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Tongli Water Town

Tongli Water Town

Tour Code : C2331
Type : Historic sites , Natural landscape
City / Province : Suzhou
Built in : Song Dynasty


Tongli Water Town is one of the six famous ancient water towns to the south of the Yangtze River renowned for photography lovers, Chinese architecture enthusiasts and cultural buffs and in 1982 it was recognized as a major cultural and historical town to be protected on a national level.

Tongli Water Town



Tongli Water Town is located 18 kilometers from Suzhou and is the most preserved ancient water town in Jiangsu province maintaining affluent history as well as culture. The water town was rather inaccessible saving it from attacks and war damage meaning that most of its ancient structures are really well preserved. For instance its scenic stone bridges, private gardens, temples, and houses are all still standing and were built hundreds of years ago during Ming and Qing dynasty.


Also best referred as the Venice of the east packed with culture, beautiful sprawling architecture and plenty of novelty, its streets echo stories and legends from back in the days with ancient bridges and house complexes. The town has a total of 38 gardens, 55 ancient bridges, 47 temples and hundreds of residences still retaining their traditional styles from the Ming and Qing Dynasties surrounded by 5 lakes from outside and divided by 15 rivers.


Major attractions and activities to do on a visit


Tuisi Garden/ Retreat and Reflection Garden


The most famous location in the town is Tuisi Garden built between 1885 and 1887 by Ren Lansheng. The garden is complete with ancient architecture including small wooden buildings with typical Chinese roofing styles and a perfectly reflecting pond. The atmosphere in the garden makes you get the feeling of an ancient charm from the historic wood building and a delight of rockeries, pavilions, halls, pools, old trees, lovely flowers, adorable fishes and terraces.


The Three Bridges


The three Bridges here are the Taiping Bridge, Changqing Bridge and Jili Bridge which are a must see while on a visit to Tongli water town. Their shape forms the character “品” in Chinese which is a treasure place in the water town. On a visit here you can experience the tradition of crossing the three stone arc bridges important during weddings and special traditional ceremonies which signify luck and happiness to the locals, float through the canals as you enjoy a relaxing, breathtaking and unforgettable gondola ride and also see locals participating in an ancient fish catching cormorant method


Jiayin and Congben Hall


These two halls: the Jiayin and Congben halls are famous for their articulate carvings of ancient Chinese classics. Jiayin hall has gauze cap like beam decorations while Congben hall has exquisite sculptures. The skill put in to bring out the profound cultural connotations that the carvings highlight leave a great impression to every visitor that sets foot in this location.


Gengle Hall


Built during the Ming Dynasty, the hall has seen the rise and fall of several dynasties and has been classified as one of the eight most famous attractions in Tongli. The hall has several interesting spots like the flower tree, figures, the eagle and the lion Not forgetting the very clear pool with red fishes and exquisite winding stone bridges.


Pearl tower


The famous Tower opens up to ancient houses and a wide water garden where you can go back in time where the heartfelt drama and love story between Chen and Fang Qing took place at the Pearl Tower and feel the beauty of the power of love above poverty.

Travel Map

Recommend Tour

3 Days Suzhou Hangzhou Tongli Water Town Private Tour from Shanghai


Suzhou is reputed as the garden city, Hangzhou is famous for elegance and natural beauty and Tongli Water Town is renowned as the No. 1 water town in China. In the tour, you explore the beautiful path, streams and bridges; discover the historical Tiger Hill, Hanshan Temple with famous bells, UNESCO World Heritage-Humble Administrator's Garden in Suzhou; experience cruise on West Lake, the wealthiest temple in China "Lingyin Temple" with the celebrated Feilai Peak, the tide viewing best-sight Six Harmonies Pagoda, the sweet water from Tiger Spring and the tea hometown Mei Jia Wu Tea Village. A private vehicle, professional tour guide, entrance fee, meals are included and you can enjoy at your own pace and time.  

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1 Days Suzhou and Tongli Water Town Tour


Take this Suzhou day tour, travel to charming Tongli Water Town and beautiful Lion Grove Garden, enjoy traditional yet melodious Suzhou Pingtan and sip fragrant tea. This private tour grants you more freedom on the tour and explores at your own pace.

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4 Days Shanghai Suzhou Tongli Water Town Tour with Airport Transfer


4 days of budget tour in these cities gives you a chance to let a local guide show you the most famous views and attractions. In Shanghai, you explore the classic garden "Yu Garden", the European architecture complex at "the Bund", the entertainment center "Xintiandi", the active exhibitions of "Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall", and the urban oasis "Jade Buddha Temple". In Suzhou, you experience the elegant Humble Administrator's Garden and viewing the wonderful water land of Zhouzhuang water town. Airport pickup and drop off service are included.

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2 Days Shanghai and Tongli Water Town Tour


This tour will enhance your sightseeing experience of Shanghai on an enriching two days excursion around the city and Tongli Water Town. You will see all of the city’s spectacular sights with a knowledgeable guide. The tour covers the oasis in the urban "Jade Buddha Temple", classic garden "Yu Garden", famous bazaar "the City God Temple Bazaar", the western architecture complex Bund" and Old French Concession. In Tongli, enjoy typical water town scenery and experience the local tradition.

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5 Days Popular Shanghai Suzhou Hangzhou and Tongli Water Town China Tour


The tour covers all of the city’s spectacular sights with a knowledgeable guide. In Shanghai, you experience the spiritual oasis Jade Buddha Temple, leisure walk on the Tianzifang, ancient Chinese art museum "Shanghai Museum", classic garden "Yu Garden", ancient bazaar "City God Temple Bazaar", architectural complex "Bund" and the take a cruise on Huangpu River; In Suzhou, you explore the famous Humble Administrator’s Garden, Lingering Garden, Tiger Hill and Tongli Water Town; In Hangzhou, you'll discover the well-known Lingyin Temple and the city landmark West Lake.

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2 Days Suzhou and Zhouzhuang/Tongli Water Town Tour


Enjoy well-known Zhouzhuang Water Town or Tongli Water Town for your option and appreciate idyllic yet charming ancient town, be amazed at the history of Suzhou through Panmen City Gate and exquisite gardens, relax in the wonderful holiday and get a once-in-life travel experience.

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Answers to questions


Tongli Water Town Photos

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