This morning began with a one hour cruise of the Grand Canal and smaller in Suzhou. It gave us a real insight on how life can be in China. This is one of the highlights of our trip so far. Our voyage started out by seeing some well appointed homes, however as we got to the narrower parts of the canal the quality of the houses dropped significantly.
Our Guide Lie Lie told us that there are no toilet facilities in these homes. Apparently, the waste is collected every morning and disposed of. Her Grand-mother lived here almost all her life and was recently moved to a new apartment. She had a difficult transition even though her new home had all of the amenities.
Next we went to the silk manufacturing plant and saw a whole bunch of silk worms producing silk. We experienced a real push from our guide to purchase comforters, pillows covers etc. We did purchase pillows. Some real high quality stuff. We had lunch at the factory and it was crappy.
We hit the road for the 3 1/2 hour drive to Hangzhou. It is simply unbelievable the amount of residential construction. These guys don’t just build a high rise apartment, generally they build six to ten of them at the same time on the same site. We probably saw at least 30 sites on this drive.
After arriving in Hangzhou we went to the oldest street in this city and it was teeming with people. Just about anything you could dream of could be seen here. We followed this up with a very good dinner and signed into our hotel. We are here for two nights before flying the Xian.