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What to do for your travel in Tongli

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When visiting Tongli for your China travel deals, you can consider the following things to do.

1. Jaiyin Hall

Jiayin House was built in 1922 and the owner of the mansion was Liu Bingnan, who was the relative of Liu Yazi (1887–1958), a famous Chinese poet. Liu Yazi had once lived in the house. The front door of Jiayin House is in Shanghai's Shikumen style, which is that the doorframe is built of stone bricks and the door is solid wood.

2. Gengle Hall

Ming Dynasty official Zhuxiang, also called Gengle, built this placid retreat after a successful career in government. So pleasant was his home that he seldom left it, earning a reputation as a hermit, albeit a hermit with a 54-room mansion to hole up in. Today, the house retains three courtyards and 41 rooms out of the original layout. The front living quarters lead to a small garden area with a lotus pool. An adjacent zigzag bridge connects to a pavilion.

3. Pearl Tower

A legend goes like this: Fang, a young man from a rich and powerful family became poor due to being out of favour with the royal court. He had to borrow money from his aunt in Henan Province (an optional destination for top 10 China tour packages), central China, but she scornfully taunted him. Fang's elder female cousin, Chen, had a kind heart and gave him the Pearl Tower, which had been the family treasure for many generations, to help him to go further study. Three years later, Fang attained the top grade in the imperial examination and returned home. He disguised himself as a Taoist monk and sang a satire song to mock his unkind aunt. He eventually married Chen.

Now the Pearl Tower is the reproduction of the ancient story, where Fang had studied.

4. Bridges

Forty-nine stone bridges in a variety of styles join the seven islands created by fifteen canals and five lakes upon which Tongli stands. Each bridge has a name and these examples will give you an idea of the poetic nature of the inhabitants. Perhaps the most notable are Peace and Tranquility (Taiping) Bridge, Luck (Jili) Bridge and Lasting Celebration (Changqing) Bridge. These are known as Ternate Bridges as they cross three rivers at their confluence and form a natural ring road.

The small and exquisite Taiping Bridge was built during the reign of emperor Jiaqing of the Qing dynasty. Jili Bridge is an arch bridge and inscribed with age-old couplets describing the beautiful painting-like views at either end. Changqing Bridge, also named Guangli Bridge, was originally constructed in 1470 and rebuilt by Xiezhen in 1704. The oldest bridge in Tongli is Reflecting Origin (Siben) Bridge which was built in the Song Dynasty (960-1279) while the smallest bridge is called Single Step (Dubu) which is only one and a half meters (5 feet) in length and less than one meter (3 feet) wide.

5. Sex Culture Museum

An eye opening museum if ever there was one! Despite the title, this museum is quite tasteful and shouldn't embarrass you that much! It is the first and only museum of its type in China and exhibits over 1,600 items of sex culture from as long ago as 9,000 years to the early 20th century in four parts: Sex in Primitive Society, Marriage and Women, Sex in daily life, and Unusual sexual behaviour! Many of the items were first introduced by China such as chastity belt and sex tools from 3,500 years ago. A must visit whilst in Tongli just for its cheer unique-ness and theme. You can also witness the dirty old Chinese men standing outside the entrance!

Admission: 20 RMB (unit for China money ).

6. Retreat and Reflection Garden

The Retreat and Reflection (Tuisi) Garden, was designed by a famous painter, Yuan Long, during 1885 and 1887 and is the most spectacular in Tongli. Its name is derived from an aphorism expressed in a very famous biography called Zuo Zhuan written by Zuo Qiuming in the Eastern Zhou period (770-221 BC): 'Forward to be fully loyal, and retreat to reflect fault'.

The ingenious design for the garden conforms to the local landforms and conditions and covers about 700 square meters. Compact and harmonious, the garden is in two parts. The residential area to the west 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. The garden in the east has ponds, marble boats, waterside pavilions, halls, kiosks, verandas, rockeries and bridges.

For more via travel China guide.

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