A Travellerspoint blog

Where Sun Tzu wrote Art of War: Qiaolong Mountain

sunny 23 °F

I left pretty early in the morning, thinking I would go for a regular old hike up a small mountain in the outskirts of Suzhou. I took the bus for almost two hours and then started to slowly make my way up the mountain, amidst families and all kinds of kids enjoying their day off.

Once I got halfway up the mountain, I realized that this was no regular hike. A rich businessman erected these cottages to depict life back in the days when Sun Tzu wrote probably the oldest still surviving war strategy booklet. He came up to Qiaolong mountain to collect his thoughts and write this treatise advising future generals on how best to win a war. In fact, you could even wash your hands and face in the same spring Mr. Sun used.

A few paces past that, was the actual text carved in stone in three different languages. I had nothing to do that day, so I sat down and read the whole thing for the second time. I read it the first time I came to China because it was one of the shortest books in our little English language library for foreign teachers when I worked at NUDT. Quite a few Chinese people would stroll by and read a few lines in English out loud. A little child asked his mom to read some to him and the first paragraph contained the word "death". For whatever reason, this little boy latched onto that word and started skipping around the pavillion chanting "deathdeathdeath" and I almost died laughing.

In addition to the historical significance, there were also huge taoist and buddhist temples at the top. Here is the view from the Buddhist one:

I walked all the way down the other side of the mountain on "The Imperial Road" to catch the bus back to the subway station. This was the road the emperor took every time he visited the area, so they built this road for him.

I decided to see what was around near the subway station. I used Chinese Groupon to get a chicken sandwich combo at Pizza Hut, which I immediately regretted. But at least now I know I'm never going back to Pizza Hut in China. Nobody was even eating pizza there. There were a bunch of people all dressed up in cosplay, which was annoying too. I was going to take some photos of them, but when I went out on the plaza, they were all there dancing in front of cameras on tripods. I figured they had enough photos of themselves for all of us, so you can just imagine what these cosplayers looked like.

I didn't even get halfway home, and I had to poop like, an emergency. I jumped off the subway and luckily, China has bathrooms everywhere. But, when I got back to the train it was packed, maybe because of the cosplay convention, or just the holiday, I don't know. Long story short, I thought this guy's shirt was funny so I took a photo.

Posted by baixing 07:23 Archived in China

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