Tongli, Ancient Chinese Canal Town – Gorgeous Waterways

20121103 Tongli - Beautiful Tongli Canal
April 30th, 2013

There are several canal towns in China, all of which claim to be the “Chinese Venice”. The most famous of these is Zhouzhang, but because we were due to be there during a weekend we decided we’d aim for one that is supposedly less busy called Tongli.

Tongli is a town made up of 7 islands, 15 canals and 50+ bridges, it also features a ton of Qing and Ming style buildings (although, one suspects they have all been rebuilt) and is located about half an hour bus journey from Suzhou city. It costs 100RMB for a ticket to the scenic area including 15 of the town’s buildings and gardens.

This was the garden of our hotel. Just awesome.

20121102 Tongli - Hotel

Oh yeah… Tongli is also home of China’s sex museum…

20121102 Tongli - Sex Museum

The real reason to come here of course is the waterways themselves. And they are amazing.

20121103 Tongli - Boat Ride

20121103 Tongli - View from the canal20121103 Tongli - Beautiful Tongli Canal

20121103 Tongli - River View

20121103 Tongli - Ducking

20121103 Tongli - During the day

20121102 Tongli - Evening Time

20121102 Tongli - Evening


20121102 Tongli - Looking back

The gardens were stunning too. We left around midday on the Saturday because it was swarming with Chinese tour groups and there was no room to breathe. But I imagine if you got out around 8am you’d have these gorgeous gardens to yourself.

20121103 Tongli - Garden

20121103 Tongli - Other Garden


20121103 Tongli - Theatre Roof

There was also a collection of dendrites which was, shall we say extensive. There were about 15 rooms all packed with these crystal formations. Very bizarre.

20121103 Tongli - Weird Museum of Denrites

I hear that Suzhou, Wuzhen , Luzhi and Zhujiajiao (in North Shanghai) are well worth a visit.

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