Wednesday, June 30, 2010


After some confusion and exchanging of tickets, we took a high speed train from Shanghai Railway South Station to the city of Hangzhou. It was a 1-1/2 hour trip and I had a standing only ticket. I didn't find that out until we were almost on the train. I didn't know it was that long of a trip either. We waited a little in the Hangzhou train station while Mei-Jen arranged our return tickets, then we took a taxi van to a restaurant by West Lake.

We walked along the edge of the lake for a while.

We took a rest here. It was suggested that I should walk on ahead and they would catch up to me. I'm not sure how they thought that was going to work with Joy and a 1 year old along, but I jumped at the chance. I walked, and walked, and walked some more. Eventually it became apparant to me that there was no way they were going to catch me. I sat down and waited. Then I waited some more. I started to walk back and finally came upon some of them. The others had gone backwards looking for me, thinking they might have passed me.

We hired this gentleman to give us a ride around part of the lake. Guo-Yen and Mei-Jen didn't come along as there was not enough room in the boat.

Here's a boat following us near the end of our tour.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Canal Tour in Suzhou

After visiting Tiger Hill, we boarded a long and low boat to tour some of the canals.

Engagement or Wedding photos?

 This was at the end of our tour.

The Humble Administrators Garden

It's a fairly large garden for such a humble guy.

Moments after I got this shot the area behind HL and Joy filled up with thourists.

Tea House

Joy tried on hats while we walked the gauntlet of shops at the exit of the garden.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

More Tiger Hill

This sign should have been at the World Expo in Shanghai. 

Waiting for a customer.

Relaxing in the shade.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Tiger Hill in Suzhou

Tiger Hill is the #1 sight in Suzhou, at least according to the sign.

We hired a guide and rode an electric cart to the top of the hill. Yuanyansi Pagoda sits at the top. It has a 3 degree lean.

Got this shot from the moving cart on the way up the hill.

After visiting the pagoda, we worked our way down to the bottom on foot.


Thursday, June 3 we took a van with a driver to Suzhou, a water town, located on the lower reaches of the Yangtze river in the province of Jiangsu, China. It is sometimes referred to as the Venice of the East, due to its canals.We stopped at a rest stop along the highway.

Saw these in the rest stop store. I didn't buy any, but Hui-Ling did buy some duck tongue.

First we went to Hanshan temple, a Buddhist temple and monastary which was originally built in 503. It was most recently rebuilt in 1896, after being destroyed and rebuilt many times. The literal translation of the name is "Cold Mountain Temple". We had guide who showed us around, but I couldn't understand anything she said. Unfortunately after 10 years, my Chinese is terrible.

There is a bell that may be rung by visitors, for a price. Three rings per ticket. I did it. The steps up into the bell tower were steep, but it wasn't very high, only one flight up. It was very had to get shots without people in the background, or foreground for that matter. Since I was with a group of people, I couldn't always wait around for a clean shot.

Friday, June 18, 2010


In July 2009 there were approximately 307,000,000 people in the United States. China had about 1,324,000,000 people. I've read that there are over 360,000,000 smokers in China. That's more people than in the entire United States! I certainly witnessed quite a bit of smoking in China. Someone was smoking in nearly every restaurant we ate in. Sometimes there were a lot of smokers, making for a less than enjoyable eating experience. On top of that, I had a cold almost the entire time I was in China and Taiwan.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Xin Tian Di

Xin Tian Di is a shopping district in Shanghai. It also houses a City God temple. Almost as soon as we got out of the taxi, we started getting approached by vendors hawking lasers, watches, toys, and iphones. I'm disappointed I didn't bargain for an iphone, even though I know it would have been a knock off.