travelgrove Reviews

Visiting Tongli Ancient Water Town, China

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ccts's pictureby ccts review
added on 23rd of December, 2008

Located in Jiangsu province, the Tongli ancient town is surrounded by waters in four sides, which is 80 kilometers east to Shanghai Hongqiao Airport and 18 kilometers north to Suzhou. With a long history of more than 1000 years, the beautiful and tranquil water town is acclaimed as” Oriental Venice” being featured by architecture in style of Ming and Qing Dynasties, flowing waters and unique bridges and famous persons. It is declared as one of the first batch of historical and cultural towns in Jiangsu province and enjoys increasing popularity with more and more tourists.

Being reputed as an ancient water town, the waters and bridges are the vital elements of Tongli, which is inlaid in five lakes. Tongli is separated into 7 islands by 15 rivers and 49 bridges integrate the islands together. The most famous bridge is the Ternate Bridges which plays an important role in the unique culture of Tongli. The Ternate Bridges consist of three bridges which cross three rivers at their confluence and form a natural ring road. The three bridges all have propitious names, respectively, Peace and Tranquility (Taiping) Bridge, Luck (Jili) Bridge and Lasting Celebration (Changqing) Bridge. The Ternate Bridges are considered as auspicious symbols by the local people and they walk over them on wedding day and birthday with the hope that it will brings them good luck.

Talking about Tongli, it is must to mention the Retreat and Reflection Garden which is one of the most famous classical gardens in China and was declared as the world cultural heritage in 2001. The name of Retreat and Reflection Garden is derived from the aphorism “'be loyal to the emperor when in officialdom; be meditative upon the previous faults while away from officialdom” quoted from Zuo Zhuan which was written by Zuoqiuming in the Eastern Zhou period. The garden’s design and layout is unique and adjust to the local conditions. Decorating with peaceful ponds, waterside pavilions, tranquil corridors, beautiful rockeries and bridges, the garden is charming and tranquil.

If you have tired of the bustling city, Tongli is an ideal place for relaxing. Strolling in the ancient town and enjoying the tranquility, you will forget all the trifles bothering you and harvest a special experience and good moods.

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My Unique China Travel - Tongli Ancient Water Town - overview

1. Dec 24, 2008 Visiting Tongli Ancient Water Town (Tongli)  (* 2)

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