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Tong Li Water Town  Tong Li Water Town in Water Towns Price: Duration: Dates: Tour code: Overview: Ask for a free quotation 1 day As you request TCG-106 This tour begins and ends at your hotel in Shanghai. Tongli is one of the most authentic and picturesque water towns outside Shanghai. It is a little over 1 hour to drive there. After walking through the narrow lanes and having a canal cruise you continue on to Suzhou. In Suzhou you will see the Humble Administrator's Garden, one of the most famous there. Suzhou is also famous for its silk production, and a visit to the Silk Museum shows you how silk is produced and a look at quality samples. Finally a walk on Pingjiang street gives you a look at how Suzhou has developed into a modern city while retaining its culture.
Itinerary
day 1
  • Drive to Water Towns
  • Tong Li Water Town Read more about Tong Li Water Town  narrow lanes and canals, one of the hidden gems around Shanghai
  • TongLi Canal Cruise Read more about TongLi Canal Cruise a relaxing canal cruise through Tongli's narrow waterways
  • Lunch Read more about lunch on a tour Chinese style meal, can eat beside a canal weather allowing
  • Drive to Suzhou
  • Humble Administrator's Garden Read more about Humble Administrator's Garden The largest classical garden in Suzhou and generally thought to be the most beautiful in Southeastern China. Great place for kids and first thing in the day
  • Pingjiang Street Read more about Pingjiang Street One of the original main streets of Suzhou running along a narrow canal and lined with shops, restaurants and teahouses. Go punting, sip tea, shop or wander
  • Drive to Shanghai
  • Meals: lunch
Tong Li Water Town
Tong Li Water Town
TongLi Canal Cruise
TongLi Canal Cruise
Humble Administrator's Garden
Humble Administrator's Garden
Pingjiang Street
Pingjiang Street
  • Tour price
  • Get a free quote
  • Our advantages
  • Included / not included
Tour price
Guests Cost per guest
Ask for a free quotation
Tour code: TCG-106
  • » Your tour day starts and ends at a hotel in the city, which may or may not be included. If a hotel is included it is listed by name on the itinerary for each night.

  • » Discounts for children in China are based on height. Let us know your child's age and height and we can calculate accordingly.

  • Get a free quote
  •  
  • Let us modify the tour's itinerary for free and with no-obligation to suit your needs. We can change the activities, add or change hotel rooms, flights or trains as you wish.

  • Why book a tour with The China Guide?
  • » Zero shopping stops at overpriced commission factories. Your time and money is better spent.
  • » Flexible time schedule to suit your pace. No rush and can cater to children's needs.
  • » Guides selected and trained by our staff. Excellent English, accommodating, family friendly.
  • » Meals are in quality local restaurants. We order according to your tastes and diet.
  • » Western style service. Our agents and guides are there to make you happy.
  • » We have traveled in China with our own children. The American owners have four young children.

  • Read more about why choose The China Guide as your travel agency and meet our travel agents.
  • Included in the tour price
  • » Private English speaking guide (selected/trained by our western staff), experienced Chinese speaking driver and quality, air-conditioned vehicle
  • » Admission tickets to all sights listed on the itinerary - no hidden costs
  • » Free bottled water supplied in your vehicle
  • » Meals as specified in quality local restaurants with unlimited standard drinks (Coke, Sprite, bottled water, Chinese tea)


  • Not included in the tour price
  • » Tips to your guide and driver
  • » International travel insurance (you should purchase your own policy in your home country)


  • For tour booking terms & conditions, please review our company policies.

Tong Li Water Town   同里

Tongli Water Town is one of the hidden gems around Shanghai. Some might say it is more interesting than it's wealthier cousin Suzhou. It is small, pedestrianized and has village charm. While it receives a lot of tourists, it still has people living in it and the atmosphere has not been compromised.

You can enjoy a home cooked lunch along the canals or stop for a coffee or tea. Lots of narrow lanes and canals lend to its charm. A canal cruise is optional. Walking the canal banks can be just as rewarding since its nice to check out the shops and take photographs.

While there is a small hotel in Tongli with traditional style architecture, most visitors just pass through on their way between Shanghai and Suzhou. It is a convenient stop along the way.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
3
Opening hours:
7:30am - 5:15pm

TongLi Canal Cruise   同里游船

Enjoy a relaxing canal cruise through the narrow waterways of Tongli. You may even see Cormorants catching fish. Rowed by an oarsman, you experience a traditional and ancient boat ride through an amazingly well preserved village.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
0.5
Opening hours:
8:30am - 5:15pm

Humble Administrator's Garden   拙政园

This, the largest garden in Suzhou at nearly 52,000sqm, is one of the most flowing and beautiful classical Chinese gardens in all Eastern China. A garden was first built on this site in the 1100's. Since then it has been modified, destroyed, rebuilt and changed ownership many times. The Chinese government brought all the parts back together again in 1949 and opened it to the public. It has enjoyed UNESCO World Heritage status since 1997.

The grounds and flowing waterways are lovely any time of the year, but mid April thru May is when the flowering trees are most in bloom. It is a great place for children, but peace and serenity only abide before the crowds and megaphones join the flow from 10AM. Keep in mind that the beautiful carved stone steps and paths are not pushchair or wheelchair friendly and allow yourself a good 2 hours to meander through all the elements.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
2
Opening hours:
7:30am - 6:00pm with last admission at 5:00pm

Pingjiang Street   平江街

Pingjiang Street is found on Suzhou maps as far back as the Song Dynasty (960-1279). This narrow flagstone street and the lanes extending from it are lined with old-style architecture, housing shops, teahouses, hotels and homes depicting life before motor vehicles. You can shop here for quality handicrafts, clothes and other items, or sit sipping tea enjoying a Pingtan performance of ballads and storytelling. While-away an hour punting along the narrow canal that runs parallel, gliding beneath arched stone bridges and past white washed homes featured in many a Chinese painting. Or simply wander through the quarter watching local life go on. There are restaurants serving delicious Suzhou dishes and pastries and the lights lit at night along the canal increase its romantic atmosphere. It is a wonderful mix of the antiquated and the modern, worth a couple of hours plus a canal cruise.

