Travel Reference
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so that each has its own special view of the garden: there's a library, an art studio and a din-
ing room.
Head north a block, then east at the first right turn, to a trio of bridges: Peace Bridge (Taiping
Qiao), Luck Bridge (Jili Qiao) and Lasting Celebration Bridge (Changqing Qiao). These
Ming and Qing Dynasty 'ternate' (meaning arranged in threes) bridges cross at the confluen-
ce of three rivers, creating a sort of ancient elevated highway over the water. In ancient
times, it was believed that crossing the three bridges would bring good fortune on milestone
occasions such as weddings and birthdays. Thus brides used to be carried across the
bridges in their nuptial sedan chairs on their wedding day - and today, tourists recreate that
same journey, dressed in Chinese wedding garb, to the accompaniment of traditional
Chinese music. Look for the couplets on Luck Bridge extolling the views.
The ternate bridges link to two mansions, Chongben Hall 2 [map] (Chongben Tang) and
Jiayin Hall (Jiayin Tang) 3 [map] . Tongli native son Qian Youqin built Chongben Hall, a
grand two-storey house, in 1912, renovating an older residence on the property. The pretty
house is smaller than Tongli's other mansions, but still has four courtyards. The highlight is
its more than 100 carvings featuring symbols of good fortune, such as bats, cranes and
vases, and scenes from the Chinese literary classics.
Head south across Lasting Celebration Bridge to Jiayin Hall , with its whitewashed walls
and doorways topped with little upturned eaves. Liu Bingnan moved to Tongli and built this
stunning mansion in 1922, at the then unheard-of cost of 22,000 silver taels. Jiayin's main
building is designed in the Ming style, and is particularly well known for its carvings of scenes
from the Chinese classical novel The Romance of the Three Kingdoms .
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