Travel Report: What To Eat – Tongli Water Town, China.

Hot crispy bread Tongli Water Town China

Reading from China? This travel report contains YouTube videos, which can only be viewed with a VPN!

December 2018. So it turns out exploring Tongli Water Town’s canal streets can be hungry work! But be warned, many of the restaurants and cafes are overpriced tourist traps. There are some beautiful eateries to be found around town, but be sure to check the menu first as one place I sat down at tried charging 150RMB (£17/€19/$22) for a small pot of tea. Having promptly exited, I decided to look into some of the street food options for some nibbles on the hop. My first stop was this cheerful guy selling crispy slices of hot, seasoned bread. They go for 1RMB apiece (£0.11/€0.13/$0.15).

December 2018. This woman was pedaling what I can only describe as a type of fried fishcake. She cooks them up right in front of you for a highly agreeable 5RMB (£0.60/€0.64/$0.74).

Salty pancakes Tongli Water Town China

December 2018. Not everyone oozed the kind of charm I was looking for. This gruff old goat was cooking up pancakes, which turned out to be unexpectedly salty. Hm. At some point a chunk of ash fell from his mouthpiece and hit the floor, literally brushing the edge of the pan as it fell. But hey, in for a penny in for a pound, so I still tried one for 3RMB (£0.35/€0.38/$0.44). I declined his offer to purchase a large bag.

December 2018. If you’re looking for a sweet bite Tongli Water Town’s specialty is a brand of boiled ginger candy similar in form to traditional British Rock. Appropriately, this stuff is also ROCK hard and it was more than my ageing teeth could handle to defeat just a few bites. You can catch this guy making a show out of the creation process in the main Ming & Qing Shopping Street opposite Taiping Bridge. As you enter the town from the entrance gates cross the first bridge and turn right.

Black pepper beef and rice Tongli water Town Suzhou China

December 2018. Having spent the better part of a whole day in Tongli Water Town, I finally settled down in one of the fancy cafes on the Ming & Qing Shopping Street. I stayed her for about three hours editing photos, putting out my daily post and doing some website maintenance. In that regard, this excellent Black Pepper Beef and Rice (45RMB/£5.20/€5.70/$6.60) proved to be great fuel!

Like this? Check out more of travel reports on Tongli Water Town.

You can also read my travel guide to Suzhou, or maybe delve further afield with my stacks of reports from across China.

I’ve been living, working and traveling all over the world since 2001, so why not check out my huge library of travel reports from over 30 countries.

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Freelance travel writer, voice over and English teacher from London. Former music and film journalist, interviewer of the stars. Passionate about travel, film, music, football, Indian food.

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