Ye Shanghai, A Pearl in the East – Part 4: Suzhou – Sleeping on Silkworm Poo

Shanghai China Silk worm factory deeniseglitz

Silk may have a pleasant texture to it but the smell of it isn’t as pleasant as it looks. I’m not surprised. It’s after all from a bug.  

Suzhou Silk Factory  

At our next stop, we were brought to the silk factory where we had this opportunity to watch how silk blankets were being made by the hardworking middle-aged ladies. They were so focused on the task at hand, looking as if they were unaware of our presence.   

Even before entering this silk factory, we all were told about the benefits and properties of silk by the local tour guide. With his glib tongue, he had managed to convince the adults on the bus that the silk blanket is a must-buy-if-not-you-will-regret item.

He rattled convincingly on how the material silk itself is anti-bacterial and how it could improve the elasticity of the skin. Needless to say, any woman hearing this would get bought over by it. In fact, a few actually bought back a packet full of dried, hardened silk cocoons to be used as facial masks. 

Shanghai China Silk worm factory deeniseglitz

Do you know that silk fabric was first produced in China?  

Shanghai China Silk worm factory deeniseglitz

Remnants of silk with the moulted skin covering of the silkworms.

Shanghai China Silk worm factory deeniseglitz

Silk is a natural protein fibre 

At the end of the silk factory tour, we were given some time to shop for the locally-made silk products such as the silk blankets, bedsheets, pillows and clothes.

Obviously, the silk blankets do not come cheap. They can cost up to about $100 and above.

Subsequently, we bought two silk pillows back to Singapore. Interestingly, the pillows were stuff with the dried poo from the silkworms. The thought of sleeping on insects’ faeces might sound gross but apparently, it was said that the waste of the silkworms can remove moisture and relieve cold and headaches. Clearly, my parents were sold by all the ‘preaching’ done by the guide.

The pillow which I’ve bought was made up of 5 % silk and a packet full of silkworm poo mixed with some herbs. I’ve been sleeping on silkworm poop for a week now and it’s been not too bad. Clearly, we all bought to the fact that silkworm poop is good for you.

Han Shi Si Temple

Shanghai China Silk deeniseglitz

Next stop? We headed off to Han Shan Si Temple.

Shanghai China Silk deeniseglitz wishing tree han shan si temple

In this temple, you get to write down your wishes on this red ribbon and tie it on the trees.

Shanghai China Silk deeniseglitz wishing tree

” My studies would be all band one.”   

Surely, this was written by a Singaporean primary school kid stays doubt about it.

Shanghai China Silk deeniseglitz temple

The Chinese threw their coins on rooftops of the temples!  It is another form of ‘wishes’ well.  

Shanghai China Silk deeniseglitz temple

Xi Tang

It was said that Mission Impossible 3 was filmed right here!

Shanghai China Silk deeniseglitz Xi Tang
Shanghai China Silk deeniseglitz Xi Tang

We get to sit one of these houseboats and had an hour boat’s ride.  

Shanghai China Silk deeniseglitz Xi Tang


Towards the end of the day, we headed for Hangzhou. It is another beautiful and scenic city in China.

Shanghai China Silk deeniseglitz hangzhou

After our first dinner in Hangzhou, we enjoyed an acrobatic performance about the history of Hangzhou over a pot of Chinese tea and clappers.  

Finally, we got back to our hotel for a rest. Surprisingly, it was one of our best hotel stays! Big fluffy beds and a huge bathtub.

Read my previous posts about Shanghai!

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