Archive for the ‘Suzhou Travel’ Category

How to Visit Tongli Town

Monday, February 19th, 2018
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Dear Travelers,

We’d like to have the following travel guide to be always updated for the benefit of new visitors Visiting Tongli Water Town from Suzhou. If anybody having used the piece finds necessary updates, please leave a message or feedback. Thanks!
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Update from Boonie

Boonie says:

Everyone, you can now take the metro/subway Line 4 from Suzhou all the way to Tongli!!! The new extension of the subway system opened in April 2017!!

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If you plan Suzhou tour, dont’ miss a side trip to Tongli.  Tongli Town (同里)is one of the famous ancient water towns in the Yangtze River Delta, which are specifically scattered around the large river and crisscross the triangle area of Suzhou, Shanghai and Hangzhou.

Under the administration of Wujiang District in Suzhou, Tongli Town is located in the southeast of Suzhou, 50 minutes drive from downtown Suzhou, one and half hour from Hangzhou and one and half hour from Shanghai.

The ancient Tongli Town has a history of over 1000 years, a typical water town in the Yangzte River area. The ancient town is scenic enough to be surrounded by waters. The town is cut into 7 islands by 15 canals which are linked by 45 bridges. It is reputed as “the Venice of the East”.

When you visit Suzhou, Shanghai or Hangzhou, you may have a side trip to Tongli Town. Of course, having an excursion from Suzhou to Tongli is the most convenient by bus, subway or by taxi.

For me, the best way to travel from Suzhou to Tongli is to take subway. You can take subway line 4 from Suzhou Railway Station and get off at the last station of Tongli ( 同里).  The subway ride takes about 50 minutes. You exit from the Exit 10 where there are special shuttles going to Tongli water town. So you just jump on the shuttle and get to Tongli Town with a breeze.

Subway Line 4 from Suhzhou Railway Station to Tongli

For a long-distance bus from Shanghai to Tongli Town, you may take the bus either from Shanghai Sightseeing Bus Center (Shanghai Stadium) leaving at 9:30am or Shanghai Long-distance Bus Station (Zhongxing Road) every leaving every half hour.

For the public transportation from Hangzhou to Tongli Town, you should go to Hangzhou North Bus Station for an hourly bus ride to Tongli.

A bunch of the ancient buildings in Ming and Qing dynasties are well-preserved and open to the public including Retreat and Refection Garden, Pearl Pagoda, Chongben Hall, Genhle Hall, Chen Qubing’s former residence, Wang Shaoao’s Memorial Museum and Songshiwu Garden.

The ancient watertown is mainly composed of canals, roads, bridges, residences and gardens where you will be lost in the beautiful view.

Entrance fee: RMB 10
Opening Hour:
07:30-17:30 (May-October)
07:30-17:15 (November-April)
Enquiry: 0512-800882990
Complaint: 0512-63321999
Emergency: 0512-63320995

You can buy a 5-yuan electric car taking you to the entrance if you don’t want to walk.

Tongli Tourist Information Center and ticketing Office

The sample entrance ticket for Tongli Town. Each ticket allows visitors to have access to 10 major attractions within the Tongli Town.

If you want to learn more about the town’s history and anecdotes behind, you can hire a local English-speaking tour guide rated RMB 120 per group.

 

English-speaking tour guide rated RMB 120 per group.


About half an hour walk takes me to the street leading to the decorated archway entrance to the ancient town. The street is lined with shops selling local products and restaurants offering the local snacks and dishes.

the decorated archway entrance to the ancient town

An old bridge straddles a canal with a decorated archway. The local residents live a slow life, fishing, drinking, reading and the list could be much longer. 

An old bridge straddles a canal after the decorated archway.

The houses are confronted by the wide canals.

The houses are confronted by the wide canals.

