Home > China Day Trips > Shanghai Day Trips > Suzhou and Tongli Water Town Tour from Shanghai

Suzhou and Tongli Water Town Tour from Shanghai

Prepare to be transported to a different world! Water towns and gardens boasted its unique features in China.

You will first visit a famous Chinese garden in Suzhou and have a rickshaw ride in Shantang Old Street. In the afternoon, you will visit Tongli. In ancient times, this was a favorite place for poets, painters, Confucian scholars and government officials. Your guide will tell stories about things that once happened in fluid Tongli. There are still many well-preserved architectures from the Ming (1368–1644 AD) and Qing (1644–1912 AD) dynasties, and locals still live there. Tongli counted as the best value water town to visit near Suzhou.

About This Tours

  • Duration: 8 Hours
  • Availability : Depart on every day
  • Private Guided Tour
  • Guide Language : English
  • Easy Cancellation : Up to 14 days before departure: 100% full refund; 7 to 13 days before departure: 90% refund; 3 to 6 days before departure: 50% refund; 2 to 0 days days before departure: no refund

What To Expect

  • Visit the Lingering Garden (Liu Yuan), one the most classical gardens in Suzhou
  • Take a half-hour rickshaw ride through Suzhou old streets.
  • Relax in Tongli Water Town, including Tuisi Garden (UNESCO World Heritage Site) and bridges
  • Take a gondola ride through ancient canals of Tongli
  • You’ll be served by a professional driver with over 5 years’ experiences and an English-speaking guide with excellent knowledge of the water towns

Tour Itinerary

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The night before your tour: arranging a pickup time

Your guide will call you between 7pm and 8 pm the night before your tour, to confirm the exact pickup time based on your preference. If you don’t answer the phone, your guide will leave a message at the front desk.

If don’t receive a call or a message at your hotel desk, please call our Shanghai Office on 13910694045. We will helps to resolve any problem immediately.

  • Your car: air-conditioned business van.
  • Your guide: licensed and fluent in English, knows the culture of the water towns very well.
  • Your driver: professional with over 5 years of experience


Shanghai hotel pickup and transfer to the Lingering Garden in Suzhou

  • Your guide will wait for you at your hotel lobby at the appointed time in Shanghai. then be transferred directly to Suzhou. You will spend about 2 hours on the roadway. Your guide will introduce you to the highlights of the trip, to Shanghai and to Suzhou. You can ask any questions, and your guide will endeavor to answer.
  • Good to Know

    If you plan to leave Shanghai after the tour, you can check out from your hotel. We can transfer you to the airport or train station after the tour for an extra fee. Please tell us your flight departure time when you book, so we can arrange your transfers.

    Pick up customers

    Hotel Pick Up

    Your Guide

    On the Way to Suzhou


    Visit the Lingering Garden (Liu Yuan)

    Lingering Garden is an elaborate succession of small gardens built in 1593 AD, with small beautifully pools, meandering rock paths, little hills, old trees, and flowers make you feel you are away from the bustle world. This garden is less crowd in peaceful ambience, enjoy your time linger around. The stories behind the buildings are interesting, so listen carefully to your knowledgeable guide.

    Lingering Garden

    Lingering Garden

    Bonsai in the garden

    Baonsai in the Garden


    Ride a Rickshaw to See Suzhou

    Have a leisurely time in a rickshaw ride. Your rickshaw driver will take you around Shantang Old Street. See Narrow alleys, small streets, and small tributaries of the ancient canal decorate the ancient city, and people watching as many hundreds of sightseers walked by.

    Rickshaw Ride through old street

    Rickshaw Ride Through Old Streets

    Suzhou Pedicab Ride

    Rickshaw Ride


    Lunch in a Local Restaurant

    After the rickshaw ride, it is time for lunch. You will be transferred to a local restaurant and savor your taste buds of authentic cuisine.

    Here are two recommended local restaurants:

    • Yangyang Dumpling Restaurant offers dumplings and local food.
    • Li Private Cuisine is well-known for its local food, such as fish from Lake Tai, duck with local sauce and fried eggs.


