We visited two beautiful Chinese gardens in Suzhou today after spending last night in Wuxi. We started with Tiger Hill and then proceeded to The Lingering Garden. Too bad it was raining all day! The whole experience would have been more enjoyable with no rain. However, we all withstood the rain pretty well with our $1.50 umbrellas. Despite the inclement weather, the grounds were beautiful, with much greenspace. China has much more in terms of green areas (trees, shrubs, flowers, grass, etc.) than I expected to see. Beijing was absolutely beautiful with well-groomed shrubbery and flowers at every turn. There are even extensive gardens in the median on the freeway system. I believe much of the greenery in Beijing is a direct result of the Olympic Games held in August of last year. Tianjin was not nearly as green as Beijing. Tianjin has many parks, but not nearly as much greenspace as Beijing. Wuxi and Suzhou (the last two days) are considerably smaller than Beijing and Tianjin, but both cities have displayed tremendous examples of beautiful parks and gardens that our group has thoroughly enjoyed. One has to wonder what kind of “army” is required for all of this grooming, watering, upkeep, etc. All of the above mentioned cities spend considerable amounts of money and capital on maintaining their “face.” This face has in part allowed China to grow more as an International tourist destination. China does not seem to be as popular as a tourist destination for US citizens, but is becoming an increasingly popular destination for many others throughout the world. China’s reputation, political environment, and human rights standards have been improved in the last two decades, making it a more attractive destination for many. The thousands of gardens and parks in China only add to the attractiveness by providing absolutely gorgeous areas in the middle of a busy city.