Tag Archives: Yangzhou

What my father saw in China

Back in 2016 we had a holiday in China and we had invited my father to join us. What I remember most from that trip is the incredible and annoying City Tour Extreme. As there was just so much to write about I split the adventure into four parts: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3 and Day 4. Besides that city tour we experienced the standard MIL madness/ the whole crazy family. Why am I writing about it now? Today I went through my dad’s camera and found the pictures he took last year. Okay that is until the battery was empty on Day 2 of the city tour and he had forgotten to take the proper charging cable with him.

Going to some temple in Xi’an

My father has a different viewpoint when it comes to taking pictures. First of all he is still used to the time before digital cameras swarmed the market so he barely takes more pictures than would fit on an old film (max 36 pictures depending on the film). Secondly he is not wasting as much times as me on taking pictures as he is not aiming for the perfect shot but to have just some “memory” of the trip. Besides those two points he did not take any pictures in Xi’an except from the city wall and from some temple. I think this is because he has been everywhere before back in 2011 so he did not deem those other places worthy of using any space on his SD-Card again in 2016.

The “Old Old city Wall” within/ under the “Old City Wall” in Xi’an

On our city tour extreme I am not sure who was more annoyed by all the misplanning. I mean I was really annoyed but my dad was really really annoyed, especially when our tour guide “The Howling Monkey” did not even let us sleep in the bus after waking up each morning way too early. He even took a picture of the tour guide in order to never forget that person again. He also got rather annoyed by MIL’s behaviour as it was first time he really witnessed all her crazy doings over the span of three weeks. In fact he is right now thinking how he can survive her again next year when we go to China as we will take my father with us once again!

The Howling Monkey in pink, one of my father’s Archenemies

What is really surprising me is that my father actually has still the energy to do such trips with us as he just turned 76 this year. Especially those long flights are hard on him besides trying each day new unknown food in China. Despite having sometimes really many problems in China back in 2016 he still agreed to come with us instantly after we asked him to join us. My mother on the other hand had the same reply as last time “No way I will ever go there again!”.

An ocean of flowers at the Slender West Lake in Yangzhou

Going through the pictures I wondered sometimes on how different they were compared to the ones I took. Sure I took a lot more than him but some places I did not recognize at all or had forgotten as I never captured them with my camera. At times it is really interesting to see how two people can have so very different pictures when visiting the same places. Next time I will make sure that he has his charging cable and I will try to motivate him to take more pictures.

Have you ever checked pictures of another person (friend, spouse, family member) after you went on the same trip somewhere?

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City Tour Extreme: Day Two, Yangzhou and Suzhou

From my last post you might remember that I wasn’t too fond of the city tour. You know being stucked in a small bus with an insane tour group, a tour guide with the voice of a howling monkey and last but not least my mother-in-law are not the best combination for an enjoyable holiday. But it all can get even worse…


The second day started early in the morning. We had to get up at 5am to get breakfast at 5:30. Too bad though that the hotel usually doesn’t provide breakfast till 7am so they only had a few things ready such as some cakes from the previous day and mantou, tons of mantou. Reason for this early time was that we had to go still to two other cities on that day. In our original plan we would have gone to Yangzhou already during the previous evening, making this second day much more relaxing but you know who cares about a tour group plan anyways as this one was changed all the time. At breakfast we realized that it wouldn’t be such a warm day so we put on some warmer clothes as the temperatures had dropped from 26 degrees celsius down to 18 degrees and the tour guide advised to take umbrellas with us. This all was not a problem, yet.

Arrival at the Slender West Lake

The bus trip from Nanjing to Yangzhou was nothing special, just the usual trash flying around, the howling monkey tour guide screaming into the microphone for 1 1/2 hours and the terrific driving skills of the bus driver making sure that no one was able to sleep. In Yangzhou we went straight for the Slender West Lake which is a wonderful place despite the ocean of tourists marching around. It all started pretty well there as I could take some great pictures of the flowers and area but then it all went south when the clouds decided to create first some drizzle and then a downpour.  Now the umbrellas we packed extra for this trip became very handy except…except that MIL had put them all into the suitcase which was in the bus as she thought that we wouldn’t need them (because why would she listen to a lowly tour guide).

They all have umbrellas and they all are rushing for safety

Somehow we manage to not flow away with the water during our 3h stay at the Slender West Lake and were allowed to enter the bus again. By now our clothes were soaking wet and it was cold, very cold while as all other people in the tour group were fine as they had the umbrellas as advised by the tour guide. From the Slender West Lake we drove to Suzhou, a very lovely 4h bus trip. During this bus trip the rain got less again and once we arrived in Suzhou at the Tiger Hill we were ready to go to Yunyan Pagoda which is also known as the “Leaning Tower of China”. But as soon as we had left the bus and walked 100m the next downpour started and we just went back to the bus. Sure we had this time umbrellas but we had just no energy to do this with such bad weather. Only half the tour group went to the Pagoda and they all didn’t look too happy once they were back with wet shoes.

One of the main buildings

Next on our list was the Taihu Wetland Park in Suzhou. It was planned that we stay there for a few hours going around the area but due to the bad weather we only took a 20 min boat trip around the channels. By now we were just so exhausted and cold that I did not even bother taking pictures anymore. We only wanted to get to our hotel and rest. Thankfully our howling monkey tour guide showed some mercy and we went from the Wetland Park straight to the hotel which was surprisingly even very good. Right next to the hotel we found a shopping mall where we could eat some dinner after surviving hell during lunch time at one of those infamous tour group restaurants.

Did you had bad weather ruining an entire trip?

Be sure to follow me also on Facebook and on Twitter as I will post there occasionally pictures which do not find their way into my blog posts. Furthermore I also have a YouTube Channel in which some videos might pop up from time to time