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Monday, November 9, 2015

The Venice of The Orient

Suzhou. Not sure how to pronounce it, so it's easier to call it The Venice of the Orient. Canals, shops, brides getting photographed. 

It's all there and wonderfully colourful. If you have been following this set of blogs faithfully and I hope you have, you'll recognize a few photos. 


But on the other side of the street is a seedier side. Known to sell foodstuffs, it also had a rather pungent smell. I spotted a man relieving himself for quite some time. (He needs to see a doctor) Perhaps that's the reason for the smell. 
I buy a set of nesting bags. Lunch here was more exotic than most and with several people sick, it wasn't enjoyable. The soup looked safe, but I found all the food too salty. We try an odd black fungus, all shiny and giggly sitting there beside a set of soft brown bags made of a pasta type material, with chewy pork inside.
The scenery outside is pleasant, so most of us opt for that instead. 

On our bus again, our tour guide warns us that at our next stop, we must walk together 'like sticky rice'.
I can't imagine what's next.


Anonymous said...

I love your posts and have been following since the beginning. Thank you for all the wonderful photos. We will be leaving for China in 2 days and doing the same itinerary except that we will be on the Century Diamond for the river cruise. I am a little concerned now about your table mates getting sick. What was the problem? Was it caused by the food or was it the flu?

barb phinney said...

Thank you for posting. As for getting sick, I went over my notes again and thought that it was probably the restaurant in Suzhou, by the water, the lunch meal, but not the Mongolian Grill. The food on the ships is fine. The vegetarians in our group did not get sick, which was interesting. I think it was either a fluke or else one dish, as it was mostly one table after we left the ship. We had absolutely no trouble up to that point.
If I were to make any recommendation, I think that once you get off the ship, to eat lightly, rice and soup and vegetables. And make sure the food is steaming hot and fully cooked. You don't have a choice as they give you a wide sampling of local dishes.
Of course, it may have been something completely different for I know several people who didn't wash their hands before eating and they were among the ones who got sick. Bring with you Imodium and don't even use the tap water to brush your teeth. Drink lots of bottled water, bought either at hotels or from the bus driver, and wash your hands every chance you get. One woman did that and didn't get sick at all. She used hand sanitizer, too.
But don't get all worried and not enjoy your trip. Just use your common sense and keep good hygiene, and above all, have fun!