We knew two things about Taishan before our climb: The process of climbing the mountain involves ascending over 6,600 individual stair steps, and Taishan is very, very popular with Chinese.
Suzhou has long been known for its incredible gardens. This post covers three of the best: The huge Humble Administrator’s Garden, the old Master of the Nets garden, and the ancient Panmen complex.
Stepping out in the evening onto Pingjiang Road after an excruciatingly hot summer day is magical — the entire length of the ancient canal towpath comes alive with townspeople, tourists and merchants of all kinds.
We arrived in Suzhou hoping to beat the July heat, but to no avail. The good news is that Old Town Suzhou seems made for slow strolling with plenty of cool shops, tea houses and cafes when the heat becomes too much.
We flew into Shanghai from the U.S. and spent four nights in this strange and wonderful place. Shanghai, perhaps more than any other place in the country, epitomizes the mind-bogglingly rapid rise of modern China.
Both maddeningly beautiful, and apocalyptic and terrifying (how?), the Chinese landscape screams by our bullet train window at 150mph. After months of preparation, the big trip has finally begun. First stop, China!