Getting There - Aneel's Travelogue

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Gardens Suzhou, Jiangsu, China, Thursday, 09 September 2010 6:35pm

I took a short train ride over to Suzhou today to check out some of the famous canals and gardens of the "Venice of the East".

The first stop was at the Humble Administrator's Garden. The adjective refers to the Administrator, not the Garden, which is huge and filled with ponds and pavilions. It was quite pleasant, particularly when the sun broke through the clouds.

Next, I visited the Suzhou Museum. I found the permanent collection mostly uninspiring, but there was a temporary exhibition of the brush painting of Ya Ming. His technique is very good, but what I liked best was his choice of subjects. While there was no shortage of traditional landscapes of mist and mountains, there were also modern and foreign scenes. There was a landscape of an oil refinery in Nanjing, several of the Sahara and of Scandinavian fjords, and cityscapes showing the Danube region and Moscow University.

Finally, I visited the Lion Forest Garden. I don't know whether I timed the visit poorly (just the right time for tour buses?) or whether the garden is just so much smaller than the Humble Administrator's Garden that it can't absorb many people. It was a seething mass of humanity. There was practically no view that wasn't full of people. Not very tranquil.

On the walk back to the train station I had my first good pearl tea of the trip. The others have generally been too milky and have had undercooked pearls, but this one was just right.