    Transfer from Suzhou to Tongli Water Town

    After lunch, your guide and driver will escort you to Tongli Water Town.


    Relax in Tongli Water Town and Tuisi Garden

    Tongli is a beautiful, picturesque Chinese water town. It has stone bridges and well-preserved ancient architecture, including private gardens, temples and houses. It's not difficult to imagine how life must have been there 100 years ago.

    Tuisi Garden (Retreat & Reflection Garden)

    A notable attraction is the beautiful Retreat & Reflection Garden, a private garden. It was built in 1885–1887 during the Qing dynasty and it has been recognized with other classical Suzhou gardens as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    Take a gondola ride down the waterway and see quaint bridges

    Water is a major form of transport in Tongli. You will take a gondola from Tuisi Garden to the Three Bridges.

    There are 49 stone bridges, in a variety of styles, joining 7 islands created by 15 rivers and 5 lakes. Each bridge has a poetic name.

    The most notable are Peace and Tranquility (Taiping) Bridge, Lucky (Jili) Bridge and Lasting Celebration (Changqing) Bridge. These are known as Three Bridges as they cross three rivers at their confluence and form a natural ring road.

    The Three Bridges are lucky symbols in the eyes of the local residents, who believe that walking over them on weddings or birthdays will generates good luck.

    You may see an interesting show involving cormorants, which will have a rope around one of their legs attached to the boat. For a fee, a fisherman will drop the birds into the water, where they will dive to catch fish.

    Good to Know

    • It’s uncommon to find western-style toilets in the water towns, but our guides know where they are.
    • You may come across some tour groups in Tongli. But it is less crowded than other water towns.
    • There are almost no signs in English in Tongli and local people know very little English.
    Gondola Ride in Tongli

    Gondola Ride in Tongli

    Fishpond in Tuisi Garden Tongli

    Fishpond in Tuisi Garden Tongli

    Local Handicraft – Painted Paper Fan

    Local Handicraft – Painted Paper Fan

    Tongli Delicacy - Crispy Pancake

    Tongli Delicacy - Crispy Pancake


    Transfer from Tongli Water Town to Shanghai

    After the tour, you will be transferred back to Shanghai. We’d be more than happy to help you if you need to be transferred to the airport, cruise terminal or train station.

    Please note that you should arrive at the airport 1.5 hours ahead of departure time for domestic flights, and 3 hours for international flights.

    Good to Know

    • This is a private no-shopping tour. Your guide and driver only serve your party on your tour day.
    • You will receive a confirmation letter within 24 hours of payment.
    • An extra fee will be applied if you need to be transferred to or from the airport, cruise terminal or train station.
    • An extra fee will also be applied if your hotel is outside the middle ring road in Shanghai.

    Price Per Person in US Dollars

    1 Person 2 - 3 Person 4 - 5 Person 6 - 9 Person 10 - 20 Person
    $ 325 $ 181 $ 135 $ 114 $ 96

    * Price per Person in US Dollars 1 Person $ 123 The price may change during some festivals including Spring Festival, Tomb Sweeping Day, Labor Day (1st May), Mid- Autumn Day and National Day (1st-7th October).

    * The price is subject to change based on exchange rate.

    * An extra fee may be applied if there is a pickup or drop-off earlier than 09:00 or later than 19:00.

    Price Inclusion

    • Private English-speaking guide service fee
    • Private transfer service with air-conditioned vehichle
    • All entrance tickets and meals listed above
    • Service charge and tax
    • China life tourist accident/casualty insurance
    • Luggage transfers


    Price Exclusion

    • Airfare/train tickets/hotel/China visa
    • Any meals not listed above
    • Tips to the tour guide and driver
    • Personal expenses such as drinks, shopping and attractions that are not listed in the itinerary
    • Excess baggage charges and travel insurance
    • Extra fee may be applied if there is a pickup or drop-off earlier 09:00 or later than 19:00


    Tour Code: SHALC-62

    Tour Type: One Day Trips  (Private Tour)

    from US $181 p/p

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    Last Minute Booking

    For 48-hours last minute booking, please give us a call to check on tour availability.

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