Friday, January 11, 2013

June 25; Suzhou to Wuxi

Day 141
Things I'm gonna miss: hotel breakfasts.
Day 3 of the tour has us lounging around the Silk Mill for more than an hour when we could have finished in 15 minutes. Kristie and I wander off joining other tour group with a better guide who seems to be more friendly. She encourages the tourists feel the silk, which is fun at first. You can only do so much in the store... We find ourselves in a larger shopping area where we try on traditional Chinese dresses called qipao. I really want one cause I have outgrown all of mine but I hold off. Maybe in Beijing
Lunch in a restaurant that bottled reptiles. We don't not eat any though.
In the next city, Wuxin, we visit Ling Shan. It's my favourite place we visited thus far.  The statue of the Buddha is the biggest one in the world and it measures over 40 meters taller than the Statue of Liberty in new York. 
en route
Grand Buddha at Ling Shan
There are 217 steps from the bottom to the base of the statue. Higher off the ground, closer to the the heavens I guess... Inside the  base holds a mini museum. From what I understand, there are 5 main Buddhas in China. This Buddha belongs to the East of China. The Longmen Grottoes, which we had the pleasure of visiting before, belongs to Central China.
Longmen grottoes display
After going through all the displays, we finally find the elevator that lets us get to the foot of the statue.
literally, the foot of the statue
now to climb back down.
In the area surrounding the statue, there are apartments for the monks.
baby elephant statue

3 bridges that are supposed to symbolize something.. 
replica of the Big Buddha's hand
we take this cart towards our next area of the grounds.
The Ling Shan Brahma Palace is absolutely astonishing (in my humble opinion). The architecture, marble, wall carvings, lighting, statues... it's all very pretty. I just kind wish it was less crowded.
we had to wear slippers for the palace
year of the ram
The fountain show ended off the trip at the Buddha Palace. The water moves in time with the music. I think it's suppose to tell the (re)birth of Buddha.

After dinner, we head straight to the hotel. Early night means one thing-- pool party! After getting the swim gear ready, we are hit with a few obstacles:
1) the directory said the pool was on the first floor. It ended up being on the third.
2) you can't leave your stuff by the pool side so we have to go back to the second floor to get lockers.
3) after getting the locker and getting changed, the attendant tells us we can't enter the pool unless we have swim caps. Swim caps ranged for about 50-120 ¥. EFF no.
What did we end up doing? Hang out in the wifi equipped lobby and then bollywood time!

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