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Tongli Water Town Day Tour from Suzhou

From $75 per person
Tongli Water Town Day Tour from Suzhou
  • Tongli Water Town Day Tour from Suzhou
  • Tongli Water Town Day Tour from Suzhou
  • Tongli Water Town Day Tour from Suzhou
  • Tongli Water Town Day Tour from Suzhou

Tour Style:
Voyage to one of China's famous ancient water towns, Tongli Water Town on this private tour from Suzhou, including round-trip transport. First, explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Retreat and Reflection Garden, and then take a cruise along the nearby lake in a wooden boat(optional). Visit Chongben Hall and Jiayin Hall before catching sight of three of the most popular bridges out of the more than the 50 found in town.

Duration: 6-8 hours

Tongli Water Town

Pick-up point:
Suzhou train station or your hotel in Suzhou (based on your requirement)

Finishing point:
Suzhou train station or your hotel in Suzhou (based on your requirement)

Tour Customizable:
Absolutely! (Tell us your requirements in your inquiry)

Payment Types:
Cash, Wire, Paypal, WesternUnion, Wechat, Alipay

Available: Daily


As one of the many ancient water towns in the south of the Yangtze River Delta, Tongli water town was established in the Song Dynasty, has a history of over 1,000 years, which are famous for their rivers, ancient bridges and house complexes. There are more than one hundred of well-preserved woodcarvings of traditional figures from Chinese classics. In 2004, Tongli water town together with Zhouzhuang water town and Luzhi water town were listed in the tentative list for UNESCO World Heritage Sites. With the rapid modernization of China, large number of historical towns disappeared under the bulldozers, with only a handful of well-preserved historical townships remaining today.

Tour Itinerary

  • Place&Transport: Tongli Water Town
  • Today's Activities: Residentical House, Retreat and reflection, Ancient bridge
  • Accommodation: N/A
  • Meal: N/A

Pick up from your hotel lobby in Suzhou downtown or Suzhou train station. You will find a welcome signage "Suzhou Private Tour" and drive you to Tongli water town directly, it takes around 50 minutes for one way.

Our pick up sign "Suzhou Private Tour"

Residential House: Tongli Water Town deserves its name of a “museum of ancient architectures” as there are many homes and temples dating from the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Designed along the riverside and embellished with carved windows, porcelain furniture, figured clay bricks, flying eaves, dapper gardens and tiny stairs leading all the way down to the water, these complexes named Tongli Water Town could be a shining pearl among the water townships south of Yangtze.

Retreat and Reflection (Tuisi) Garden: designed by the retired official Ren Lansheng throughout 1885 and 1887, is that the most spectacular in Tongli Water Town. Its name, Tuisi, suggests being meditative upon the previous faults when away from officialdom. The ingenious style for Tuisi Garden conforms to the native landforms and conditions and covers 700 square meters. Compact and harmonious, the garden is made from two parts. The garden within the east has verandas, ponds, waterside pavilions, Marble Boats, halls, kiosks, rockeries and bridges. 


In conjunction with flourishing trees and colorful flowers the garden greets guests with its beauty and charm regardless of the season. The residential area to the west consists of an outer house and inner house together with the tea hall, the sedan hall, 2 buildings forming the particular dwelling and a main reception hall.

Ancient Bridge: Taiping Bridge was built in 1747 during the Qing dynasty. Changqing Bridge, also named Guangli Bridge, was rebuilt by Xiezhen in the Ming dynasty. Siben Bridge, built in the Southern Song dynasty, is the oldest bridge in Tongli town. Dubu Bridge, 5 feet in length and 3 feet in width, is the smallest bridge in the town.As a character of Tongli, these ancient bridges today is reputed as the witness of the history, telling the story of the past.


Free on your own for a while and you will be transferred back to your hotel or train station in Suzhou.

Tips for Puchasing Train Ticket if you visit Suzhou water town from Shanghai
Shanghai to Suzhou:
Option 1: G7104 Shanghai Hongqiao Station to Suzhou Station: Depart at 08:54AM and arrive at 09:30AM
Option 2: G7006 Shanghai Station to Suzhou Station: Depart at 09:00AM and arrive at 09:25AM
Please choose one of the above options according to your hotel location

Suzhou to Shanghai
Option 1: G7119 Depart at 17:56 from Suzhou Station and arrive at Shanghai Hongqiao Station at 18:32
Option 2: G7243 Depart at 18:02 from Suzhou Station and arrive at Shanghai Station at 18:27

