A trip around China in 10 days! Part 2

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Reading time: 10 minutes

Day 3.

苏州。

 

Suzhou (苏州; Sūzhōu) is a city in Jiangsu province. It used to be the capital of the kingdom of Wu from the 12th to 4th centuries BC, thus, the center of Wu culture. The Suzhou dialect of the Wu language is still considered the standard dialect even though the language is now often called “Shanghainese”.

After spending 5 hours on the speed train from Beijing South railway station (北京南), we got to Suzhou North station (苏州北). From there we took a cap that brought us to the hotel in half an hour. Needless to say that Suzhou North station is quite far from the city centre and thus not very convenient. You can also book a plane ticket beforehand but then you will miss the sceneries that you can see when on the train.

We stayed in a Chinese style hotel (dark purple colors, dim lights and cigarette smoke everywhere) just for a night, but even a night was too much in a smoky room. As for the city itself, the Chinese Venice, as Suzhou is often called, is indeed beautiful. Though not the whole city is beautiful! – some parts are.

Eventually we arrived in Suzhou by evening and were in the hotel at 4pm. Though the hotel left much to be desired, its location was really convenient as right behind it there was a street with local cuisine restaurants – yummy! I even found there a milk tea that I used to drink every day in Malaysia! By the time we had dinner it was getting darker outside and we decided to take a boat trip so we took a rickshaw ride down to the canal. The driver was an old man, cutting the road and almost running into cars as if he didn’t mind not living any more. After this trip my mom claimed she’d never get on a rickshaw again. Aha, wait and see 😉 Luckily, we got to a port for tourists safely and took a 7p.m. boat trip around Suzhou which was quite amazing but would have been much better if we could stop and walk around for 10-15 minutes. I wouldn’t say that a 150 Yuan tickets is worth this trip. On the other hand it’s quite interesting as there was a guide on the boat who told us about the history of all the passing-by bridges… in Chinese 😛 A view from the boat:

Trip part2 1

The next day we woke up really early to get to the opening of the Humble Administrator’s Garden -拙政园(Zhuōzhèng Yuán) at 7a.m.

Trip part2 2

But for some reason it was open half an hour later. Nevertheless, we got into the garden being happier than we expected as there were just a few people waiting with us (usually you see crowds in Chinese gardens which doesn’t exactly make you enjoy the time), most of them were old Chinese ladies and men going there for their morning exercises.

Trip part2 3

Trip part2 4

One of the reasons why we chose to see this particular garden was… the Mandarin ducks:

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A trip around China in 10 days! Part 1

http://www.inativespeaker.com

Reading time: 10 minutes

This post is for those of you who want to visit China, but don’t have more than 10 days to do it. As for those who want but cannot visit China at the moment, let’s take a trip together!

This sightseeing-trip with some useful tips on how to get around will help you build your vacation.

So there I was in the Beijing Capital International Airport waiting for my mother who was very excited about our trip around China. We had huge plans and very little time so we were prepared for sleepless nights and endless train trips. So let’s start our trip here!

The Plan was:

3 days in Beijing

1,5 days in Suzhou

2 days in Shanghai

3 days in Weifang

1 day in Beijing

 

Day 1.

Luckily, my mom arrived very early in the morning – at 7am. We took a taxi from the airport to our hotel which cost us 100 Yuan. In an hour we were in out “okey”-looking hotel… but just on the outside:

Trip1

We were glad to get a really good service in the hotel with unique designs of every floor, take a look at China floor:

Trip2

The fact that we would be travelling and sightseeing non-stop made me choose really nice place with a surprisingly affordable price. The names of the hotels where we stayed will be revealed in the comments only to those who’re interested 😉

To our surprise right across the road from our hotel we found the famous Red Theatre (红剧 场hóng jùchǎng)! It’s extremely convenient because the Kung Fu shows are in the evening and trust me you don’t want to travel back to your hotel by underground or taxi after a really good show 😉

Weifang Chinese Corner.

Margarita

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Reading time: 10 minutes.

Place: Shandong province, Weifang city, Jima road, “SPR COFFEE” café.

Objective: teaching Chinese to foreigners.

Teachers: Chinese native speakers-professional teachers Min and Sandy. Teaching assistants: students from Foreign Languages department in Weifang Univesity.

Schedule: every Wednesday at 7pm.

Entrance fee: a beverage 😉

Weifang is a comparatively small city thus there are not many foreign residents.  Most of that “handful” of foreigners are teachers working in schools and universities. Nevertheless, this city welcomes every newcomer with warmth and hospitality, giving a hand to those lost in translation!

SPR Coffee Chinese Corner is one of the examples of Weifang hospitality. The owner of the coffee shop is a nice lady Min, who had lived in London for over a decade. On her return back to the roots, Min opened her own foreign language school along with a coffee shop that serves good coffee and chocolate which can’t but make you feel like at home. Those who ever lived in China, know what I mean 😉 Though a business lady, Min is extremely hospitable and friendly. She turned her coffee shop into a place where foreigners can hang out, learn Chinese and make friends.

Therefore, driven by a desire to master one of the ancient languages in the world, every Wednesday at 7pm a group of foreigners gathers together in Min’s SPR Coffee.

Let’s see how the “classes” are conducted!