A local hairdresser’s shop

A local hairdresser’s shop

At the northeast corner of the bridge, there is a Youth Hostel known as Tongli International Hostel. Tel:18913050199, 0512-63339311

Tongli International Hostel


He is making malt sugar in a unique way of extending the stick malt sugar much longer than most of the people expectation.

He is making malt sugar in a unique way

An old theatre stage

An old theatre stage

You won’t be lost since there are a slew of signboards en route reminding you of your next right direction.

a slew of signboards en route reminding you of your next right direction

Numerous pleasure boats are waiting for passengers to be on board for the canal cruise. 

Numerous pleasure boats are waiting for passengers to be on board for the canal cruise.

Passengers walking on shore while the pleasure boat is plying on the canal.

Passengers walking on shore while the pleasure boat is plying on the canal.

The faded white-washed wall with wooden windows

The faded white-washed wall with wooden windows

The canal cuts through the town with residences being connected to the water.

The canal cuts through the town with residences being connected to the water.

The arch stone bridge spans the canal

The arch stone bridge spans the canal

Enjoy a slow life in Tongli Town

Enjoy a slow life in Tongli Town

Bridges, trees, canals, boats and happy holidaymakers constitute a pretty picture of the old town.

Bridges, trees, canals, boats and happy holidaymakers

A cup of tea keeps life pressure away. The narrow old faded lane tells you the history

The narrow old faded lane tells you the history

Simple and pristine life

Simple and pristine life

Tip:  Hassle-free Suzhou Guided Tours
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If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for Suzhou Guided Tours:

 

Suzhou Highlight Day Tour from US$60  p/p
Suzhou One Day Side Trip  from US$80  p/p
Suzhou 4 Day Highlight Tour  from US$240  p/p

Shanghai Suzhou Zhouzhuang Day Tour  from US$70  p/p
Suzhou Car Rental

4 Amazing Short Trip Ideas from Shanghai

Sunday, July 12th, 2015
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Shanghai is known through the world for its impressive modernity and beautiful city landscape. From the amazing skyline to the old bustling bazaar area, there is always something to discover in this beautiful metropolitan city.

Shanghai is undoubtedly a tourist transportation hub enticing millions of visitors a year, but if you want to have a pleasant getaway from the high-rises and boulevards, then you may try these short break ideas of taking a side trip to its charming neighbors like Zhouzhuang Water Town, Suzhou, Hangzhou and Huangshan.

Zhouzhuang Water Town

Located around 80 km west of Shanghai, Zhouzhuang is known as the No.01 water town in China. This over-900 year old water town has become a trove of oriental culture with its simple and pristine custom, unique folklore, ancient stone bridges, canals, well preserved ancient residential houses and mesmerizing water town views.

Zhouzhuang Water Town

Zhouzhuang Water Town

“Zhouzhuang” literally means “Zhou’s village”, a village named after Zhou Digong. Zhou Digong was a pious buddhist. In 1088 during the Northern Song Dynasty, Zhou Digong donated his 13 hectares of land to the local Fuquan Temple as its temple property. Later the local villagers called the land “Zhouzhuang” (Zhou Village ) in appreciation for Zhou Digong’ generosity. Have a day trip to Zhouzhuang Water Town and back to Shanghai on the same day.

Take the long-distance bus from Shanghai Northern Long-distance bus station.
Entrance Fee: RMB 100 ( Click How to Visit Zhouzhuang for more information)
Enquiry: 4008282900
Complaint: 0512-57211654
Medical Care: 0512-57216107 (Day)
Medical care: 0512-57219990 (Night)

Classical Gardens of Suzhou

Nicknamed “The Venice of the Orient”, Suzhou is located about 95 km northwest of Shanghai. The eight of the finest gardens in Suzhou along with one in the nearby ancient town of Tongli were listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site for the art of Suzhou-style classical gardens. Suzhou tour is easily arranged from Shanghai by high speed trains.

