Life in China as an expat can be tough, make no mistake. But for me… as a veteran of sorts… most of the associated frustrations and challenges are like water off a duck’s back, I’ve become somewhat numb to it.
Having said that, the one time of year that is still really difficult for me is Christmas. I just want to be home with the people who know me best and to indulge in all those childhood treats my vagabond lifestyle denies me. Unfortunately, for Christmas 2018 I couldn’t get back to The UK. So I just did the best I could under the circumstances by booking a five-day trip away from Ruian, the nondescript Chinese city I live in.
With the scope of reachable places I haven’t already been to rapidly closing in on me, the highly rated city of Suzhou stood out as an obvious choice. Affectionately nicknamed “the Venice of China”, this buzzing metropolis is home to a major section of the country’s Grand Canal and is the gateway to a fascinating collection of water towns.
Suzhou also has some of China’s best preserved gardens, traditional shopping streets and ancient stone bridges. To find out how I distracted myself from the disappointment of yet another Christmas away from home, check out my articles on: