Tongli

Sunday, July 28,

Departure: 09h00
Back: 16h00

We went towards the south bus station of Suzhou. We took a bus to Tongli. After about 1 hour trip we arrived at the small village.

Total cost :

– Bus: 8 Rmb (one way)

– Entrance fee to Tongli: 80 Rmb

Entrance fee Tongli has 80 Rmb (ie what I learned later that it is possible not to pay the entrance fee if you do not want to visit a garden or houses, but it’s difficult to let understand this to the guard at the entrance who only speaks Chinese).

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Tongli is a town not far from Suzhou. It is located 18 km from Suzhou.

The characteristics of Tongli can be summarized in three points:

  1. A lot of water and bridges. There are over 40 bridges built in different dynasties.
  2. Many buildings of the Ming and Qing dynasties.
  3. Many famous people. Since the Song, especially in the times of the Ming and Qing dynasties, there are many famous historical figures who have returned to Tongli and have built many homes and gardens.

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Walk in this small village far from the Chinese agitation, relaxing !! Since we have our ticket we will suddenly see a beautiful garden / house typical of the Ming Dynasty.

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<3 Conclusion: Tongli to do for those who want to relax and forget for a day the hubbub.

Suzhou

Saturday, July 27,

Departure: 10.00 am
Return: 10.00 pm

My family arrived yesterday from Beijing in Suzhou. For this warm sunny day (40 ° C), we went towards the old town of Suzhou and canals.

Short walk in the typical street Ping Jiang Road, we tasted sweet dumpling of all colors and discovered streets forgotten by the time.

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Ping Jiang Road  Ping Jiang Road

Ping Jiang Road

After this moment of peace; despite the 35 ° C we went direction the garden of the humble administrator. One of the greatest garden in China, the greatest of Suzhou. A Garden World Heritage of the UNESCO.

Admission is 60Y.
Website: http: //en.szzzy.cn./
Address: No. 178, Northeast

A beautiful garden  with shadow. The park also has a beautiful bonsai collection.

the humble administrator garden  the humble administrator garden

the humble administrator garden  the humble administrator garden

After this relaxing walk towards Suzhou Museum. It was built by the same architect as the Louvre pyramid. The museum is also a mixed history of Suzhou and Chinese history during the Ming Dynasty.

Admission: Free
Address: 江苏 省 苏州 市 平江区 东北 街 204 号
Dongbei Jie Lu near Lindman, Suzhou 215001, China

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Once the visit finished, we walked to the North Pagoda. The North Pagoda is a large 8-floors building. It allows us a stunning view across Suzhou. This is the oldest Buddhist temple in Suzhou, more than 1,700 years of history.

Admission fees: 15Y
Address: No. 652 Renmin Rd Canglang District.

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Heat outweighs the physical condition of the group, Mr Vincent and Mr Pierre want a cold beer ASAP (not kidding we all want a cool thing to drink). We stoped in a good American pub with lots of expats and we ordered a good-deserved beer.

2 days in Beijin

Start: Friday, July 19, 2013
Back: Sunday, July 21, 2013

Friday, July 19,

Departure: 7.00 am
Return: 8.00 p.m.

Starting at 7:00 am from the northern station of Suzhou. Departure of of the train at 8:30 am, let’s go for Beijing (5h30min).

Arrived in Beijing, direction the hotel to meet my parents from France. Immediately into the immerge in the crowded streets, lots of people on the subway and a “fog” in the sky due to pollution. We arrived at the same time.

We settle in the hotel, and without delay let’s go to Beijing Zoo (Metro Line 4 stop Beijing Zoo). Immediately, Eva and Pierre headed direction the pandas grounds. Then tigers, bears and crocodiles through chimpanzees and foxes. The park closes at 18:00.

We returned to the hotel. We identified places to shop and where to have breakfast. Dinner in a local restaurant with noodles!

Big sleep well deserved.

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Saturday, July 20,

Departure: 7:00
Return: 8:00 p.m.

Breakfast in a cafe with coldtea (jasmine, green, lemon)and green tea cookie and a fig bun .

At 8:30 the driver was waiting for us outside the hotel. Direction Chinese wall and Ming temple. About 2:00hours after we reach the Ming temple. Very large, very well maintained and with a beautiful view of the countryside and mountains.

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11:00, let’s go for the Chinese wall. First stop in a place where it is still not “sophisticated”, left in its natural state. This place is much less popular with tourists.  Unfortunately for us they removed all access to higher levels. A little disappointed. Direction a second entry, much more sophiticated wall but still few tourists.

Ride for 1h30 on the wall. Just wonderful !!!!

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Sunday, July 21,

Departure: 07.30 am
Return: 9.30 pm

For this last day, let’s go to the forbidden city, again beautiful but a little bit disappointed by the lack of interest that the Chinese people give to this magnificent building. Some parts of the Forbidden City are abandoned and those that have been restored, only the visible parts were made.

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After a visit of more than 2h00, we went to a typical street in Beijing. We passed on the famous Tian’anmen place (place of the student revolts that ended by numerous executions).

