Day 14 This was the last day we had in Suzhou. There were still many places we wanted to visit, but could not possibly fit them all in this trip, so we chose Hanshan Temple, Maple Bridge Scenic Area, and the Lingering Garden for the day.
Hanshan Temple, made famous because of the poem "A Night Mooring by Maple Bridge" by Tang Dynasty poet Zhang Ji, is the most commercialized temple we have been to in China. It's packed with tourist, barely had any room left for people to move around. Every room, every tree, ...... had something to offer for sale. It looked more like a busy market than a Buddhist temple. We quickly left to go to the Maple Bridge Scenic Area next door.
1. The famous poem carved on a stone tablet.
2. Inside Hanshan Temple.
3. Outside Hanshan Temple.
4. Maple Bridge.
5. Maple Bridge Scenic Area.
6. The ancient canal next to the scenic area was busy with barges.
By the time we reached the Lingering Garden, another one of China's four most famous gardens, our legs were so tired from all the walking we had done lately that we didn't want to move any more. So we found a tea house in the garden and sat there for two hours before looking around the park.
7. The two story building behind the rock was the tea house we sat in. Tea cost 5 RMB/cup downstairs, 12 RMB/cup upstairs. Downstairs was half full, mostly retired people who brought their own snacks, sat there chatting or playing cards. Upstairs was almost empty. A bunch of people were making a movie or something nearby. Some of them came to the tea house second floor to rest from time to time.
8. The girl pretended to play the instrument for the movie shoot. The costum she wore was really wrinkled, so someone ironed it before the shoot in the tea house where we sat, using a portable steam iron while the costum was on her. You can see the bottom of the costum was still very wrinkled.
9. In between shooting.
10. Inside the Lingering Garden.
11. Inside the Lingering Garden.
12. Inside the Lingering Garden.
13. Inside the Lingering Garden.
That is it for the Suzhou leg of the trip. I am sure Suzhou offers a lot more than what we have seen. Hopefully we'll come back someday to see more.