“There’s too many people in China”

If you have ever lived in China, you’ve surely said (or thought) this sentence: “There’s too many people in China”. I already mentioned it in my post about the new mall, but this is a sentence that Chinese people also say very often, basically every time they get stuck in traffic or inside a crowd (especially during national holidays, when going anywhere can be such a nightmare that many people directly decide to stay home). I had another one of these situations a few weekends ago, when I suggested to go to a park in the outskirts of Suzhou which we had never visited before. There was just one small problem that I was not aware of: this park is one of Suzhou’s favourite spots to see the autumn colours, and it was high season.

I realized my terrible mistake when I guessed that all of the cars stuck in the road with us were going to the same place.

We also have a pretty autumn in Spain, but I’d say most of our tree leaves become just brown, so “leaves gazing” is not really something we do. I learned about this pastime when I was studying in Beijing and every book contained a lesson text about going to the Fragrant Mountain (香山 xiang shan, a famous mountain not far from Beijing) to see the red leaves (红叶 hong ye). The Suzhounese equivalent is going to Tianping Mountain (天平山) and here the autumnal leaves are called 枫叶 feng ye (feng is a variety of maple tree).

So, as I was saying, there was a jam from hell to get to the park and I didn’t even think there was enough parking space for all of us. We ended up parking in a mall about 1 km away and walking to the park, because there was no point in queuing inside the car forever. I even suggested to go back home directly because the park was obviously going to be bursting with people, but well, it’s on the other side of Suzhou and we were there already…

This was the park entrance:

The horror!

 

The park is very pretty, but I guess during high season it is crowded even during the week.

The lotus were all dead by now, in summer this lake must be gorgeous.

 

I managed to take some pictures with less than 300 people on them:

 

This park used to be the property of a noble family and now the pavilions can also be visited. It has a similar feel to the classical gardens of Suzhou.

There was a chrysanthemum exhibition!

Chrysanthemum paparazzi.

 

We arrived quite late so we didn’t have time to climb the mountain inside the park. This was a pretty place so I wouldn’t mind going back but… just not during high season, please! Now most trees already lost all their leaves so the park must be getting way less visitors.