Classical Gardens of Suzhou

Classical Gardens of Suzhou

The city is renowned for its stone bridges, rivers, lakes, pagodas, and meticulously designed gardens which have contributed to its status as a great tourist attraction. Suzhou enjoys great fame internationally for its elegant gardens. It is said that the gardens to the south of Yangtze River are the best in the world, and Suzhou gardens are the best among them. Suzhou attracts numerous visitors both home and abroad every day.

For most visitors, getting to Suzhou by train is most comfortable and convenient. You may take high speed trains directly from Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station or Shanghai Railway Station to Suzhou Railway Station ( about 30 hour’s train ride). Suzhou Railway Station is one of the largest stations in Eastern China after Shanghai and Hangzhou and Nanjing. It is located north of the city moat of Suzhou city. (Add: 27, Suzhan Road and Tel: 0512-95105105).

The Beautiful Landscape of Hangzhou

Located around 200 km to the southwest of Shanghai, Hangzhou is famous for its picturesque West Lake and June 2011, the West Lake Cultural Landscape was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Its fame goes back to over 800 years ago when even Marco Polo called it “beyond dispute the finest and the noblest in the world”. |

Sunset over West Lake

Sunset over West Lake

In addition to its picturesque West Lake, Hangzhou also boasts the ancient canals, lakeside temples and historic buildings. It has lots of local products, like silk, Xihu silk umbrellas, color-glazed porcelain, Longjing tea, and white white chrysanthemum,etc.

Many Shanghai leisure and business travelers would choose to make a day trip to Hangzhou when they plan a Shanghai tour. The best time to travel to Hangzhou is the period from April to October, when the trees and flowers of this garden city are green and in full bloom. A one-hour high speed train from Shanghai Plus 15-minute subway ride in Hangzhou takes you to the core of the scenic Hangzhou – the West Lake Landscape.

Daily over 50 high speed trains darting from Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station to Hangzhou East Railway Station (new station ) and Hangzhou Railway Station (old station). It is easy for you to arrange your Hangzhou tour from Shanghai.

The Charming Yellow Mountain (Huangshan)

Located around 400 km to the southwest of Shanghai, Huangshan is a world famous city for its marvelous mountain known as Yellow Mountain, or Huangshan in Chinese. You may get to Huangshan from Shanghai by overnight trains or flights for a 2 day return Huangshan tour.

The Beauty of Huangshan

The Beauty of Huangshan

Mt.Huangshan was listed as a Natural and Cultural Heritage site 1990. The nearby villages of Hongcun and Xidi were also named part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000. In 2002, Yellow Mountain was named the “sister mountain” of Jungfrau in the Swiss Alps.

Today it holds the same fascination for visitors, poets, painters and photographers who come on pilgrimage to the site, which is renowned for its four magnificent views – granite peaks, rocks emerging out of a sea of clouds, featuring pine trees and unwinding hot springs. It is said that you won’t want to visit any other mountains after seeing Wu Yue ( the collective name given to China’s most important mountains), but you won’t wish to see even Wu Yue after returning from Huangshan Mountain.
Any questions, just drop a line.

Wuzhen Pictures – Wuzhen Photo Gallery

Monday, April 1st, 2013
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Wuzhen is a historic water town which lies in the center of a triangle formed by Hangzhou, Suzhou and Shanghai. Wuzhen Water Town is located in the city of Tongxian in the northen Zhejiang Province, 80km to the northeast of Hangzhou, 80km to the south of Suzhou and 140km to the southwest of Shanghai. There are daily long-distance buses going directly to Wuzhen from Hangzhou, Suzhou, Shanghai and Jiaxing.

If you are planning your Hangzhou tour, Suzhou tourKwww.tong or Shanghai tour, a side trip to Wuzhen is highly recommended. Wuzhen is the typical water town in the Yangtze river delta region. It has well preserved the layout and the style of a water town in Ming and Qing dynasties.