We ate in a typical restaurant. Back for us at the train station to catch our train. An exotic but very interesting weekend. 🙂

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Total cost:
– zoo : RMB 40
– Ming Temple: RMB 45
– Chinese wall first admission: RMB 45
– Chinese wall touristic part : RMB 80

Pudong District

14th July, 2013: Pudong district

Departure: 11.00 am

Back: 4.00 pm

Best noodles of Shanghai Address: 479 E Nanjing Rd (basement).

In very sunny Sunday, direction Pudong and its large towers. Pudong financial district with towers which rise more than 468 m. We opted for the World Financial Tower (492m) to the highest point of China. But another tower is under construction and should be 632m.

We took the tunnel under the river (tourist trap, I do not recommend it at all). It is expensive and not worth it !

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To avoid paying to get into the tower we decided to go up to the 91st floor and not until the 94th floor. At the 91floor there is a restaurant / bar where one is for eatting and the other for drinking but it is much cheaper than paying for 2 additional floors and no refreshing!

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Stunning views of Shanghai! Beautiful! Do this only if the weather is very clear.

Down from the tower and Nanjing Road towards the best to eat noodles Shanghai. Large bowl of steam noodles Jiangsu in a traditional setting await us.

 

Hong-Kong Island

7th July 2013: Hong-Kong Island

Departure: 9.00 am

Return: 1.00 pm (HK airport)

For the second half-day direction Hong Kong island with these towers.

This neighborhood has constantly changed, you are transported through the time from the oldest to the newest of the city.

From the Western District of Hong Kong Island, you will discover a world of wonder where the hustle and bustle of a modern metropolis mingles with the colors of old traditions.

Among the dried seafood and Chinese herb shops, the tradition of the past is always full of life today. Then, over the promenade discovers the Hong Kong financial heart with these modern steel towers symbolizing Hong Kong’s international success.

Hong-Kong Island Map
Hong-Kong Island Map

1. Western Market and Sheung Wan Fong

It was built in 1906. It became a food market for a while before closing in 1988. Two years later, he was kept with themed shops. Unfortunately it is open from 10 am and I did not have time to wait.

2. Ginseng and Bird’s Nest Street, Dried Seafood Street

Wing Lok Street and Bonham Strand West are lined with shops specialized in the sale of traditional specialties of Chinese medicine.

Des Voeux Road West contains many specialized shops in rare and expensive varieties of dried seafood.

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3. Hollywood Road (Antique Street) and Upper Lascar Row (Cat Street)

These streets are best known for their curiosity and antique shops.

4. Man Mo Temple

One of the first traditional-style temples built during the colonial era of Hong Kong, the Man Mo Temple honors the Taoist God of Literature (Man) and God of War (Mo). The temple contains statues of Pau Kung, the God of Justice, and Shing Wong, the god of the city.

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5. SoHo

This lively little dining area takes its name from its location, which is south of Hollywood Road. It has an attractive mix of creative shops, bars and restaurants serving a wide range of international cuisine, including Nepalese, Italian, Dutch, Spanish, Mexican and Chinese.

6. Duddell Street Steps and Gas Lamps

Old style lamps were built between 1875 and 1889, and are the only four remaining gas lamps in Hong Kong.

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7. Old Supreme Court Building

Opened in 1912, the former Supreme Court has been converted to house the Legislative Council Chamber in 1985.

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Special mention for the longest outdoor covered escalator system in the world : Central-Mid-Levels Escalators !

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Kowloon Island

July 6th, 2013: Kowloon Island

Departure: 12.00 pm

Back: 11.00 pm

Here I arrived at the hotel (stanford hillview hotel), the visit start on the island of Kowloon and specifically at Tsim Sha Tsui (known locally as “TCT”). This is the end of the island of Kowloon.

There are a variety of chic, local and international restaurants, many large modern shopping centers, beautiful historic buildings, fascinating museums and the Hong Kong Cultural Centre. Last but not least, the scenic waterfront offers the best views of Victoria Harbour and Hong Kong skyline mesmerizing.

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1. Hillwood Soho
It is a meeting place for locals with a fun collection of bars and a selection of restaurants serving delicious Asian cuisine.

2. Knutsford Terrace and Knutsford Steps
This area is filled with people who enjoy some of the many pleasures and culinary delights of the city.

3. St Andrew
The Anglican Church has held a strong evangelical tradition for the past 100 years.

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4. The Park Lane Shopper’s Boulevard
Popular with buyers, day and night, this shopping center offers a variety of local and international brand stores.

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5. Avenue of Stars
At the Avenue of Stars you found statues and hand prints honoring the Hong Kong movie’s actors.

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6. Clock Tower
As a romantic landmark, echo the age of steam, the Clock Tower was completed in 1921 as part of the terminus of Kowloon-Canton Railway.

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7. Victoria’s Peak
You reach it by a funicular, up stunning views of Hong Kong. You must go in advance because a long queue will be there. It is best to be there for 7.00 pm at the top to watch the sunset and Hong Kong under the lights.

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8. A Symphony of Lights
The greatest show of sound and light in the world by the Guinness World Records, the show integrates more than 40 buildings on both sides of Victoria Harbour.

 

9. Street night market
Finally, to finish the day walking towards the street night market. Semi covered market where you will find gifts and souvenirs.

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Total cost:

  • Hotel: 80€/night
  • Dinner: 12 $HK