Average time for this activity (in hrs):
1

Shanghai 上海

Shanghai is the largest city in China, and one of the largest metropolitan areas in the world, with over 20 million people. Shanghai is a modern city with a past linked to foreign occupation through World War II. The row of historic bank buildings on the Bund shows the architecture brought by foreigners when Shanghai was the banking capital of Asia. Now modern development in Pudong has changed the face of the city into a modern metropolis. Shanghai maintains some of its 1930's feel to it. Chinese people in Shanghai are more liberal and modern, being farther from Beijing. Foreigners living in Shanghai are there for business reasons, and thus Shanghai has more of a "New York" feel to it.

Water Towns 水乡

Located near Suzhou outside Shanghai, there are a number of traditional water towns each with their own traditional characteristics. Stroll down historic cobblestone streets, take a boat ride, browse little shops and see historic sights. Enjoy lunch or a drink in small local restaurants along the canals.

A water town can be a day trip from Shanghai, a bit over an hour drive each way, or as a stop between Shanghai and Suzhou.

Suzhou 苏州

Suzhou is one of the largest and most prosperous industrial cities in China now. It is also one of the most popular tourist destinations with its over 1000 year old history leaving a legacy of UNESCO heritage listed traditional Chinese gardens, romantic canals with arched stone bridges, pagodas and temples dotted amongst the modern city elements. It is a great one or two day tour outside of Shanghai being just 1.5 hours by car or 25 minutes on the high speed train.

Breakfast

Most hotels come with breakfast, or if not it can be added at a cost. Four and five star hotels will generally offer a good western and Chinese buffet breakfast. Three star hotels may only have a Chinese breakfast, or a Chinese interpretation of a western breakfast. Anyway a Chinese breakfast is not bad - rice porridge, eggs, Chinese style breads and vegetables.
Drinking Water
Most of our tours offer unlimited bottled water in the vehicle so you can keep hydrated and healthy all day long. Grab a couple bottles to take to your room for the night. Tap water in big cities in China is not going to make you sick, it is chlorinated. Fine for brushing your teeth but best to stick to bottled water as you don't want to upset your system on your big trip.
Children and Special Diets
Our guides are accustomed to handling special diets or the selective eating of children. Let us know in advance if you have food allergies or other special requests and we can plan for you. Children often find they like certain Chinese dishes, such as noodles, fried rice or sweet and sour pork. If a stop at McDonalds or KFC is required your guide can do this on the go.

Lunch on Tour

We consider experiencing good Chinese cuisine to be an important part of the tour experience. When on a tour, lunch is generally Chinese style and normally included in the price. Our guides will help you order according to your taste. Mild, spicy, meat, vegetables, rice and/or noodles. Dishes are served family style and shared by the guests. The driver may eat on his own but the guide will join you if you like.

Food in Beijing is quite good quality and we take our guests to genuine local restaurants, not tourist traps. We consider it distasteful to ask you for small amounts of money during the tour, so we offer unlimited standard drinks including Coke, Sprite, local bottled water and Chinese tea. You also won't leave the table hungry, if you need more to eat just let your guide know.

We don't have fixed restaurants we must use, it depends on where you are at the time you are hungry. When traveling around China we normally have the same arrangements outside Beijing but this may vary depending on your exact itinerary.
Drinking Water
Most of our tours offer unlimited bottled water in the vehicle so you can keep hydrated and healthy all day long. Grab a couple bottles to take to your room for the night. Tap water in big cities in China is not going to make you sick, it is chlorinated. Fine for brushing your teeth but best to stick to bottled water as you don't want to upset your system on your big trip.
Children and Special Diets
Our guides are accustomed to handling special diets or the selective eating of children. Let us know in advance if you have food allergies or other special requests and we can plan for you. Children often find they like certain Chinese dishes, such as noodles, fried rice or sweet and sour pork. If a stop at McDonalds or KFC is required your guide can do this on the go.

Dinner on Tour

Unless there is a special activity planned or you prefer to have all your meals catered, guests often prefer to relax after a day tour and arrange their own dinner. This gives you flexibility in time and cuisine. Having all your meals catered every day can be tiresome. Handling your own dinner allows you to have some control and also strike out on you own. Your guide can give you restaurant suggestions and in big cities you can find lots of options for fine dining, fast food, both western or Chinese. Hotel staff can often make restaurant recommendations within walking distance.

If you get the taste for a burger or pizza after a lot of Chinese food, this is easily found in Beijing, Shanghai and many other cities around China. Many hotel restaurants offer nice food. China also has its share of McDonald's, KFC and Subway sandwich chains if you need a fix.
Drinking Water
Most of our tours offer unlimited bottled water in the vehicle so you can keep hydrated and healthy all day long. Grab a couple bottles to take to your room for the night. Tap water in big cities in China is not going to make you sick, it is chlorinated. Fine for brushing your teeth but best to stick to bottled water as you don't want to upset your system on your big trip.
Children and Special Diets
Our guides are accustomed to handling special diets or the selective eating of children. Let us know in advance if you have food allergies or other special requests and we can plan for you. Children often find they like certain Chinese dishes, such as noodles, fried rice or sweet and sour pork. If a stop at McDonalds or KFC is required your guide can do this on the go.


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