Pritam Rohila Travels

Reports of my travels along with some pictures

Oct 28, 2010


June 6

After breakfast this morning, we left for Xian Airport, to catch our 12:10 p.m. Air China flight. Less than two-hour later, our flight landed at Shanghai Airport.

At Shanghai Airport, Angela (Han Chi), our local guide, greeted us. She was 28, single, and lived with her parents.

She was enjoying life and was not in hurry to get married. She told us that she loved Kentucky Fried Chicken, and always carried a KFC coupon sheet with her. Commenting on their food preferences, she said that the Chinese could eat anything that has four legs except a table, and anything that flies except an airplane!

We boarded our bus for a 45-mile trip to Suzhou, where we were to spend the night.

By the time we checked into Garden Hotel in Suzhou, 45 miles away from Shanghai, it was already evening.

After dinner, some of us wanted to wander around in the streets nearby. Angela warned us

about local bar girls, and prostitution.

Some individuals went to a nearby hair salon for a haircut.

King Helu, who ruled a state in China 514 – 496 BC, appointed Wu Zixu to lead designing and building of Suzhou. His city planning was said to have incorporated “the environmental harmony between earth and water and the cosmic balance between celestial and terrestrial forces.” His statue stands by the Grand Canal in Suzhou.

Suzhou is located in the center of the Yangtze River Delta. More than 40 percent area of the city is covered by water, and includes a vast number of canals, streams, and ponds. Therefore, Suzhou is sometimes called the 'Oriental Venice'.

Next to Shanghai, Suzhou is the second largest industrial city in China. Established in 1990, the Suzhou Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone hosts now more than 1,500 foreign companies.

It has Sister City relations with 50 cities of the world, including Portland, OR, & Jacksonville, Florida in USA, and Victoria, BC, in Canada.

The American scholar, Huston Smith, the author of the popular comparative religion book entitled, World’s Religions, was born and spent the first 17 years of his life here.

Suzhou gardens are believed to be the best among the gardens of the world. They were built according to the style of Chinese paintings, with every view in the garden designed to look like a painting. Some of them are listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.



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