these are the posts tagged ‘suzhou’:

children were cool

children were cool

chinese wisdom, from suzhou. i thought that chinglish would probably be a “language” soon to be extinct, as the dictionaries and automatic translators got better. but after almost 2 years of living here, i don’t think that’s the case. chinglish is alive and well, omnipresent in every restaurant menu, advertising banner, school book, product description… sometimes it’s funny, sometimes cryptic, sometimes technically correct but not so polite… but definitely here to stay!

suzhou museum

suzhou museum

here comes another post overflowing with pictures. the second stop on our suzhou tour was the suzhou museum: we had it on our bookmarks since noticing it on coolhunter. it is designed by I. M. Pei, a suzhou-born architech. he explained his ideas for the museum on the ny times:

He sought to remain true to China’s tradition of courtyards and gardens yet rethink those models. He wanted neither a flat Western roof nor the arched gray tile roof typical of Suzhou.
He found a solution that incorporated the idea of whitewashed walls but eliminated the gray tile roofs, accenting the building instead with gray stone.

“Instead of gray tile roofs, I needed something that would develop volumes,” he said, drawing a diagram on a paper showing an ascending roof pattern. “So I let the walls climb onto the roof. If the walls were stucco, why not the roof?”

The result is a 160,000-square-foot museum that has many of the hallmarks of Mr. Pei’s earlier designs — his squares, rectangles and pyramids — as well as an expansive use of glass and light. It also has traditional motifs, like a large Chinese garden with an artificial pond, a Chinese footbridge and a wall of thinly sliced rocks that yields an image of a series of mountain peaks against an older, whitewashed garden wall.

the result was impressive, intriguing, geometrical, modern yet classical. quite neat, if you ask me, and as a result, we didn’t pay much attention to the exhibitions. :P

suzhou museum

corridor at suzhou museum

staircase, suzhou museum

suzhou museum, fish pond

window detail, suzhou museum

north temple pagoda, suzhou

last weekend we finally gathered the courage to brave the crowds and buy a train ticket to suzhou… actually, the ticket-buying experience was quick and painless, much unlike what i had anticipated – especially in this time of the year.

anyway, the trip went smoothly, the weather was gorgeous, and the city was actually quite friendly. i lack the vocabulary to describe architecture, but you know the tranquility that comes with a “coherent” architecture? that’s how the city center looked to me, with its white walls and dark roofs, more or less aligned till the horizon. un-chaotic.

the choice of things to visit is quite large, so we picked one of each: a pagoda, a unesco garden and a museum, all more or less close to each other … the rest of the day, we spent geocaching :)

north temple pagoda

so, for the first stop, we chose the north temple pagoda. it’s an octogonal pagoda, 9 floors height, filled with best wishes scribbled all over the yellow walls. and naturally, from up there you can see all of suzhou in a glance.

here is the mini photo-report:



miss taiwan

speaking of suzhou, jonna writes a great blog from there. i never get tired of reading her adventures in learning mandarin and trying to understand the way chinese people think. we’ve been through more or less the same situations, so it’s a very accurate description of our “expat life” as well :)