Exploring Suzhou and Tongli

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Today was the day I woke up and seriously considered staying behind. I felt absolutely miserable and the idea of a 2 hour bus ride to Suzhou and Tongli was not sounding good…but I am so glad I decided to suck it up and go!

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silk worms

Suzhou was our local guide Tony’s hometown. We visited a local silk factory and got to see the whole process from silk worm to silk. It is pretty crazy to think that these little worms (more like caterpillars) spin this thin thread used to make silk! The little silk worms were super cute

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he’s saying hello!

Then we all got the chance to shop in the giant store…our group definitely did some damage. Mom treated me to a new silk comforter! I still haven’t used it yet because I am hunting for the perfect duvet cover. We also got some gifts for friends and ties for the boys.

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the silk being unrolled from the cocoons 

I honestly can’t even remember what we had for lunch…all I remember was not eating any of it. Thank God my mom packed Quest Protein bars. It wasn’t that the food was gross, just the thought of eating any more Chinese food was unbearable (I still haven’t been able to eat it!!)

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Crane mosaic in the gardens

After lunch we made our way to a garden that is registered for historical purposes (I can’t remember the official thing) It was pretty, but again I was tired so I really didn’t fully enjoy it.

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A picture from the Gardens. I loved how the buildings reflected off the pond. The one interesting thing about these Gardens were the rooms that surrounded it. It felt like you were back in time seeing the rooms used to greet guests, the library, and etc!

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HAND CARVING CLOTHESPINS! 

My favorite part of the day, and the part I would have been so sad to miss was Tongli. Tongli is a water town surrounded by canals. We walked into this small town and got to experience the waterways via a boat.

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It was such a cool experience because we were able to see most of Tongli from the canal. We were then given the opportunity to walk around. I discovered the CUTEST coffee shop on the planet.

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can’t handle the cuteness

Inside was even cuter! The counter was made completely from books and the coffee shop had walls and walls of unique postcards and greeting cards! I could have spent all day taking pictures inside here!

DSC_3899the counter

Tonight was bittersweet. It was our last night as a group together having dinner. The group of us really got along great for the duration of the trip. The last day in Shanghai was a free day with no structured plans. We all enjoyed our dinner sharing our favorite memories from the trip!

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