Sunday, September 16, 2012
We had tried to go to Tongli yesterday, but when we tried to buy the bus tickets, they were sold out for the 8:30 am bus. So we bought tickets for the following day, today.
First, let me mention that the Shanghai Sightseeing Bus Centre is no longer at Gate #5 of Shanghai Stadium. Now it is across the street from Gate #5 and it is called the Shanghai Tour Bus Centre.
We boarded a bus marked Zhouzhuang, so we were a little worried except the driver happily took our tickets and placed us in the seats right behind the driver's seat. Checking all the little numbers on our ticket, we realized that it did say we boarded at Gate 1, and we were in seats 1 & 2. And it did indicate we were on a bus to Zhouzhuang and Tongli. Tongli is about 10 km/6 miles farther than Zhouzhuang, but we were dropped off first.
Tongli is a water town that shows how Suzhou looked as the "Venice of the East."
Once headed west on Xinchuan Dong Lu, we passed a couple places where degummed/boiled silkworm cocoons were drying:
The house appeared to be furnished as in the late Qing Dynasty (1644-1912):
Local housing and garden plots:
Kent on the Tai'an bridge:
Lisa L. likened this photo of Kent to a genie in a bottle:
400-year old Pinus bungeana/Lacebark Pine:
An artist paints the scene:
Detail of carved woodwork:
It is housed in a former girls' school with several large buildings and courtyard gardens:
Ancestral Temple prayer boards:
The garden was designated a UNESCO World Historic Site in 2001. Constructed in 1885-1887, it is in a Qing Dynasty-style typical of the Jiangnan region of China.
Here we are "reflecting:"
Traffic as we enter Shanghai proper: