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China July 2009 part III: Tong Li
We arrived in Tong Li after a bus ride of about 1,5 hour. Tong Li is one of the "water villages" around Suzhou and is sometimes called the Venice of the East.

The historic part of the town, built on seven islands, connected by 43 bridges, is a major tourist attraction. Most visitors are daytrippers, like in Venice. In the evening the atmosphere becomes quieter and more relaxed.

Aric had booked a room in a small guesthouse, and this room was so extremely beautiful and comfortable, that we immediately decided to stay in Tong Li for the remaining few days of our trip.
Bedroom and separate sitting room, furnished as if it was a museum, a wireless Internet connection, a friendly owner. And that for only RM 90 per night!

You have to pay a ticket to stay in Tong Li! Not cheap, RM 40 pp, but valid for as long as you stay and giving access to many of the gardens and museums of Tong Li.

After lunch we started with Gen Le Hall which houses an interesting museum of "root art". Next we visited the Tui Si Garden, in the same elaborate style as the gardens in Suzhou, with pavillions, a lake and a a rocky hill.
It was drizzling, which actually enhanced the pleasant atmosphere of the town.

The next day we visited the Pearl Pagoda garden, the biggest garden in Suzhou, where you can spend hours. Aric could not resist the temptation to dress as a Chinese judge

After a simple lunch we visited more gardens, and explored the many canals and bridges.

The next morning we even went to the China Sex Museum, actually quite interesting and not at all vulgar.

Then it was time to take the bus to Hangzhou, where we spent the last night, before returning to Malaysia.

A fascinating trip.

Arrival in Tong Li

The entrance of our hotel

Our room
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The friendly owner gives directions

But first lunch

Map of Tong Li

Gen Le Hall

Classic design

Decorated window

Root art museum

One of the works of art


Tui Si Garden

Pavillions, a lake, a rocky hill

Colorful fish

Rainy weather

An old musician

The cormorants are trained to catch fish

What shall we have for dinner?

Tong Li specialities

Like these pig knuckles

Quiet evening atmosphere

A photographer's delight

So beautiful

Our guesthouse by night
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Enjoying our room

Never stayed in such a nice room

One of the canals

The Pearl Pagoda Garden


Aric in disguise

One of the many pavillions

View of the lake

The lake and a tourist

Another pavillion

A canal

and a bridge

Canal and bridge..:-)

Many more bridges

Tourist cruise boat


So beautiful

Waiting for tourists

Gu Feng Garden


The museum

A young art lover

Jia Yin Hall

One of the more touristy canals

The entrance bridge of the old town

Ordering lunch

Tasting the food

I like this picture

Composition in black and white
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Drizzle became rain

Cleaning the canals

China Sex Museum

Viewing the exhibits

More than a birdie..:-)
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Souvenirs of the trip

Liz wrote on Aug 29, 2009:
Beautifullllllllllllllll :-)

wrote on Aug 29, 2009:
What a sumptuous feast for the eyes. Thanks very much for sharing these pictures, Jan. I must make Tong Li a part of my bucket list.

wrote on Aug 29, 2009:
Must be agonizing to have to carry that around!

wrote on Aug 29, 2009:
This IS indeed a beautiful room -- just like what you see in the movies.

wrote on Aug 29, 2009:
And the red lanterns give this just the right level of interest. Lovely.

wrote on Aug 30, 2009:
Thanks for the beautiful photos and night scenes. We missed these on our normal lightning "tourisy" tours. Can see you both had a nice time.
By the way, this particular photo will be good for the chinese vampire movies :-)

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