|From left: Bree Arthur, Carly Booth, Sarah Kemp, Maha Haddioui and Joanna Klatten, wearing traditional Chinese dresses called 'Chi Pao'
Ladies European Tour members were given the opportunity to experience traditional Chinese culture with some sightseeing ahead of the 2013 Suzhou Taihu Ladies Open at Suzhou Taihu International Golf Club.
World class golfers Sarah Kemp (Australia), Carly Booth (Scotland), Joanna Klatten (France), Maha Haddioui (Morocco) and Bree Arthur (Australia) visited Dong Shan, or East Hill: an historical and ancient town along the south west coast of Taihu Lake, China’s third largest lake, whose size is approximately 2,500 square kilometres.
Renowned for agriculture, scenic spots and a relaxed way of life, the area is well known for producing a variety of fruits and berries, fish, crabs, prawns and famous ‘Bi Lou Chun’ tea, which is grown locally.
One of the key cities in the Yangtze River Delta, Suzhou is a renowned cultural, historical and tourist city. Located in the south east of Jiangsu Province, bordering Shanghai on the east, Zhejing Province in the south, Taihu Lake on the west and the Yangtze River in the north.
URBAN AREA AND POPULATION
Suzhou covers an area of 8488 km2. At the end of 2005, the total population was 6.07 million.
Suzhou features a mild and temperate climate with four distinct seasons and its average temperature is about 16C.
Mandarin is the official language in China but the local dialect is unique and vastly different.
Historical records show that Suzhou has been the site of human habitation for over 4000 years. Built in 514 BC, the city still stands on its original location. Well preserved in a double chess board layout, its network of canals, with three vertical and three horizontal, feature small bridges, stone and classic gardens. More than 60 classical gardens are preserved and nine of them are listed in the Catalogue of World Cultural Heritage.
After visiting the tourism spots, Joanna Klatten commented: “10 out of 10! I always really enjoy these two weeks in China because it’s nice to get away from home and do something completely different. This experience was awesome because you usually only see a course and the airport so it allowed us to see something a bit more local. It’s very different and beautiful in its own style so I really enjoyed it.”
Sarah Kemp said: “It’s been really cool. This is by far the most exciting thing I’ve done, coming to this ancient village and Dong Shan. It’s been wonderful and I’ve really enjoyed it.”
Maha Haddioui, who is on her first trip to China, said: “It’s very interesting. It’s a different culture and very different world. I’ve loved it so far. I got to see a bit of Beijing, a bit of Sanya, now we are here and there are more ancient and traditional things to see so it’s a great experience and I’m glad we had the opportunity to see the sights and wear the traditional clothes. I absolutely loved the old village.”
Carly Booth said: “It’s definitely something different. It’s nice to see some Chinese culture and dress up. It’s been a nice experience.”
Bree Arthur said: “I’ve never really experienced the Chinese culture so it’s been nice to see how they used to live and get some history.”
Tour members and staff are excited to be back for the sixth edition of the China Suzhou Taihu Open. Launched in 2008, as the LET’s first tournament in China, the Graham Marsh-designed championship course at Suzhou Taihu International Golf Club has produced some fine winners over the last five years, namely Annika Sorenstam, Bo-Mi Suh, Lee-Anne Pace, Yani Tseng and Carlota Ciganda respectively.
The increase in prize money to €400,000 this year is highly significant and reflects the standard and prestige of this championship.
The site is also famous as the place where military leader Sun Tzu wrote the influential book: “The Art of War.”
With impressive practice facilities and hospitality at the five-star, luxury Taihu Golf Hotel, the competitors, officials and spectators are in for a tremendous experience.
|LET members enjoying the delicious local food at a restaurant