susys running away to sea

"The rigors (sic) of an expeditionary lifestyle"

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Suzhou and Tongli and back to Shanghai

Yesterday we went from Shanghai to Suzhou, which was a bit of a mix - yes, a pleasant busy lively town and we went to see a couple of the famous gardens there, but what I was expecting (wrongly as it turned out), was to be shown more of the canals. And the hotel was one of those ghastly huge modern conference centre hotels. Evening was much better - some of us went out for a walk over a couple of bridges, saw the buildings lit up with fairy lights, had a rather dubious meal, and then watched people dancing!! Ballroom dancing, line dancing - lots of them! All by the light of some dimmish street lights alongside the Grand Canal - I'd have loved to join in, but the line dance sequence was rather complicated and I was wearing flipflops.

Today, we went to Tongli, and wow what a rich town that is!! Probably the richest by quite a long way - on the outskirts they're building loads of very expensive houses and apparently they're being snapped up immediately. Tongli Old Town is of course mainly for tourists, but it's unbelievably cute, and we turn everywhere picturesque into tourist attractions too ... this time it was all tiny twisting canals - we grizzled for a boat trip, and piled into three large punt/gondola boats, sculled just like a gondola. I've taken pictures on the phone, but I'm out of credit, so I can't post them. Just too beautiful for words there! However, a cup of jasmine tea was 4 pounds sterling equivalent! Just for sitting at a canalside cafe ... We had lunch in a restaurant off the main square, much cheaper, but with the local speciality roast pork hock, which fell of the bone. I bought a scallop shell with pearls ... A fool and her yuan have been very soon parted, this trip..!!

Now back in Shanghai, and staying at the hotel here again overnight, as everyone else is going home early tomorrow morning and I'd like to say goodbye. We're having a goodbye meal here tonight. Tomorrow on to Rachel's - where I spent the day a couple of days ago. She and Rodrigo and Isabella live on the other side of the Huanpo in Pudong in a very modern appartment. I have to say Shanghai has been rather a disappointment - dirty and shabby and virtually everywhere a building site. They've got Expo 2010 coming up, so I presume they're doing for Shanghai what the Olympics did for Beijing. As the whole of Pudong was fields four years ago and is now miles and miles of brand new buildings, I expect they'll get it done in time - they all seem to work 24 hours a day. It makes you realise how political correctness, health and safety, greed and general laziness have slightly strangled the UK ...


  • At 9:11 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    ahhh lovely to finally get around to reading about what you've been up to! sounds amazing...i need to travel!! love you...daisy xx


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