Suzhou Tongli Water Town Tour
Because of its beautiful landscape, time-honored gardens and architectures, laid-back lifestyle and gastronomic delights, Suzhou has been long known as “a heaven on earth”. ETC’s 3 days Suzhou tour showcases the best of the city has to offer, with real life experience, from the imposing Humble Administrator’s Garden, Lingering Garden, wandering ancient canal and Tiger Hill, to a cool rickshow ride through Pingjiang Road, back streets and small alleyways. Furthermore, you will go explore Tongli Water Town – one of the most enticing yet less-crowded water towns in East China - by sitting on a traditional little hand-rowing boat.
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Upon arrival, our guide and driver will meet you at the rail station and transfer you to hotel. After a short rest, you will go to visit Humble Administrator’s Garden which is the largest garden in Suzhou, and it is also regarded as the 4 most famous gardens in China, together with the Summer Palace of Beijing, the Mountain Summer Resort of Chengde, and the Lingering Garden of Suzhou. The Humble Administrator’s Garden is an artistic combination of buildings, pools, bridges, trees and paths that arranged in a specific manner.
Later, we will have a rickshaw ride to see authentic Suzhou local life. Sitting on the rickshaw, you can have a nice glimpse of the old block. The rickshaw driver will drive you through small alleys, and you will pass by ancient constructions, schools, food markets, stone pagodas etc. The rickshaw will then take you to Pingjiang Road, a historical street located in the northeast of Suzhou old city. The street is lined with bookshops, local opera theaters and tea houses. After 800 years, the road is still well-preserved and maintains its layout and characteristics in ancient forms. Walk along this street and feel the old style Chinese market environment.
- This evening, you can take an optional night tour to the Garden of the Net Master (at extra expense, the night tour is from 19:30 to 21:30, and only available from April to November). By visiting the illuminated garden, you will also enjoy several traditional Chinese music performances, Kun Opera and Suzhou Pingtan show.
After breakfast, you will be met and transfer to visit Lingering Garden. Covering an area of 2.3 hectares, the Lingering Garden is the best preserved among all the Suzhou gardens, and it is also one of the four most famous gardens in China. Afterwards, we go ahead to visit Shantang street which is praised as the “Miniature of Old Suzhou and Window of Wu Culture”. Shantang Street used to be an important trade and culture center during Ming and Qing Dynastes, and now it is a wonderful place for a relaxing walking and tasting local delicious.
Later, you will go to explore the most historical site in Suzhou - Tiger Hill. Different from classical gardens, Tiger Hill is not only a garden, but also a combination of pagodas, temples, bonsai garden, springs and pools. Yunyan Pagoda is one of most famous sites here, the over thousand years old pagoda has seven stories in height and famously leans much like the Leaning Tower of Pisa. The other famous and must see sight is the Sword Pool, The King of Wu (He Lu) tested and buried his treasured swords here about 2500 years ago. After visiting Tiger Hill, we will transfer to Suzhou No.1 Silk Factory. You can visit the factory and experience the process of producing silk with ancient machines.
After that, transfer to Panmen Scenic Area. It was built on the base of some historical sites by using the architectural structure of classical gardens. Walking onto the top of the gate, you can see the Wu Gate Bridge and the Auspicious Light Pagoda. Together, they are popularly known as the Three Scenes at Pan Gate. Afterwards, have a relaxing stroll along Suzhou Ancient Grand Canal. Passing by the old buildings and bridges, you will experience the authentic life of Suzhou.
Meal: B, L
This morning, your tour guide and driver will escort you to explore Tongli Water Town. It is about 25 kilometers away from Suzhou downtown, and it will takes around 40mins driving time. Tongli Ancient Town is characterized by its beautiful scenery, stone bridges and well preserved ancient architecture including private gardens, temples and houses. The water town was divided into seven parts by different waterways, nearly all the residences in the town are facing the water. Taking a small hand-rowing boat along the canal to see the old town will be a great fun (optional). Additionally, you can also stop by the elegant gardens, former residences of celebrities, charming bridges, such as the Retreat & Reflection Garden, Jiayin Hall, the Tree Bridges, the Pearl Tower, etc.
After the trip, you will be transferred to rail station or airport for your departure. End of your 3 days Suzhou Tongli Water Town tour.
Meal: B, L