Tongli’s Water Town and Gardens of Suzhou
Tongli’s Water Town
and Gardens of Suzhou
One of China’s leading ‘Venices of the East’ has to be Tongli, famed for is more than charming
waterways, navigating through a myriad of old houses and preserved Chinese heritage.
A short ride from the Gardens of Suzhou, and you’ll have a day to remember.
WHY THIS TOUR?
A city that has carved its importance in the history books during the times of ruling emperors, dynasties and the development of trading routes, Suzhou’s alluring sites are only a short drive away from the metropolis Shanghai.
The city has put its stamp on the silk history, its gardens dating back from the earliest dynasties, and its waterways giving the older parts of Suzhou. When looking to venture beyond the Shanghai city borders, it may be the right move to head out to Suzhou with us, where the famous water town of Tongli and one of the most impressive gardens in Suzhou itself brighten up your day.
08:00 - 16:00
After your guide and driver welcome you at your Shanghai hotel, we head straight out of the metropolis in a western direction towards Suzhou. Located around 20 kilometres from downtown along the Taihu Lake, Tongli Town 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. The waterways entwine the old city, with 5 major lakes surrounding the quaint town centre, where a collection of ancient bridges are there to admire. Some bridges still stand as highlights in Tongli, silently telling the stories and legends of the ancient town, just south of the Yangtze. Gently sailing through this town is a must and included.
Lunch will be included at a local restaurant before we head into Suzhou. Of all the cities in China, Suzhou has been blessed with a top 20 spot in the most interesting places in the whole country. The cultural aspect of Suzhou itself lies in the meticulously-maintained gardens, filled with symbolism and give ample examples of the richness in Chinese garden design. One of the most significant gardens, under UNESCO protection, will tell its own story of affluence and strong ties with architecture. A garden that has maximized its space to create an oasis of peace has to be the Garden of the Master of the Nets. It is the smallest of the Suzhou residential gardens, yet it is one of the most impressive ones because of its illusion of an area that is much greater than its actual size.
We, unfortunately, do not have enough time this day to watch more stunning examples of classical Chinese garden design, but with the Gardens of the Master of the Nets as our example that reflects the profound metaphysical importance of natural beauty in Chinese culture, one has an understanding of what one may expect more.