You will be picked up from your hotel and taken in an air-conditioned individual vehicle for a sightseeing tour of the waterside town of Tongli. An English-speaking tour guide will accompany you on this tour. The distance between Shanghai and Tongli is approximately 80 kilometers.
Arrive in Tongli. This picturesque ancient town, located north of the Shangyuan Canal (Shangyuan Gang), consists of seven islets which are connected to each other by over 40 arched stone bridges and criss-crossed by some 15 canals. Though this water town dates to the Song Dynasty, many of its surviving residences and mansions belong to the Ming and Qing periods.
The highlights of this waterside town are:
Tuisi Garden or (Retreat and Reflection Garden): This is a classical garden built during the Qing Dynasty by a dismissed official. This UNESCO World Heritage garden is laid out from west to east in three sections, with the family's residences in the west, meeting and entertaining rooms in the centre, and a small landscaped garden in the east. Stroll the pavilions, terraces, halls, rockeries and ponds and experience the harmony of the garden.
Chong Ben Hall: This residence has four courtyards and three doorways, and its main attraction is the refined brick, stone, and wood carvings of scenes from Chinese literary classics all over the building. Symbols such as cranes and vases can also be seen on the walls.
Jiayin Hall: An example of the rich tradition of local craftsmanship can be seen at Jiayin Hall. Built in 1922, it is known for its collection of more than 100 well-preserved wood carvings of classical Chinese figurines.
The Bridges of Peace, Luck and Celebration: There are 49 bridges in Tongli, three of which have become the cultural symbols of the town. Named Taiping (peace), Jili (luck) and Changqing (celebration), locals walk over the three bridges to wish peace, fortune, happiness and health for their family and friends.
Ancient Sexual Cultural Museum: This museum features a large collection of historic and erotic artwork and artifacts relating to sexual culture. With more than 3,500 pieces, the collection ranges from stone and jade sculptures, antique sex toys, fertility idols, porcelain figures and paintings. The pieces are organized into various categories, including the evolution of sex, sexuality in religion, development of the marriage system, sexual oppression of women, erotica and sexual health.
At the end of the tour, you will be dropped back at your hotel in Shanghai.