Family visit VI: Suzhou

Finally! We reached the end of my family’s China trip last month. The last stop was Suzhou, where I live and where our Chinese wedding took place. I hope I can write about the wedding in my next post, if I manage to get the official pictures.

When we arrived to Suzhou, my mum and C.’s parents finally got to meet each other. My dad had met them previously when he came to visit in 2014. My mum was concerned about the lack of a common language but not much can be done, I don’t think my mum will start learning Chinese or C.’s parents Spanish, so body language or me translating in the middle will have to do.

First dinner together.

On their first day in Suzhou we visited the reconstructed city wall, Pingjiang Rd and two gardens: the Couple’s Retreat Garden (耦园) and the Lion Grove Garden (狮子林园). It was my first time in both gardens! The Couple’s Retreat Garden is a short walk from the Xiangmen city wall and it seems it is not as popular as other gardens, so it was very quiet and nice. The Lion Grove Garden is not far from Pingjiang Rd and it probably the second most popular garden after the Humble Administrator’s. Which means… it was quite crowded! But it is a fantastic garden with a great rock maze (be careful or you might not make it outside alive, haha). This garden is called Lion Grove because it is said many of the rocks are shaped like lions. With a bit of imagination… yes, why not?

Decoration of a pavilion in the Couple’s Retreat garden.

Ornated window in the Couple’s Retreat garden.

An artist drawing in the Lion’s Grove garden.

I guess there are several stone lions there.


As it usually happens when Chinese people are involved, these days in Suzhou we ate a lot. Going with C.’s parents to a restaurant means you can be sure that dozens and dozens of dishes will appear on the table. Also, they wanted to pay for everything, which made my family a bit uncomfortable.

That night we went to the massage place, which was another new experience for my family. In Spain, going for a massage is definitely not common or cheap. They said it was painful but good and my dad even got a pedicure…

The day before the wedding we went to Luzhi, a nearby water town I wrote about once. It was raining, but it was a nice visit anyway because there weren’t many people. This time we got tickets so we could visit the inside of the temples and open houses.

I liked this lion, hehe.

The garden inside the Baoshen temple is very pretty and relaxing.

Visiting an old house.

The canal.

Buying souvenirs and trinkets in Luzhi is very cheap.


My family saw more things in Suzhou, basically around my neighbourhood while I was busy, but I don’t have pictures of that. I hope they had a good time! Although, I must say, 2.5 days in Suzhou (I’m not counting the wedding day) are definitely not enough to see everything!