Mandarin Tweety in China


Suzhou, "Venice of the East"[Unesco]

Suzhou is a pleasant town with many gardens put on the Unesco list. There is so much to do that a selection is necessary for a short stay. The silk museum and the temple of the north can nicely complement a visit. It is also possible to make a small tour by boat on the canals, hence the nickname of the city : Venice of the East. While talking about Venice, let's add that the Venetian Marco Polo went to Suzhou.

Temple of the north

It is a Buddhist temple with a 7 storey pagoda. There is also a small garden behind the temple.

Temple of the north

Silk museum

Suzhou has been a city of silk since at least 2,000 B.C. It developped rapidly under the Song dynasty with maritime trade which was then overtaking the land route. So Suzhou replaced Xi'an as the starting point of the silk road.

Let's go to this little museum which is quite interesting and informative. For instance, do you know silkworms eat mulberry leaves ? and who is Leizu ? This concubine of the Yellow Emperor is credited with carrying out the breeding of silkworms (sericulture) 5,000 years ago... Leizu would have discovered that one could retrieve the thread of silkworm cocoons by observing that a (soft) thread separated from a cocoon that fell into her hot tea. As I mentioned the Yellow Emperor, Emperor Huangdi, note that the latter is also credited with inventions such as Chinese calendar, bow sling, and much more...

Humble administrator's garden

Humble administrator's garden

It is the largest garden of Suzhou.

Chinese gardens represent the world in miniature : the rocks for mountains, water for rivers or sea, rounded doorways for harmony with stylized windows and paving stones arranged to complete the set.

And any garden must also have a zigzag footbridge to prevent the evil spirits to go further...

Lion forest garden

Smaller than the previous one, it is nevertheless one of the most famous in China for its rocks.