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Introducing Tónglǐ

The canal town of Tónglǐ, only 18km from Sūzhōu, sits near Lake Tai and the Grand Canal and has been around since at least the 9th century. Rich in atmosphere, many of its buildings have kept their traditional façades, with stark whitewashed walls and black-tiled roofs.

Tónglǐ is a popular destination for day trippers from Sūzhōu or Shànghǎi, but it manages to retain a pleasing weather-beaten charm, despite the flocks of tourists on weekends and holidays. With its ancient homes, cobblestone pathways and canals pleasantly shaded with willow trees, it’s a great place for a stroll or just whiling away the hours at a waterside teahouse.