Tuesday, July 23, 2019

A trip to China - Day 8 - A new day, a new adventure, visiting a silk factory

The brochure says: Suzhou, which dates back to 514 BC, is sometimes called the ‘Venice of the East’. Today you will visit the famous Lingering Garden, recognised with other classical Suzhou gardens as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

China is renowned for its exquisite silk, so naturally, a visit to the Silk Spinning Factory is in order. Take the opportunity to cruise along the Grand Canal (not included) to view life along China’s ancient waterway.

We are heading downtown to somewhere where we're getting a boat ride, walk through a typical Chinese shopping experience, and coffee at a coffee shop that is doubling as the meeting place.

The problem with that is that if the entire collective trip a deal tourists take this route then the savvy shopkeepers will jack up their prices tenfold because we're tourists with money.  It'll be interesting to see how expensive everything is.


First, we arrive at the Silk Factory, another government-owned establishment with a castiron guarantee of quality and satisfaction.

The look and feel of the doona covers certainly backs up that claim

And the colours and variety is amazing (as is the cost of those exquisite sets)

We get to see the silk cocoon stretched beyond imagination, and see how the silk thread is extracted, then off to the showroom for the sales pitch.

It isn’t a hard sell, and the sheets, doonas, pillows and pillowcases, are reasonably priced, and come with their own suitcase (for free) so you can take them with you, or free shipping, by slow boat, if you prefer not to take the goods with you.

We opt for the second choice, as there’s no room left in our baggage after packing the Chinese Medicine.

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