Tonglizhen, Wujiang, Suzhou, Jiangsu, China
Tongli–Venice of the EastDon't miss Tongli, one of the less crowded ancient water towns, surrounding Suzhou.
You don't need a guide here, just walk around and explore the place at your own pace. You'll find an expansive network of lakes and waterways running like arteries through the old town. Most of the canals have footpaths next to them. The ancient buildings have weathered beautifully, as nothing was destroyed or modernized here, simply because the town has always been so inaccessible. Time stands still here, except for the occasional motor scooters zipping by. Many waterfront buildings function as restaurants to cater to the growing number of visitors, but just turn around a corner, and you find yourself away from the hustle in no time. There are some fun shops, and restaurants here, including one of the revered Momi Cafes.
Take your time visiting. Tongli provides a beautiful window into ancient China, far away from the noise and crowds. Needless to say it's a photographer's heaven.
>>>A heartfelt xièxiè (谢谢) to the incredible and extremely hardworking teams at Suzhou Municipal Tourism Administration and PHG Consulting for a fascinating 4 days in Suzhou, China.