Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Suzhou, Venice of the East

Went to Suzhou, a 40-minutes train trip from Shanghai. Pleasant city, it was the second time i've been there (last time was 3 years ago). Often called Venice of the East thanks to its canals crossing by the city.
Even in hard seat (2nd class), the train was confortable (26 RMB), with hostesses giving free water from Tibet to passengers. You can find schedule of the trains in English here

We went to the Silk Museum (15 RMB), interesting, with English explanations, you can see the former routes of the silk road, silkworms and machines used to make silk.
Then, we went to the Humble Administrator Garden, in French 'Le Jardin de la Politique des Simples' (70 RMB). Though a bit pricey for China, it's worthy, the garden is really big, with some islands, a bonsai garden inside. As most of Suzhou's gardens (9 out of 10), this garden is ranked at Unesco's Heritage. On the 16th century, Suzhou used to have more than 100 gardens, it was a very popular city for artists, teachers, many liked to retire in there.
North Pagoda

Sunday, 3 May 2009

MIDI Festival

This week end in the city of Zhenjiang 镇江 takes place the biggest outdoor rock festival in China MIDI Festival. Many concerts of Chinese and foreign groups from 2pm to 11pm.

We (Morgane, Stephen, Emma and myself) went there on Friday 1st May, Labour Day, by train 1h50 from Shanghai. Usually the event is held in Beijing, but this year they decided to do it in Zhenjiang, not far from Wuxi, in Jiangsu province. Organisation was bad, after having bought the entrance tickets on-site, we had to wait something like one hour to get in, tickets checking took so long and with all the Chinese pushing to get in first...
We saw Sand (Chinese), Turdus Musicus (Norway), Twisted Machine (Chinese), Again (Chinese) and Mike TV (UK).Queue for entering the stageMike TV (YK)