China 2006 - Suzhou I

Suzhou is an ancient canal and garden city located 90 minutes from Shanghai by train - a popular day trip.

One of the more interesting canal neighborhoods.

Arriving at the train station

Empty train station

Men working along the tracks to Suzhou

Track-side shacks along the way - looks a bit like Arkansas

More shacks on the edge of town

Sorry for bad image - we rode to Suzhou in upper class, which was similar to Amtrak, but on the way back had to sit in Hard Seat, which used to mean a hard bench, but now just means smaller seats and more economy-minded folks.  Also, you get guys like this selling socks !

A curious man walking with what is clearly a U.S. Flag or bag of some type.  No idea why.

Buying tickets - note the metal lane bars to keep you in line, and still people fight their way to the front.

Man waiting for his train - there were hundreds of guys like this, but hard to get good pictures without taking long-distance shots like this, since there were at least 1,000 people milling around outside the train station

Beggars besieging the taxis - this is a serious challenge around the Suzhou (and probably other cities') train station.

Water tower in town - very Soviet-era looking, but simple and serene in its own way

Bike taxi

Bus stop - with Chinese architecture, of course