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Mr. Selfish and I decided to take a couple of day trips from Shanghai. While on my study abroad program in 2002, we took a day trip to Suzhou, which I remembered to be stunningly beautiful, so we decided to venture there again.

The train ride from Shanghai to Suzhou took less than half an hour. We walked from the train station to the North Temple Pagoda, also known as the Beisi Pagoda. Admission was 25 yuan per person and completely worth it.

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At 249 feet, the pagoda has nine stories. You can walk all the way to the top for the great views of Suzhou.

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The pagoda’s grounds were also quite nice to explore. Mr. Selfish and I enjoyed some milk tea next to a little pond.

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Next, we walked to the Humble Administrator’s Garden, for which the admission was 50 yuan per person. The garden is the largest in Suzou and generally considered to be the most beautiful garden in southern China.

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Although it was kind of crowded, there were still plenty of places to lounge about and enjoy the lushness of it all.

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Finally, we walked along the canal of Suzhou and found a teahouse in which to sip some tea.

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Mr. Selfish and I purchased some tea but didn’t have enough cash to pay for it (Chinese tea is expensive!). Our credit card also didn’t work because most of the stores only accept Chinese credit cards. So, the shopkeeper took Mr. Selfish to an ATM on the back of her motorcycle. It was quite a sight.

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I would definitely return to Suzhou again. Mr. Selfish and I didn’t have enough time to explore some of the smaller gardens, such as the Lion Grove Garden or the Master of Nets Garden, that we had wanted to see.

In case you’re interested, here’s my Google map of Suzhou:

[Disclaimer: This was our personal Google map for Suzhou. It is possible that not all of the pins are accurate since we did not visit all of them.]