7. Gu Feng Museum
This museum is located in a building that overlooks the Gu Feng Garden, Tongli (top destination for affordable China travel packages). The exhibits on display include many different types of wooden and ornate beds, ceramics and some wonderful carved wooden architectural features.
8. 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.
9.Tongli entracne tickets Upon buying the 80 RMB (unit for Chinese currency) entrance ticket / person you can visit the gardens, scenic spots and Classical Halls for free. I did not find any completion of being entitled only for 4. Actually being a foreigner the locals won't stop you from entering any of such spots rather would welcome you with a gentle smile. The only thing they do is to check your main entrance ticket and then simply punch the name of the garden along the list printed on the ticket.
One more thing...The entrance ticket of "Tong Li" can be bought from Suzhou that would also entitle you a free ride to Tongli town (no need to buy 8 Yuan separate ticket to go to Tong Li). Such ticket is available once you cross the bridge right in front of the Suzhou railway station and ask the locals that you want to go to Tongli.
Lastly..you can also do without the entrance ticket : ) No one checks the tickets at Tongli after 6:00pm. The guys pack up for home : )
But then again, I think we should be nice enough to pay for the fun.
My ratings for the gardens inside Tongli:
Tui Si Garden, Zhen Zhu Ta, GuFeng Garden, Gengle Hall, Chongben Hall, Songping stone display hall.
10. Gondola Ride
Although Tongli is the largest water village in Jiangsu Province (one of best destinations for popular china tours, you can basically cover all the main attractions by walking. However, I trust you will have a different experience exploring this water village by boat.
Gondolas rowing across households built along the water canals. It resembles the view in Venice, Italy. No doubt it was described as "Venice of the Orient" by Italian voyager, Marco Polo.
You may rent a boat which costs about RMB60 per trip. It has a capacity of 12 people per boat. The boat tour will bring you sightseeing of three popular bridges, which are Bridge of Peace, Bridge of Auspicious & Bridge of Celebration (loosely translated). The whole journey takes about 30 minutes.
While in the gondola ride, you can observe the daily lives of chinese people living near to the canal, using it as their daily supply of water. They still lead a rustic lifestyle by earning extra income from selling souvenirs / momentos. Sometimes, we are like intruding to their world, disrupting their daily routines.
11. The whole town!
Tongli isn't very big and so can be seen in a day. Well, it took my mum and I about five or six hours to look around it, but others have told me they've done it in a morning!
The entrance to the water town is just set back from the main road and there is a huge sign on a wall, so you can't miss it! If you do happen to miss it(!), just follow all the people..they will lead you into it no problem!
You can walk a certain distance before having to pay looking in shop windows or stopping at restaurants, but the main idea is to go there for the rivers and lakes, so pay your 50yuan entrance, and you'll get to see all the sights!
12. The Street Of Tongli
This is a town build about 1000 years ago with canals around the town. Bridges are very important as its the main crossing point around the town. There are 3 bridges in this town which is the main bridge in the town where every newly married couple from Tongli are suppose to cross it for good luck.
For more via China guide.
What to do for your travel in Tongli II