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Photographer's Note

First a red bicycle,
now a blue tricycle.


Here's another one from Tongli.

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Once upon a long time ago the world's longest canal, meandered for almost 1800km from Beijing in the north all the way to Hangzhou in the south.

These days, with depths up to 3 metres and stone bridges spanning the route, canal use is restricted to fairly small, flat-bottomed vessels, and even then only parts of it are seasonally navigable.

The canal area in southern Jiangsu and northern Zhejiang has seen rapid economic development (what else is new?) and has become an economic stronghold in modern China.

Yet, in the midst of all this, pockets of authenticity survive, and many of them are now being promoted as tourist destinations.

They offer fascinating glimpses in the past, when economic growth somehow seemed to have more of a romantic ring to it.

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Tongli is one of those famous old canal town, it's just a couple of hours north of Shanghai.

Most guidbooks mention it because its unique Chinese Sex Culture Museum, which is all very interesting, of course, but there is a lot more to this wonderful little town, plus: there are some really great places to stay!

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This picture shows some typical traffic in the narrow streets in the old center of Tongli.

After the boats, the bicycle still is the favourite mode of transport in this pocket of Chinese authenticity. Outside the old center, cars rule.

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ISO-200

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Additional Photos by Benny Verbercht (BennyV) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1550 W: 34 N: 2245] (13792)
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