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Tongli Ancient Town

Beautiful view of TongliAn age-old but very well preserved water township with a history of more than 1,000 years, Tongli Ancient Town locates on the eastern shore of Taihu Lake, about 18 kilometers (11 miles) from Suzhou City. It has a population of more than 33 thousand in its 63 square kilometers (24 square miles) area.

In 1981 Tongli Ancient Town was declared one of the thirteen national standard tour towns of the Taihu Lake region. And in 1982 it was listed for protection as the standard provincial town of cultural interest in Jiangsu Province. Now Tongli is a highly praised historical site and tourist resort, which enjoys increasing popularity.

Tongli Ancient Town

Like Zhouzhuang, bridge is the vital links in the Tongli Ancient Town. There are forty-nine stone bridges in a variety of styles joining with the seven islands created by fifteen rivers and five lakes upon which Tongli stands. The bridges here have created an interesting culture. Every bridge has a poetic name for its own. For instance, the most notable Peace and Tranquility (Taiping) Bridge, Luck (Jili) Bridge and Lasting Celebration (Changqing) Bridge which are known as Ternate Bridges as they cross three rivers and form a natural ring road. Peace and Tranquility Bridge was made in the reign of emperor Jiaqing of the Qing dynasty. The Luck Bridge is an arch bridge as well as inscribed with age-old couplets that describes the beautiful painting-like views at its either end. Lasting Celebration was built in 1470 and rebuilt in 1704. In the eyes of the local residents, the Ternate Bridges are propitious symbols, where they often walk over for good luck during wedding or birthday parties.

Tongli Ancient Town is also reputed as a 'museum of ancient architectures' because it has many houses and temples built in the Ming and Qing Dynasties. The Retreat and Reflection (Tuisi) Garden built during 1885 and 1887 is the most spectacular one in Tongli. The garden is both compact and harmonious and can be divided into two parts, the residential area and the garden. The residental area consists of an outer house and inner house including the sedan hall, the tea hall, a main reception hall and two buildings forming the actual dwelling while the garden has ponds, Marble Boats, waterside pavilions, halls, kiosks, verandas, rockeries and bridges. Together with flourishing trees and colorful flowers the garden welcomes visitors with its beauty Watching gold fish in Tongliand charm whatever the season is.


Tongli Ancient Town Tour

Tongli Ancient Town has a profound cultural backgroud and achievement which produced many poets, painters, Confucian scholars and officials in the ancient times. Also Tongli preserves dozens of stone tablets from different periods. So it is really worth visiting during Suzhou tour.