Often referred to as "the Venice of the East" Suzhou is famous for it's canals, beautiful gardens & silk.
It's a mixture of a quaint ancient city, with it's traditional architecture still intact, but mostly plastered with huge McDonalds signs and the like.
Nonetheless, it was nice strolling through the immaculate gardens, and seeing all the old buildings, I can just imagine how the place would have looked hundreds, or thousands of years ago!
Another thing that there is plenty of is pearls, naturally being so close to the water
One of the many older builders dotted along one of the main streets in Suzhou
Guys dressed in traditional costume selling West Lake Dragon Well tea... it was interesting watching the guy on the left pour tea with the long thin stick he was holding, so precise!
Even though most of the buildings have been preserved, they've been turned into shops selling tourist wares and fast food chains such as McDonalds & Haagen-Dasz
I managed to grab this picturesque canal shot with not many people around! It looks really serene and quiet, but of course like anywhere in China, it was teeming with people LOL
And where there are canals, there are boat rides!
But what I liked were the little stalls on the main road with various kinds of food, especially the following stall selling mochi type sweets with fillings:
Hammering away at the mochi
These had different fillings such as peanut and black sesame, and they were so good! I had the peanut one.
This wall displays what some of the old Suzhou houses situated on the canal used to look like
I tried to take more pictures of the buildings that looked closed to traditional as possible, and avoided those plastered with advertising and signs:
It was amazing to see how many tea leaves the guy could jam in that little tin, they literally just keep packing them in like a neverending tub haha