Unfortunately I didn’t find much to do on my day off in Wuxi although there’s always the shopping if you’re running low on Gucci or Louis Vitton handbags. I spent my Sunday walking in Xihui Gongyuan (Xihui Park) which contains Jichang Yuang, a Ming dynasty garden that inspired the gardens in the Summer Palace in Beijing. Just click on the pictures to blow them up.
Near the garden is a group of three wells called Tianxia Di’er Quan (Second Spring Under Heaven) which in the Tang period were considered the second best source for water to make tea in the whole country. Can’t be as good as Yorkshire tea though I’m sure…
You could also go to see the fabled Lake Tai, which was probably formed by a meteor seventy million years ago. It’s also a source for bizarrely shaped limestone formations called ‘Scholar rocks‘ that adorn classical Chinese gardens, one of which you can see in the gallery above (third row, middle picture). They were so sought after that one emperor nearly bankrupted the state collecting them.
From the sounds of things though the modern lake is very polluted and the tourist experience quite tacky so I left it for another time. For the same reason I wasn’t tempted to taste any of the local delicacies that came out of the lake.