Spring awakened us when we arrived in our taxi to the city of Suzhou. Green leaves, sunshine, + spring air graced our faces as we entered the city center, followed by stunning ancient architecture. Suzhou is in the Jiangsu Province, this ancient city which was founded in in 514 BC is home to one of the most beautiful gardens I've ever entered. The Humble Administrator's Garden, founded in the 1500's dripped willows, popped fresh flower buds, and transported us to a hidden world within a bustling city.
Here is a recap of our day:
- Watching people's reactions when I clap to sync the VR Rig and step away still cracks me up. Even moreso now that I'm editing. I feel like I should start a candid VR camera show.
- Definitely visit the Humble Administrator's Garden. Put your local face on and push past the folks trying to sell you tickets at the street. Once you make it to the actual ticket booth, life is quieter and upon entering the gardens, life is sweeter.
- Lily was our guide from Duke Kunshan. She was bold but the cutest person ever. She even had a grand time learning how to instagram food at our lunch.
- Eat the green balls. At least...taste them. The Qingtuan dumplings are seasonal, local fare and only "slightly" sticky. Ok...they are the stickiest dumplings in the world but they are also relatively sweet. It's a sticky rice mixed with a mugwort or barley grass, stuffed with red bean and steamed. Lauren might tell you they are the worst. I'm going to tell you, it's worth the try!
- I still miss these crab soup dumplings + thousand year noodles deeply...like, I still dream about them.
- The art + embroidery in Suzhou is astounding. We followed the duARTS group to a painting + embroidery workshop. We met three of the most renowned artists in the city. The painting is so difficult...I tried and failed badly. The embroidery, however, left me in awe. It's a family tradition to pass along the skill and the two gentleman who we met were wholeheartedly making their family proud. Embroidery with silk is extremely difficult, but so intricately accurate. Their portraiture + modern art were out-of-this-world beautiful.