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.


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.


Tongli’s Water Town and Gardens of Suzhou

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.




  • A full-day tour with a professional English-speaking guide. Other languages are on request and may be subject to supplementary charges
  • Transportation by air-conditioned vehicle with professional driver.
  • All entrance fees for visits as mentioned in the description
  • Short boat trip over the Tongli canals
  • All applicable taxes and service charges
  • Lunch at a local restaurant is included (food only)


  • Tours, inclusions of any kind and other services that are not outlined in the tour description
  • Personal expenses such as meals, drinks, tips and gratuities, shopping, portage fees and optional tours, unless otherwise stated
  • Hotel accommodation in the destination of commencement.
  • Compulsory Christmas, country-specific festival and/or New Year dinner at included hotels
  • Single supplement charges for single travelers, where applicable
  • Any airline tickets, visa fees, additional transportation cost from and to the general meeting point
  • Supplements for transfers for customers arriving or departing from any airport or resorts located outside the general pick-up and drop-off locations
  • Hotel expenses of a personal nature, should an overnight be included: this includes mini-bar consumption, laundry, room service, any telephone or other communication cost not mentioned in the program
  • Travel insurance coverage for customers (highly recommendable)


  • This tour is operated on full private basis with English-speaking guide. Other languages are on request / subject to availability and supplementary charges may apply
  • Return transfers for this excursion apply only / are inclusive for customers staying in and inside the Puxi side. Transfers outside these areas, including any accommodation outside the Central Business District (i.e. Pudong), Suzhou, Chongming, cruise ports and Shanghai’s International Airport are excluded. Supplements apply for customers who want to join this excursion outside one of these regions.
  • Customers are advised that during the Lunar Festival celebrations (celebration of Chinese New Year), excursions and tours may be subject to supplementary charges and/or may see longer waiting times than normal.
  • We will do all possible to comply with any dietary requirements during this excursion; it may not always be possible to confirm your wishes in advance based on the choice of local restaurant.
  • We regret to inform you that this excursion is not suitable for wheelchair users.
  • We always will make efforts to confirm the exact pick-up time upon reservation. For any operational issues in which are not able to confirm the exact pick-up time in advance, we reserve the right to inform you the day before the departure of the tour.
  • Please note pick-up and drop-off services may not be confirmed for customers staying at private residences, apartment complexes, or other non-registered tourism accommodations. Customers may be asked to meet at a nearby hotel for pick-up and drop off.
  • There will be ample time for customers to spend time on their own to admire the sites at their own pace or browse along the shops for souvenirs. When additional time needs to be allocated for more time at leisure or shopping, this can be discussed with the guide on spot.
  • Natural elements of any kind have a destructive effect on electronic equipment. It is the customer’s own responsibility to ensure that any camera, mobile telephone or other device is properly wrapped and protected against these elements. We cannot be held responsible in any way for negligence and/or not following suggestions for any damage related to this.
  • Please ensure that you bring sunglasses, a hat /cap and sunblock with a high SPF factor when traveling with us on this tour – even when it is cloudy, the sunrays still have an immense power.
  • It is the responsibility of the customer to provide us with the correct hotel information, should pick-up and drop-off services be included in the package. Any changes in accommodation outside 24 hours will be handled accordingly: changes within 24 hours may be on request.
  • In the event of no-show or change of accommodation without prior consent and confirmation from us within 24 hours may result in the applicable cancellation charges as outlined in the terms and conditions.
  • We recommend wearing light, comfortable cotton clothing and comfortable shoes.


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