Incredible CHINESE FOOD in Ancient WATER TOWN + Gond...Davidsbeenhere
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I love visiting China. It’s such a huge country, which means there’s a lot of diversity when it comes to the food. During my trip to the country in April of 2019, I let my taste buds guide me through tShanghai, Suzhou, and Hangzhou for 12 incredible days. I also learned a lot about the history and culture of these cities and much more! Come along with me on my Chinese adventure!
On the morning of my fifth day in China, I took a day trip to the water town of Tongli, which is about an hour south of Suzhou. There, I met up with my guide, Peter. I went there for the history; 70% of the buildings are over 200 years old! The town is made up of 17 canals with 45 stone bridges. There’s also a meditation garden!
When you arrive at the new town, you pay an entry fee of 100 Yuan/about $14.59 U.S. to get into the town. My first order of business was getting some breakfast. I was starving!
There were lots of street foods everywhere: pig feet, pig legs, duck heads, eggs, and more! We passed through a historical gate and passed lots of souvenir shops. Along the way, I saw shops and stalls selling buns, cakes, and bread. It all looked so good!
I got six different things at one restaurant: preserved vegetables, xiaolongbao with minced pork, soup dumplings, a variety of other dumplings, and a veggie bun.
First up were the preserved water vegetables, which were like a mix between spinach and cabbage. They were really moist and refreshing.
Next was the xiaolongbao, which I nibbled and sucked the soup out of before I popped the whole thing into my mouth. So good! There was some moist pork inside. I added a hot chili sauce. The dough was thin and light, but the pork inside is so flavorful!
Next was the veg bun, which was very dense with lots of layers and preserved water vegetable. The sticky rice snack also contained preserved veg. It was oily and had sticky rice in the middle like a mochi, but the outside was crispy like a pot sticker.
Next was the sticky rice with herbs, which I’d never had before. It was really sticky and was basically a dessert. The last thing was a sticky rice ball that looked like a mochi. Inside was a lot of red bean paste. It was really good!
My breakfast cost me 21 Yuan/$3.06 U.S. I was super full, so it was time to go out and explore Tongli!
We headed down the main avenue, past shops and food vendors. I tried some pork jerky, which tasted like Chinese ribs. I loved the sauce it had been marinating in! The beef jerky was outstanding!
We reached a square with lots of traditional-looking buildings and then the meditation garden. Your pass to get into the garden is the ticket you got when you entered the town, so don’t lose it! Inside is a tea hall with beautiful and intricate furniture. It’s made of mahogany and marble. It’s 200 years old and is in perfect condition!
We visited the main hall and living quarters of this incredible UNESCO World Heritage Site. I marveled at its amazing brick-and-wood doors, the patterns on the floor, and a bonsai tree! There are also lots of unique windows and a garden through the moon gate.
The garden was so beautiful and contained a pond with fish. I loved the imperial architecture from 200 years ago! It almost looked like everything was floating on the pond. There was a large, smooth stone that’s good luck to touch.
From the garden, we passed through the crowds of people and watched an awesome Chinese opera performance. Then we crossed a bridge and paid 90 Yuan to hire a boat to ride down the canal. We passed under 3 ancient stone bridges. This is the best way to experience Tongli and see local life! The ride takes 25 minutes and gives you great insight into the history of this beautiful town!
Along the canals are restaurants and there were lots of amazing trees overhead. This is what I wanted to see when in China! After our ride, we re-entered the sea of tourists to explore more and entered the old town, where there where lots of low-slung, traditional houses. We saw the third bridge, which was more straight and less arched.
And just like that, my 3-hour tour of Tongli was over! If you liked coming with me to explore Tongli, please give this video a thumbs up and leave me a comment. Also, please subscribe to my channel!
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