Bright and early morning, after spending a night in Tongli, I’m interested in quieter and simple life of people along the ancient water city. Reading a couple of blogs and reviews, Tongli is not as crowded/modern as other water cities.

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So early morning they smoke the canals? Maybe to minimize mosquitoes or something? It kinda give the place some eerie morning though. I love morning walk. The people/tourists are most probably still sleeping. A good time to take some photographs of the canals, bridges, stone pathways and general buildings without people. Only some of the locals are early risers and do morning activities like washing cloths, cleaning and opening the stores/restaurants.

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From one bridge, crossing to another bridge

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Early birds

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I may or may not, get lost… a bit.

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These Ladies exercise in the morning

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Grandma looking good

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Illy coffee show. A little latte for breakfast. It’s hard to find a descent coffee shop in China. I don’t know why. Unless it’s Illy, Starbuck or Coffee Bean.

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Really brighten my morning

The first stop is Pearl Pagoda Scenic Spot or the Pearl Tower (珍珠塔). The area is large, probably the largest in Tongli. The Mansion is owned by Censor Chen Wangdao. Story said that Xiju Opera the Pearl Pagoda took place here in Wanli Reign of Ming Dynasty. Chen Wandao at that time was Censor of Nanjing and married off his daughter with the pearl pagoda as gift.

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Gorgeous paintings on wood of the complex

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Long corridor

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Beautiful carved door. Stone (above) and wood (bellow).

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Chinese style kitchen

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Walking house they even have a boat (boat house) and a canal to ride the boat out to the canals.

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It’s really interesting with the half moon door/gate and the walls following the curve

The Ancestral Temple. In ancient china’s patriarchal clan system, an ancestral temple is where the family worshipped and pray for their ancestor (like Disney’s Mulan, without the dragon of course).

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The red is very striking.

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Rich official has their on opera stage (like in the Kun Qu Opera Museum, Suzhou, diorama)

I love different shapes of gate like the one bellow, framing the garden view nicely. When I take photo straight it gives a nice view, and when I shift a little to the right, it gives me a different view of the garden.

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Interesting window decoration and pattern

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Gorgeous day with a gorgeous shot. A window to the garden.

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On one side

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And the other side. Both sides have lovely view of the gardens.

Next we visit Jiayin Hall (嘉荫堂). It was built in 1922 and owned by Liu Bingnan (柳炳南), related to Liu Yazi ((柳亚子), a Chinese poet whom lived there.

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The door way built with stone bricks and solid wood.

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The Xian Qing building in Ming Dynasty style is unique with the formal hall have high ceiling and wide open. The hall looks like a hat and nicknamed aptly “the Hat Hall.” The wooden beam, windows and accents are richly decorated, some with figures and nature like story book on carved wood.

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A study room

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The 2nd floor. Most of the rooms are not open though. I hope I’m not too early?

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Beautiful home

And the conclude day 2 of my trip in Tongli. After Tongli, I take another bus to Suzhou and can be read here.

My 2 days Tongli Suzhou – Tongli trip as followed: Tongli – Day 1, China Sex Museum, Day 2  and Suzhou – Suzhou and Silk Museum.

Source: Travel China Guide, Frommers, China Sex Museum, Bamboo Compass