This was an unexpected, unplanned side trip to Suzhou so thought it’d be more suitable to have a separate entry on this. Through whatsapp chat, we learnt that our 小叔 from my Dad’s side who has been living in China for some 7 or 8 years was currently staying near to Shanghai. Thus, as he was as eager as us to meet up to play host, he offered to drive over to Shanghai to pick us up and arrange a side trip to Suzhou which we followed along. Along the way, we talked and mingled and learnt quite alot about his life here in China and I was quite guilty for being ignorant to his China “expeditions”. So he arranged for us to visit this famous Zhou Zhuang Ancient Town which was somewhat named in the Internet as “Venice of the East”. He was doing really quite well in China, so he had his driver who drove him 1 or 2 hours to Shanghai to pick us up and then send us to Suzhou.
This was a screenshot of the GPS location of this ancient town which was precious to me as google maps were pretty much blocked in China. Almost couldn’t get the location when I was there even with the Shanghai prepaid sim card, 3G connection was sparse and weak in Suzhou. I can only suspect that Suzhou uses a different telecom network. But in the later part when we returned back to Shanghai, I realised that I could just download the Baidu map app on my iPhone and I would simply be able to access the road maps here clearer than google maps. #iamnotgoingbacktochinaagain
Reached the ancient town. This was taken along the way to the entrance of the ancient water town. As we reached there in the late afternoon, we were told that quite a number of the attractions are closed and the last 2 would be closed by 630pm. We hurried in our footsteps through this ancient town and finally reached the first attraction of the day. Basically, its just one of the very old but well preserved residences that the ancient people lived and this was lived by a generation of family with the surname, Zhang who was an offspring of the late Xu Kui. This was Shen residence owned by a descendent of Shen Wanshen: a wealthy man in southern China in the late Yuan (1206-1368) to early Ming Dynasties.
Basically, some of the rooms were about the same as the Zhang residence so no point taking the picture again. This one has a pretty big kitchen and dining hall. On the dining table, those were their average daily meal consumption. 大鱼大肉! Roads here are stone-paved, really not a good pavement to walk on after a long day outside.
Venice of the East . The night was still young but at 7pm-ish, we head off for dinner at one of the restaurants nearby.
After dinner, we visited my uncle’s residence in Suzhou which was like 10 mins walk to his office. It was a pretty lux bungalow. Unfortunately, he is staying here all alone for the entire part of the year. And his children who are my cousins will only join him like once a year here during their school holidays. I felt a pity for him but I was also proud of him for his successes. Although he is not yet a believer, I hope that one day, he will come to the Lord’s side to enjoy not just the earthly riches, but to enjoy the heavenly riches that our Lord gives to us abundantly. Minions chocolate milk, something cute!
Sis, mum and yours truly. 🙂
Look fat and fair here.. woman is never contented when it comes to how slim or fat they look. Agree? This is me enjoying my SQ A380 flight when there is an empty seat beside me.
Did not capture too many shots as it was getting dark in there and some of us were tired. Hope this entry is as interesting as the previous one.
Finally after a long wait, we took a short getaway to Shanghai during the jubilee weekend when everyone else in Singapore will be celebrating the Singapore 50th birthday. It was a long weekend but we only flew on the 8th Aug. #0 Uploaded this picture on my IG to commemorate SG50 and changi airport being one of the top notch high class airport in the world.
#1 The timetable for subway line to and from the Pudong Intl airport #2 Or taking the Maglev train which costs more but saves time
#3 This is the Nanjing road Pedestrian Street which is lined with all the high rise buildings and shopping malls as you walked further down. It was pretty confusing when taking the subway to here as there weren’t much street signs to indicate the way to this street. We were walking round after round and back to square 1 before finally reaching here. And realized that the people here in this part of China are not helpful even when you approach them for directions. Just got to be aware of this and asked from a few people for directions before confirming the way to the place. #4 this is the mini tram service along the Nanjing Rd pedestrian street.
#5 As we walked on and on along the pedestrian street, we reached The Bund. This is the centre of the famous french concession area where all the old french buildings are built along the Huangpu River. Its like we just visited Europe lol. #6 the famous clock tower which looks like the big ben minus the red flags.
#7 The view of the Oriental Pearl Tower and all the financial district of Shanghai. #8 this is by far the only shop I’d go to if I am in any part of China. #metersbonwe
#9 panoramic view of the nanjing east road #10 street shot of Yongkang road where our rented loft apartment is.
