From Jamie's Philippines Pics

We have also had the opportunity to travel to some amazing places in China, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Bali. We have archived all of our travels and living experiences abroad; and if you wish, you can read about our adventures by finding the archives on the right of this page and by checking our Photo Album.

We appreciate all of our family and friends who have stayed in touch and emailed us with encouraging words throughout the year. We hope you will continue to keep us in your thoughts as we continue our adventure of living abroad teaching at an international school. For those who have stumbled upon our site, check out the "About Eric and Jamie" section on the right for more information.

Thanks for checking us out!

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness."
- Mark Twain

"Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends."
- Maya Angelou






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Saturday, May 1, 2010

May Holiday - Day 9 - Suzhou


We woke early so we could catch an early train to Suzhou, a city only 40 minutes south of Shanghai via the bullet train. Great train and seats on the short 40 minute ride. We immediately visited the North Tower Pagoda and had a great view of the city from 9 stories up in this giant pagoda.

We had read that getting a taxi in the city was very easy, so our goal was to simply take a taxi around the city of the various gardens. No problem. Well, it was difficult all day to find a taxi where sometimes it would take us 20 minutes of waiting trying to hail a cab. We walked all the way next to the Suzhuo Museum which was designed by I.M. Pei. Unfortunately, the line was way too long as it was wrapped through the walkway for more than 100 meters. We decided to move on down to the Humble Administrator's Garden, but again, the line was long and the price was a bit too steep. We hated to miss this one, but there are literally dozens of gardens all over the city, so we figured we'd be able to see others.

We did find a cab to take us to the central part of the city where the famous canals are. They were nice enough, but we weren't blown away by them. I guess we had in our minds an ancient area like all others in China except on water, but it just wasn't that impressive. We walked down a little more and finally found the Lingering Gardens, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These gardens were beautiful and I strongly recommend you check out the pictures we took around these. We had fun posing with the flowers, bonzai trees, and rock formations.

It took us forever to find a taxi to take us to our lunch destination. When we finally did find one, the restaurant we wanted to go to was closed. We opted for a nice Italian restaurant instead. It was about time to go, we headed toward the train station where we finally found a bus to take us. We stopped by the Suzhou Silk Museum, an excellent museum that took us through the history of silk in China, including the Silk Road. The highlight was seeing actually silk worms - see video.

A 40 minute train ride back to Shanghai, a quick shower, and we headed out again to the Yu Gardens for dinner. Took some cool pictures of this place at night and we ate some great and cheap sushi. We ended our great but tiring day by checking out the Shanghai skyline once again along the Bund.

As I type this, I am planning our day tomorrow at the EXPO. Check back for I'm sure some outstanding pictures of the pavilions and the 2010 EXPO.
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