China · China travel

Suzhou & Wuxi


The old and the new. The first photo is a pagoda at Hansan temple and the other is “Times Square.” That thing running on top is an elongated cinema screen that shows ads and animated movies. I wonder how long it’s been opened because it didn’t have much people at all, even taking into consideration that it was a weekday.

Lion Grove Gardens, one of Suzhou’s World Heritage Site gardens.

Suzhou is world-famous for its heritage and its canals but it was Wuxi, about one hour’s drive east from Suzhou, that I found really nice. Situated along Lake Tai, Wuxi is a city in Jiangsu province with a history dating back to thousands of years ago. It may be very old but it’s also modern and prosperous, having been deemed one of China’s best business cities and featuring thriving new energy and manufacturing industries. Its GDP is also one of the highest in China for major cities.

Its name supposedly means “no tin,” due to it having once had plentiful tin reserves that eventually were depleted. In terms of cuisine, Wuxi paigu or spareribs is especially famous and we were fortunate to have it at dinner.

CCTV studios, top, where we caught a battle reenactment and then took a short cruise on Lake Tai, above, China’s third-largest lake.

Rolling into the city and enjoying views from Lihu lake, a bay of Lake Tai. The latter was very peaceful and quiet with few people walking around, this was in the evening, and it was nice to watch the sun set.

As I said, construction was going on everywhere we went, whether Wuxi, above, Suxhou or Shanghai.