The Xian “Incident”

May 24th, 2008

Xian city wall in front of a templeLast Christmas we decided to do something different. Since we were not going anywhere out of China, we thought X’ian would be a perfect place to visit at that time of year. We hoped the freezing weather would keep visitors at bay and would give us peace and quiet to enjoy the city of the brilliant but brief Qin Empire. Here is the starting point of the Silk Road.

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The Town of “Wu”

May 23rd, 2008

Part of the Grand Canal flows through WuzhenOn a gray and rainy day, we set out on a day’s excursion to Wu Zhen, which is located in the north plain of Zhe Jiang Province, about two-hour drive from Suzhou. After passing the TV Tower, we drove on the road to Hangzhou in the direction of Wujiang and Pingwang, with the Grand Canal on our right. The dual road was well paved until we got to Shenze, a town well known for its silk. From then on, part of the road turned into a mass of slippery mud – especially after the rain, because it is being enlarged and construction has not yet been completed. We drove past Qinyun, Tonglua, Taoyuan to Tongxiang. Coming from Shanghai, you will have to use the Hu Hang Expressway to Hangzhou. About half way, the road branches off to Tongxiang, which lies in the direction of Wu Zhen.

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THE LANDMARK OF SUZHOU

May 22nd, 2008

Tiger Hill Park with Pagoda in the backMost of you will have been to Suzhou. As you approach Exit No. 4 on the Huning Express Way, your attention will have been drawn to a tall leaning pagoda, looming in the mist on your left. Tiger Hill Pagoda is also known as Yunyan Temple Pagoda in Chinese and is the oldest of all the existing pagodas in Suzhou. Because of its historical value, the Pagoda was the first monument that came under the Chinese national preservation.
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2001 Suzhou China International Silk Festival

May 21st, 2008

Friday, September 28 began gloriously. Suzhou was bathed in beautiful sunlight – a good omen for the opening day of the 2001 Suzhou China International Silk Festival that would last for three days. The city had been preparing itself for months for this event, which coincided with the Mid-Autumn Festival as well as the 52nd Anniversary of the foundation of the People’s Republic of China on October 1. This, coupled with the APEC Conference that took place here a few days ago, has turned Suzhou into a city of thousands of potted plants and flowers. The place was adorned with festoons of myriad of colored ribbons and balloons. At night the lovely moon was overshadowed by the display of fireworks. Suzhou presented itself in all its glory.
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Of Snow and Ice

May 20th, 2008

Of Snow and IceIt was a pleasant surprise…one evening out of the blue, Walter placed two air tickets in front of me and announced airily, “We’re going to Harbin on Friday, January 11”. I was thrilled.

 

 

 

 

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Sights, Sounds and Smells of the Silk Road

May 18th, 2008

Ever since we came to live in China, I had always wanted to go to that mysterious and romantic Silk Road, to experience its sights and sounds and also to compare it with places like Aleppo and Damascus of Syria. After all these two cities were also parts of the caravan route in the days gone by.

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