Rivers of Suzhou

I’ve been in Suzhou for the past few days finishing up my last days on the movie Shinjuku Incident. Three months in Japan and the past few days out here in Suzhou have really made this project a serious adventure.
Today I had the day off so I went to check out the “Ancient town of Tong Li”. Suzhou has been called the Venice of the Orient because of the numerous rivers and canal that wind through the town. The remains of snow from the severe winter storm that hit last month, made the scenery extra pleasant.
Other than the canals, Suzhou is famous for it’s gardens. They are so famous that UNESCO has named Suzhou a world heritage site. That’s a good thing because with China’s rapid growth, places like this are rapidly disappearing due to greedy developers.

In ten years, scenes like this and old school people like this will probably no longer exist. Sad but these are the harsh realities of modernization and Westernization. Check out that sewing machine!
Had tea in the Southern Garden Tea house. Built in 1898 this place made me feel like Wong Fei Hong from Once Upon a Time in China.

Drank the famous Bi Lu Chun green tea and admired the view of the river below as they did back in the day. Bi Lou Chun is famous in the region and has a flavor that is heavier than most green teas but still equally as refreshing.

And since sex has been such a hot topic in the HK entertainment world recently….
For some reason in Tong Li Town there is an “Ancient China Sex Museum”. A few years ago, I stumbled across the Shanghai Sex Museum and found it pretty interesting. Since then I been to the one in Paris, New York San Francisco and now Suzhou. Suzhou is the biggest with tons of art and paraphernalia charting the history of sex in Chinese culture.

There are captions for everything but the English translations are pretty hilarious.

This speaks for itself.

The caption for this said it was a nun’s pillow with special compartment. Must be for those lonely nights in the monastary. I wonder if the nun who developed the Wing Chun Kung Fu style had one of these.

I thought this was a Buddhist swastika but upon closer look, I noticed the text was in German. Must have been a Nazi pervert who drew it.

Now if that’s not graphic, I don’t know what is! So my question is, if sex has been part of Chinese culture for thousands of years, why is it such a taboo subject now?
Tomorrow is my last day on the film and in Suzhou. Suzhou is a beautiful place and I’m glad we got to wrap it up here. What’s next?…..I have yet to figure that out.