai. Edwin personally brought us to visit this 800 year old preserved cultural site. It has been maintained very well to retain its quaint natural and architectural charms. There were points during this boat tour that surpass the beauty of Venice.

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