Travel Report: Tonggui Bridge – Suzhou, China.
December 2018. Championed as “The Venice of China”, the city of Suzhou is home to a network of beautiful canals and ancient bridges. Two of its most historical bridges, Hu Xiang Shi Bridge and Si Po Bridge, lie on the cobbled, pedestrianised stretch of Pingjiang Road. The other is Tonggui Bridge, which many say is Suzhou’s definitive canal bridge. You can find it down a short alleyway running off Shantang Street.
Straddling The Shantang River, Tonggui Bridge is a chunky, 19 metre single stone arch structure that features heavily in most city paintings and sketches sold around town.
Its name translates as something like “the bridge leading you to riches and honour”. However, the only thing it actually led me to was an annoying woman trying to get me into her café. And she wasn’t taking no for an answer. Nevertheless, the views over the canal are really pretty. Moreover, you can also pick out Bantang Bridge in the distance.
Tonggui Bridge, Suzhou.
Here’s the inevitable selfie to round things off. I opted just to copy the silly pose the girl next to me was doing. Actually, this is the selfie face here in China, especially among self-obsessed girls. I’m not sure I pulled it off quite as well as she did! As with the famous bridges on Pingjiang Road, it only takes half a dozen people for things to get cramped. So prepare to sit back for a bit and let the foot traffic subside.
This handsome bridge is an essential part of a stroll down ancient Shantang Street. In better weather I imagine it must be great to sit at one of the tables outside the cafes and soak up the view.
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