In March, the continued southern spring rain had last for more than a month. It seemed the sun had been very far away from us. But the bad weather did not stop me to visit the water village with my friends.
Although Tongli Town is not as neat as Zhouzhuang, its winding waterways and well-retained the old buildings of indigenous inhabitants add charm to the water village. In fact, it was fun to travel in the water town in such rainy days.
Tongli is a lovely ancient water town in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, it takes about 30 minutes drive from Suzhou and 1.5 hours drive from Shanghai. The town is famous for its many stone bridges and ancient architectures; beautiful private gardens and ancient houses. Tongli has preserved the charm of ancient China.
Tongli was established in the 7th century as a village and became a great town between the 14th and the 19th centuries. The town is 18 km from Suzhou and is well known for its scholars, wealth and economic developments.
Tongli is surrounded by five lakes and crisscrossed by canals and is slightly round in shape, covering an area of 86 hectares. The town is famed for its townhomes, architecture, bridges, landscapes and canals, all of which have existed since hundreds to over thousand years ago. There are in total more than 25 ancient bridges left intact since the 13th century and the total length of canals measures around 10 km. The floor space of traditional Chinese architecture covers 108,000 square meters, of which the floor space of buildings from the 14th to the 19th century is 40,000 square meters, making up 37% of the total.
The town creates a unique living environment which joins man, in harmony, with water and the nature.