Luzhi Water Town
It’s not as visually striking as Tongli, but Luzhi Water Town is not as overrun by tourist hordes and therefore makes for a more peaceful canal town visit. Located about 25km south-east of Suzhou, it’s a ¥80-90 taxi ride from the city center. The township has a history of more than 1400 years and is renowned for its canals and ornate stone bridges, some of which date back to the Song Dynasty (970-1279). Luzhi has been made the grade on Chinese Government lists of top 10 Historical Townships and has been recognized by UNESCO.
The canals are set up in ‘T’ pattern, and for that reason Luzhi does not have quite the same charm as the winding canals of Tongli. However, there is plenty here to recommend – a more relaxed, quiet and peaceful atmosphere being the chief drawcard. There are a number of attractions within Luzhi, including Baosheng Temple (originally built in 503AD and housing a variety of artefacts) and the Wansheng Rice Shop. The admission ticket of ¥60 gets you access to all attractions in Luzhi, but it’s free to enter if you just want to wander around. You might be better off putting your money towards a boat ride along the canals. Allow a couple of hours to soak up the atmosphere in Luzhi, making it a good half-day trip from Suzhou.
Admission (attractions): ¥60. Open: 8:00-17:00
Directions: You can take bus #58 from the South Bus Station for ¥9. But as it takes about an hour by bus, you’re betting off taking a taxi which will cost ¥80-90 and take no more than 30 minutes.
Show the taxi driver: 请带我去甪直镇，谢谢。 (Please take me to Luzhi, thank you).