The old village of Bright Moon Bay

As we had three days of holidays last week, we decided to go somewhere instead of couchpotatoing the whole time. We were considering Chongming Island, in Shanghai, and Xishan Island, in Suzhou, and finally went to Xishan.

Xishan is the largest island in Tai Lake so it is not a palm trees and beach kind of island. Tai Lake, the third largest lake in China, is to the southwest of Suzhou and it is famous for its fish, shrimps and crabs. Getting to Xishan is very convenient as there is a bridge from the “mainland”! When C. was a child, the only way was taking the ferry.

The arrow points to the location of Bright Moon Bay.

The arrow points to the location of Bright Moon Bay in Xishan Island.

As everybody was watching the parade, there was almost no traffic and it took us a little bit over an hour to get there. We first stopped to have lunch in a small village -well, more like a bunch of houses by the road- and then we got to Bright Moon Bay (Chinese name: 明月湾).

On the road I saw these colourful houses! No idea if they were a hostel, an activity center or what...

On the road I saw these colourful houses! No idea if they were a hostel, an activity center or what, but someone surely had fun panting them…

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The old village in Bright Moon Bay dates from the Qianlong Emperor reign (1735-1796) and it is considered a place of touristic interest. That means you have to buy a ticket to visit the village. At least it was only 35 RMB, not bad considering tickets to attractions in Suzhou are ridiculously expensive compared to, say, Beijing. The village wasn’t very big, but at least it was kind of quiet and not too crowded. It was not so beautiful as the villages in Wuyuan, though, but it can make for a relaxing weekend if you decide to spend the night in one of the 农家乐 (nongjiale, the Chinese version of B&B). We didn’t stay because Nico was waiting for us at home, but she could have totally come as several people were visiting the place with their dogs! So, in the end, we didn’t find out if the moon was particularly bright there.

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All the grandmas were peeling and selling chestnuts on the street.

All the grandmas were peeling and selling chestnuts on the street.

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Grandma washing a mop.

The small wharf of the village.

The small wharf of the village.

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