China Day 22 (Suzhou-Hangzhou)
Another early morning. We woke up from the hotel and brought down our luggage and then enjoyed a brief breakfast before embarking on our next adventure. Before going to Hangzhou we took a trip to a garden in Suzhou. This garden was built for one of the Chinese emperor's but was now open to the public eye. This was a captivating site and I could see how it was built for royal tastes. In this garden there were zig-zag bridges and Joe explained to us that the purpose of this was because in Ancient China women were forbidden to look side to side. This garden also had large rocks all around it and Joe explained to us that the reason for this was because it made you have to go around the rock to see more of the garden, a clever device to draw out the experience, if you asked me. After this, we took off for Hangzhou. Hangzhou was another long drive so I took the opportunity to finish the book that I had been reading. I realized that, after I had finished this book, it had been a long time since I had read another before the China trip. I felt satisfied to have picked up a book again and powered through it. Once we arrived in Hangzhou we went to the Silk factory. I was completely unaware of exactly how silk was made before coming to this factory and so I was very interested in this visit. The process of making silk all starts with the Silk worm. The first exhibit we saw were a bunch of Silk worms on some leaves eating. These worms look so much different from any other worm I had seen. The next step of the process is to let these worms mate so that cocoon's can be created. The guide said that they use about 90% of the worms for the cocoon's and keep about 10% of the worms to keep a steady flow of said cocoon's. Next we saw how the silk was spun into rolls. The cocoon's were in boiling hot water and were attached to a machine that spun out the fabric from the cocoon's. After this process the fabric was spun again to dry out the fabric and make it a higher quality. After seeing the production process we went into the silk store. They sold silk bedding and silk clothes, primarily. I kind of wanted to buy something, but not for the prices that they were asking. Finally, around 9PM, we arrived to the Relax Hotel. I think this is the nicest hotel I have stayed in yet. Tomorrow morning we go to Shanghai!