Vibrant Shanghai: Part 8

Jun 18, 06 at 1:36 pm

It was cold morning. We were scheduled to leave Hangzhou for Suzhou after breakfast. On the way, we stopped by a factory manufacturing herbal tea. The journey to Suzhou took another 2 hours by highway. There was nothing to see along the highway except barren land and farmhouses.

We reached Suzhou at around 11am. We took our lunch a bit earlier while waiting for Suzhou’s local guide. The lunch wasn’t nice but we ate it anyway. The guide arrived shortly when the dishes were being served. Amazingly, he spoke good Cantonese also. And found out that he was actually the owner of a shop and taking tourists around was his part time job.

Our journey continued by first visiting Hanshan Temple. First look, the building was just an ordinary temple.

The temple used to be one of the ten most famous temples in China. The poem of “A Night Mooring by Maple Bridge” by Zhang Ji, a famous poet of the Tang dynasty, is so oft-quoted and widely loved that the poetic rhyme and the bell-tolling sounds have made the Hanshan Temple celebrated at home and abroad.

The guide didn’t waste any time by introducing the place. I hurriedly took a few photos while the rest of the crowd listened tentatively to the guide. The visit lasted nearly an hour.

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Canal outside the temple

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The temple

We headed to Tiger Hill which was 10 minutes drive from Hanshan Temple. Tiger Hill is indeed a huge place and is located up on a small hill, which means visitors need to hike up a bit.

Tiger Hill, known also as Surging Sea Hill, is a large hillock covering some 14100 square metres (over three acres) and is 36 metres (118 feet) in height. Climbing the hill, you will find a number of historical sites some of which can be traced back over 2500 years to the founding of Suzhou. Although the hill is relatively small it has rich history.

Tiger Hill was indeed a worthy place to visit. You will get to see many weird stuffs like sword-testing rock, pillow rock, sword pool, etc.

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The gateway to the hill

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Serene environment

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Sword-testing rock

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Pillow rock

Our visit for the day ended with shopping at Suzhou’s busiest shopping street located at downtown Suzhou city. We strolled along the street hunting for souvenirs but ended up with nothing. When everyone was back, we headed for dinner (which tasted horribly awful) and checking into hotel after that. It wasn’t a great day as compared to the previous night we had in Hangzhou but hey, not every city is perfect, okay?

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