Heavy clouds were plastered against the sky when I reached Suzhou. Also known as Venice of the East, Suzhou is a very humid place, drenched in rain almost 1/3 the time of a year.
In Suzhou, the landmarks that you should not miss are the picturesque gardens, the serene canals and the pagodas.
Rocks, abundance of green, placid lake that reflects the heavenly sky, crystal clear waterfalls and stone bridges accentuate the landscapes, giving them an aesthetic feeling. They sure look like Chinese paintings come to life.
Tourists can enjoy a quiet boat ride at the canal and be completely absorbed in the sublime scenery.
One of the many canals in Suzhou.
The Panmen is a combined water and land gate. The ancient land gate was a brilliant architecture to trap enemies entering the city. There is an enclosed space surrounded by the high city walls with double gates. Enemies were tricked into getting through the entrance gate only to be trapped by another gate ahead . Both gates would be locked and the helpless enemies would be shot with raining arrows from the top of the city walls.
The pagoda is an octogonal structure built by Sun Quan, the king of Wu as a tribute to his mother. The original pagoda was thirteen floors high, but was then reconstructed to the present pagoda with seven floors only.
The pagoda derived its name from a legend claiming that five shinning rays blazing from above in the midst of a major repair during the Jin dynasty.
On top of these not-to-be-missed landmarks, Suzhou is also proud to present you with her precious silk, hand embroidery and beautiful women.
Suzhou is famous for the double sided embroidery. Such an embroidery exhibits two different images on each side of a piece of cloth.Currently, there are 8 women in China who have such skill to do the the embroidery and they are known as the treasure of China.
As for women in Suzhou, they are blessed with smooth and lucent skin…they probably owe it to the water and humidity there.
Suzhou is a lovely city, with well preserved ancient structures keeping pace with the modern stories, not to mention the heavenly gifts of art and serenity…. she is nothing but Paradise on Earth.