The weather finally improved and while looking out the window in the morning I could see some blue in the sky. It was certainly promising and I might get some decent light again for photography.
The sun was out indeed and while it was hazy, it worked out much better than the past days for photography. The downside of this was that it was really hot and stuffy so walking outside was not as pleasant as the past days but I don't want to complain.
I set out to walk to the 'Lingering Garden' and then Shantang Street and Tiger Hill to take pictures. On my was there almost got distracted a few times to go off and take pictures of other things but I managed to stay on track and get to my destinations as planned.
The Lingering Garden is a smaller but overall very nice garden and in some ways I think my favourite in Suzhou as it has a bit of everything the other gardens have but in a more compact form. This being Monday meant there were a lot less people visiting so it meant I cold really enjoy the garden without having hundreds of people around me at all times with tour guides blaring information out of their loudspeakers. After lingering long enough in the garden, I set out to walk to Tiger Hill.
Tiger Hill was one of the things I managed to see in 2006 so was looking forward to revisit it again. Tiger Hill is quite a nice park to wander in but I do find the layout somewhat crammed as most of the main sights are all next to each other in the centre and the remaining parts are not very interesting but actually make for a nice walk and provide some quiet to sit and relax. It is kind of an island surrounded by a canal and the leaning pagoda in the middle is the feature you will see immediately before even entering the park.
After spending some time walking around the park and visiting most of the different halls there with their sometimes poetic names, I decided to head back and walk along Shantang Street, the street is quite long and follows one of the canals, it's south end is a tourist attraction while the rest is simply houses and shops.
It's definitely worth walking it either all the way to or after visiting Tiger Hill as the touristy part, while nice, does not give such a good insight of people's lives there as the rest of it so I find it more interesting.
Once I reached the end of Shantang Street, the sun began to set so I headed back to get my train tickets for tomorrow.
It should be fun as I don't have the ferry ticket to Taiwan yet and I couldn't get the earlier train to Xiamen so have to go from Suzhou to Shanghai Hongqiao, from there to Hangzhou East and from there to Xiamen. Arrival in Xiamen will be at 18:50 and the ferry for Taiwan leaves at 20:00 so it will be a challenge to nit only get to the ferry terminal on time but to find the ticket office, make myself understood what ticket I want and hope there will be one available for me before they close the check-in.
Should this fail, I will have two days to spend in Xiamen before the next ferry to Taiwan departs.