Price Per Person in US Dollars

Price Includes

1. All transfer and city transportation
2. Air-conditioned car or van
3. Hotels specified in the itinerary, all based
    on two persons sharingone standard room;
4. Meals specified in the itinerary: Western
    breakfast in hotels Chinese lunch and
    dinner in local restaurants
5. Sightseeing: All arrangements mentioned
    in the itinerary will be covered All first
    admission/entrance fees in the itinerary
6. Tour guide: Conducted by a professional
    tour guide

Price Excludes

1. International air-tickets
2. Airport departure tax.
3. International or domestic air tickets which
    are not listed in the itinerary.
4. Insurance coverage of personal loss, illness
    or damages incurred during your trip
5. Tips to the tour guide and driver
6. Meals not specified in the itinerary.
7. Personal expenses: phone bills, laundry,
    optional tours, postage, excess baggage
    charge, entertainment fees out of the
8. Single Room Supplement.

Questions & Answers or Review
* Full Name
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* Title of your review
* Your review
Dan Lam
Reviewed 24 December 2019
Amazing day with fantastic Guide

Jeffery was such an amazing guide! We saw so much of Tongli and Suzhou in only a day and we definitely could not have done it without Jeffery. He was so knowledgable and was able to answer all of our questions about the history of the city, the culture, and current events. He is from a nearby town and told us many stories about growing up in a water town and how life has changed since then. It was fascinating to hear these personal stories from a local and they gave us a better picture of how the city has changed in recent history and how it is continuing to change as China develops.

Our tour included: pick up and drop off from our hotel, a tour of the Retreat & Reflection Garden, lunch at a historic restaurant in Tongli, a tour of the three famous bridges, a tour of the marriage museum, a canal boat ride, time for shopping (Jeffery helped us to buy some of the local seasonal lotus rice wine which Suzhou is famous for), and finally a tour of the silk museum in Suzhou. Jeffery personalized the tour for us and added the tour of the silk museum at the end which is something we had really wanted to see. I could not have been more pleased with our tour!! Thank you Jeffery for an amazing day!

Reviewed 23 October 2019
Tongli Water Town Day Tour with Private Boat Ride

Suzhou Private Tour is highly recommended! Easy to book, a confirmation via email and the people contacting you to make sure everything is clear about pick-up and drop off etc. My mum and I were very happy with the service!

The Tongli tour was amazing! Bao our tour guide was friendly from beginning till end and could answer all our questions! Besides being a tour guide he gave us fun facts but also made us understand China in general better. His English is great, extensive knowledge and really listens to what you want.

The whole experience of Tongli water town made this one of our best tours in China.

Thanks Bao for the great day, showing us around in Tongli and sharing information about China and answering ALL of our questions! We had a great time! Highly recommend!

Reviewed 15 August 2019
Enquiry about Private Tongli Water Town Tour with Suzhou City Highlights

I would like to have a one day tour to Suzhou and Tongli Water Town, however I would like to see 2 gardens at lease (like the humble administrator's garden and the master of the nets garden) and to see the pingjiang historic street before heading down to tongli water town. Please let me know if this is possible. Please also let me know the price per person. thanks!

Replied:15 August 2019

Dear Fiona,

Thanks for your inquiry for Suzhou Private Tour service. Well noted your requirements, we will plan the Suzhou tour based on your needs. Our tour is very flexible, you'll have enough time to visit the attractions you mentioned above. We will send you all the details by email within one hour. Feel free to let us know if you have any questions or need any help. Thanks!

Suzhou Private Tour Guest Relations Manager Customer-care Team

Reviewed 21 February 2019
Wonderful Suzhou Tongli Water Town Day Tour

My husband and I are both experience travelers, so when a coworker recommend Suzhou Private Tour for a private Suzhou tour, we were a bit unsure whether it was something we wanted to do. But, considerting the short amount of time we had in the city, we flet this was the best option. And I'm so glad we did! We booked the Private Tongli Water Day Tour from Suzhou. Jessie was our guide and she spoke excelletn English. The entire time we spent with her felt very relaxed and in a way it seemed more like traveling with an friend than a tour guide.

We enjoyed the tour very much. Tongli is a small water village of ancient architecture and arched bridges, it is undoubtedly a Gem in Suzhou. Nice quiet and calm alleys, soveniers shops, restaurants, coffee shops can be found here. The walk along the canals was really enjoyable. Jessie is very knowledgeable, she gave us a nice understanding about the old time Chinese living while we can enjoy great food at the close by downtown streer. We took a boat ride in narrow canals which are spanned over head by numbers of stone-made bridges. It was unquestionably one of the unexpected highlights of our recent trip to China.

This Suzhou Tongli Water Town Day Tour was by far the best experience we have ever had in China and we will definitely book another tour with Suzhou Private Tour in the future.

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