The waterways crisscross Wuzhen Town, mainly dividing the town into 4 areas  Dongzha (east), Xizha (west), Nanzha (south), and Beizha (north). The water paths are incorporated into the ancient grand canal. Wuzhen ancient town dislays its charm and history through its ancient stone bridges, stone pathways, ornate wood carvings.

Beside its waterways, stone bridges and ancient buildings, Wuzhen also gives you the opportunity to appreciate the ordinary life in the Ming and Qing dynasties through its well preserved old house-turned theme museums, shops and organizations such as Ancient Bed Museum, Folk Custom Museum, Wine Distillery Workshop, Indigo Fabric Workshop, Woodcarving Museum, Coin Museum, The Former Residence of Mao Dun, Shadow Play, Fanglu Teahouse, Huiyuan Pawnshop, Wedding Museum, Zhaoming Academy, Chinese Footbinding Culture Museum, Wuzhen Post Office, Wuzhen Grand Theater, Heal town Pharmacy, and Yida Silk Workshop.

Follow me to have a photo tour of Wuzhen Water Town.

Wuzhen Water Town is dubbed as “Venice of the East”. The waterways form the water streets or lanes connect bridges and street buildings and houses.

Wuzhen Water Town is dubbed as Venice of the East.

Wuzhen Water Town is dubbed as Venice of the East.

A humpback stone bridge over the canal linking two blocks of the traditional houses.
A humpback stone bridge over the canal linking two blocks of the traditional houses.

A humpback stone bridge over the canal linking two blocks of the traditional houses.

 
The slab paved lanes flanked by the old wooden houses in Wuzhen.
The slab paved street flanked by the old wooden houses in Wuzhen.

The slab paved street flanked by the old wooden houses in Wuzhen.

A stone beam bridge spans the waterway.
A beam stone bridge over the canal

A beam stone bridge over the canal

The old wood houses built by the water pathway.
The old wood houses built by the water pathway.

The old wood houses built by the water pathway.

Many building protrude above the water for more spaces with stone pillars supporting in the water.
Many building protrude above the water

Many building protrude above the water

The narrow street with long chairs goes along the canal
The narrow street with long chairs goes along the canal

The narrow street with long chairs goes along the canal

Wuzhen Water Town is not a artificial replica of the historic town, and it is a natural town still inhabitated by the local residents.
Wuzhen Water Town is not a artificial replica of the historic town, and it is still inhabitated by the local residents.

Wuzhen Water Town is not a artificial replica of the historic town, and it is still inhabitated by the local residents.

Washing clothes by making the water of the canal. Local residents still keep the original water town life.
Local residents still keep the original water town life.

Local residents still keep the original water town life.

A traditional shop for local wine and liquor
A traditional shop for for local wine and liquor

A traditional shop for for local wine and liquor

Stroll on the narrow lane paved with stone slabs with the hanging laundry that sways overhead
Stroll on the narrow lane paved with stone slabs with the hanging laundry that sways overhead

Stroll on the narrow lane paved with stone slabs with the hanging laundry that sways overhead

A traditional kitchen
A traditional kitchen

A traditional kitchen

A local souvenir shop
A local souvenir shop

A local souvenir shop

A traditional Wine Distillery Workshop
A traditional Wine Distillery Workshop

A traditional Wine Distillery Workshop

An indigo Fabric Workshop
An indigo Fabric Workshop

An indigo Fabric Workshop

What’s in his mind? Can the historic town survive the internet age?
Can the historic town survive the internet age

Can the historic town survive the internet age

Wuzhen Water Town is akin to a scroll of Chinese painting.
Wuzhen Water Town is akin to a scroll of Chinese painting.

Wuzhen Water Town is akin to a scroll of Chinese painting.

Painting a beautiful life! We need a slow life, we need clean water and fresh air more than the growth of GDP.
Painting a beautiful life! We need a slow life, we need clean water and fresh air more than the

Painting a beautiful life! We need a slow life, we need clean water and fresh air more than the

Any questions, just drop a line.