#11 almost the end of the yongkang road, there is a supermarket where we went for 2 of the days to grab some necessities. #12 Lishui Road towards the Yu Garden that we wanted to go.
#13 This is the Shanghai Old Street which was at the other end of the Yu Garden. #14 Tianzifang
#15 the map of tianzifang. You will not get lost with this map to refer to as there are only 3 different exits out of tianzifang. #16 Xintiandi where we were when we were quite tired already. We reached here in the evening. Read on the internet that it is much better to visit in the evening when it is more happening and bustling with people. True to that, it was but only found out that besides the mix of old and new buildings, it was just a funky area where people gather together for some booze or dinner.
Gonna separate this Shanghai trip with another entry on side trip to Suzhou Zhouzhuang water town. Met up with an uncle who has been working in China for almost 7 to 8 years and this time he is staying in Suzhou.
Anyway, August has been the busiest month for me since I had to made 2 overseas trips week after another. So look out for my entry on Macau, my virgin business trip working in this company and also my virgin trip to Macau. Lol.
This is another one of my belated entry of my travel diary since this trip was made somewhere in April 2015. My last visit to South Korea was in 2007 and it has been almost 8 years since then. Despite this delay in making this trip, I still felt a sense of familiarity with this city upon touching down at Incheon airport. Probably, it was because I have always been watching SK dramas and movies for the longest time. hahaha.
#0 this was taken at their domestic airport with an awesome view of the aeroplanes. Felt that watching aeroplanes fly and land can be quite therapeutic.
#1 Took a domestic flight to Busan and we were transported to this Boseong Tea plantation which locals boast it as their finest green tea field in SK.
#4 I went up the rocky stairs to this huge rocky platform and sat there. So I insisted my mum to take an arty farty shot of me looking up at the skies. This is it.
#5 Left the folk village for this Suncheon bay which is one of the top 5 coastal wetlands in the world. I bet this is a UNESCO heritage site since it is being protected and preserved by the country.
#6 Gumcheon art culture village
#6.5 so… this is the famous everyone’s heard of Santorini of the Asia. This is the Gumcheon Art Village which is also famously called the asian version of Santorini. So while we are on the way to see that famous landscape, there were alot of such wall murals that decorated the streets of this quiet place which is also still homes to perhaps some of the poorest oldest citizens of this country.
#10 took quite a number of selfies with the selfie stick hahaha!
#12 this was taken down at the foot of the rocky hill. Was quite a long way down and I ran up because I felt guilty for eating too much ‘bap’ (meaning: rice) for the past few days. Locals eat bap for almost every meal.
#15 Bulguksa Temple – an UNESCO heritage site, one of the incentives of this trip is been able to visit a few of the many UNESCO heritage sites in the world. To me, its like a check in the bucket list.
#16 Cheonmachong (Algol Court) in Gyeongju where some of the late king and officials of the Silla Kingdom are buried here. Each ‘hill’ is a tomb for the king or some high ranking official. We visited one of the hill which laid the remains of a king.
#18 This was Anapji Pond in Gyeongju.
#19 on the way to lunch, we saw a big field of this yellow flowers and so the tour guide allowed us to alight to take a few pictures as this wasn’t a common sight in this part of the country in this season. This was also gps tagged at Wolsong area.
#20 After an escapade to the countryside, we took a speed train back to Seoul from Shin GyeongJu Station. Pretty good weather to start with that day.
#21 This itinerary also included back row tickets to the Wedding Musical concert in Seoul and this was one of the actors in the musical.
#22 Bukchon Hanok Village where the confusing streets of traditional korean houses are cultured together.
#25 we bought alot of MarketO cookies this trip.. it was so much cheaper here than you would get online or at the korean shops in SG.
#26 aiyah.. i looked so fat here.. didnt wanted to upload this pic but uploaded this to mark my step here to this Teddy Bear Museum in Gwangju.
#27 This was the bonus of the trip where we finally catch a few glimpse of cherry blossoms on our way from/to Incheon airport. I knew our trip is a late one if we had wanted check out the cherry blossoms. Nevertheless, thank God we are still able to see it on our way along the highway.
The pictures are about it, the journey has been fulfilling and lessons learnt as I was so careless in Busan when I lost all my remaining money and the wallet. I really should be more careful and less confident about my alertness.