Fushi, the original name of Tongli water town, is a historic water township located on the east of Taihu Lake. The place is just 18 kilometers away from Suzhou city. Being populated by over 33 thousand, Tongli has been very well preserved as a beautiful water town. The place is just right to enjoy a marvelous holiday while experiencing the traditional culture.
Tongli water town exists beautifully. There are seven islands surrounded by five lakes and fifteen rivers connected by forty nine bridges. Each bridge that delivers into different parts of Tongli town has its own unique name. The names are inspired by the natural living of the locals. Most well known are Ternate bridges that consist of Taiping bridge (means Peance and Tranquility), Changqing bridge (means Lasting Celebration), and Jili bridge (means Luck). For the inhabitants, Ternate bridges are not just distinctive tourism bridges. It is more of a fortune symbol. Walking by the bridges is believed to welcome good luck during birthday and wedding parties. Another two notable bridges in Tongli are Siben, the oldest one, and Dubu, the smallest one (5 feet long). Tongli bridges stand strong and still as silent witness of the town’s historical memory.
Tongli town holds the reputation as Museum of Ancient Architectures. Most of the ancient residential houses and temples are built with a great architectural design. Some significant features of Tongli housing are carved windows, clay bricks, porcelain furniture, flying eaves decorations, dapper gardens, and small stairs directs to the water. The architecture and decoration of houses are put perfectly alongside the river.
Most outstanding attracton in Tongli is Tuisi Garden. Tuisi means Retreat and Reflection. The garden is divided into two parts. West part of the garden is the residential area that consists of an inner and outer house, a tea hall, a reception hall, and two buildings for actual living. The garden is located in the east part. It is beautifully built with ponds, waterside pavilions, marble baths, verandas, bridges, and rockeries. Completed with greenery of trees and colorful flowers, the view is so much inviting.