China’s Venice of the East at Tongli
China’s Venice of
the East at Tongli
Tongli is the epitome of what life used to be when canal towns became a commercial and
residential hub for Yangtze River-connected settlements. Quaint cobblestone walkways,
stone bridges and residences, modern and nearby Shanghai feels lightyears away.
WHY THIS TOUR?
From navigating the streets of Shanghai to looking across calmer waters is merely a short driveway. Water towns embalm a China of a bygone era where local trade moved slowly from one side to the other, and with a strong commitment to maintaining its original layout as much as possible, it is a true testimony of Chinese culture.
With the majority of these canal towns located along the Yangtze River, the popularity of these destinations are not only connected to the cultural and historical representations of China; it is about creating harmony between its residents and Mother Nature. Tongli has long been a favourite because of its idyllic town settings and is one of the six most famous settlements that proudly carry the name of water town. Just south of Shanghai in Suzhou, this full-day excursion is a journey back to the past.
08:00 - 16:00
After your guide and drive have welcomed you at your Shanghai hotel, we head straight out of the metropolis in a western direction towards Suzhou. During this day, it is all about catching a breath of fresh air while being engulfed with hues of Chinese history. Located around 20 kilometres from downtown along Taihu Lake, tranquil Tongli is a perfect example of a Venice of the East in China. True to its word of being a highly-valued tourism destination, the waterways of this more than 1000-year old town form the real side of what once was.
And what better way than to experience the Chinese culture than sailing over its waterways and absorbing a view one does not get from the mainland. The waterways entwine the old city, with 5 major lakes surrounding the quaint town centre, where a collection of 49 ancient bridges built in various dynasties to admire. Some bridges still stand as highlights in Tongli, silently telling the stories and legends of ancient Tongli, just south of the Yangtze. Gently sailing through this town is of course a must and included. A delicious Chinese set lunch is included at a local restaurant on this day.
There will be ample time to wander through this picture-perfect settlement from the Song Dynasty as it showcases typical ancient Chinese ways of life around every corner. In the afternoon, we head back to Shanghai and your accommodation ending this fabulous day out in one of China’s most picturesque canal towns.