I’m back in China again for work this week visiting a factory in Suzhou. After a slightly crazy Friday where I landed at 8:30am after an 11 hour flight and then did a whole day of work, I had the whole weekend off to go exploring. I’d done a little bit of sightseeing in Suzhou last November, but only had two half days so didn’t get to see much.

Saturday morning I overslept a bit and then went exploring. My colleague stayed at the hotel and worked. Weird. Anyway, first off I went to 盘门景区 “Panmen Scenic Area”. Not really sure how to translate 盘门: “plate gate”? The gate bit I suppose is referring to the area being the old gate in the city wall pictured below.


Fans of city walls should check back in a few posts time. The main attraction of the sprawling area is the tall pagoda and picturesque landscaped lake.


I got quite excited about going up the pagoda. But sadly you can only go up to the fifth floor and outside only up to the third. Never mind, the view is still pretty good:


Afterwards I wandered back into town and stumbled upon what is to date my favourite Suzhou attraction: 网师园 “Net Master’s Garden”. It’s a bit like the “Humble Administrator’s Garden” I visited last year but smaller, quieter, and more charming.


It’s not actually a garden as such, rather a large house with a number of little open spaces and this large lake in the centre. In some of the little buildings are small shops selling local artwork. There’s also a quaint tea house where I wasted an hour or so drinking this tea in a glass with jasmine flowers floating in that all the old people here are mad keen for. Pretty good start to my “work” trip, so I headed back to the hotel to plan my Sunday adventure…