As you can see from the photo above it was indeed a cold day in Tongli. We were all universally bundled, and many in our group wore headgear for warmth.
Of course the cold did little to dampen our awe.
As our gondola rides finished up I managed to take one last fun shot from the canals of Tongli before we headed to our next Tongli destination:
This garden is designated as yet another World Heritage Site by UNESCO, one of a total of nine classical gardens so designated in the Suzhou area. You’ll recall that we visited the Master of the Nets Garden in Suzhou on this day as well.
But unlike other gardens we’d seen on this trip, the Garden of Seclusion and Meditation is a relative newcomer dating back to only 1885. The Master of the Nets Garden by comparison traces its beginnings nearly 900 years — to 1140.
The central pond of the garden is home to another Chinese development — ornamental koi, which were created through selective breeding of Prussian carp some 1,000 years ago. You can see these fish to the left side of the pond in this photograph:
And here is a closeup of the school:
After the canals and the Garden of Seclusion and Meditation you’re probably thinking, what could possibly be next? That would be the town of Tongli itself, particularly the central business district. We’ll take a look at this vibrant area in Wednesday’s blog, but until then here’s a closeup of a map of Tongli: