Monday, January 03, 2011
3rd stop - Su Zhou
City of Su Zhou is probably the one stop I expected so much of and in fact exceeded my expectation.
It's a city of ancient romance, a city of modern day casual living compared to other major cities. Prague of China is what I feel about it. Prague is Paris of east Europe. Su Zhou was Paris back in the days, more like Prague today in terms of commerce in the theme of Paris.
The beautiful gardens are most notorious in Su Zhou. Many of which were built for and by government officials and merchants for the government. The word mansion is not elaborate enough for them. Landscaping combined with natural scenery, water ways, pavilions, bridges, corridors, the design concept is to capture the nature (mountain, plants, lakes and architecture) then shrink it down to a private home of only a few. It's a small world for only a few to enjoy, but today any one can visit the elaborate composition. Modern day architecture are about tall and functional, some would argue about the artistic value. Upon visiting many ancient architectures of China, it's all about details! Every detail also entails a meaning that reflects culture.
Ping Tan is a must experience in Su Zhou. Dinner and live music, best combination at an old house converted restaurant.