Suzhou, the Chinese Venice

I will always regret  not riding a gondola in Venice. We were only there for one night and it was cold, pouring rain, and it stunk to high heavens. The last thing I wanted to do was get closer to the stinky water.

Good thing I got a redo on the much cleaner waters of the Suzhou canals, nicknamed the Venice of China.

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Notice the leaning pagoda in the distance

We took an hour long boat ride through the man-made canals. Built over a thousand years ago, this used to be a major thruway for industry. The houses along the sides of the canal have no running water or sewer system, but everyone pays a price for water-front property.

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The foundation of this house is over 600 years old.

Once we got off the boat we landed in the crowded market place that was not meant for tourists. This is always my favorite part of a trip.

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Shantang street runs for 2 miles.

I have a thing for baby shoes.

I have a thing for baby shoes.

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The peeking duck are the white ones in front of the cage.

As we were getting back in the boat, we watched a guy trying to fish his car keys out of the canal. Someone with a stick with a magnet taped to the end came to help. It must happen pretty frequently.

We had to come back and see Shangtang St. with the lights on.

We had to come back and see Shangtang St. with the lights on.


  1. Yes, the parts not meant for tourists are often the best parts. When we were in Shanghai, my mom and I snuck out of the hotel very early to go watch tai chi in the local park, then bought bamboo knitting needles from a street market. Much better than the junk in the “Friendship Stores”.


    1. I love the image of the people doing tai chi in the park. I don’t understand spending so much money to fly to another country and then never leaving the safety of your hotel or tour group. I travel for the moments you just described 🙂


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