Why Visit Yuantouzhu (Turtle Head Island)?
Yuantouzhu, also called Turtle Head Island, is a famous peninsula situated at the northwest side of Taihu Lake, the third-largest freshwater lake in China. It gets the name Turtle Head Island for its huge rocks protruding into the Taihu Lake, appearing as if a swimming turtle tossing its head. Yuantouzhu is endowed with gorgeous natural scenery with green hills and clear water, as well as abundant historical and cultural stories.
Travelers who come to Wuxi should pay a visit to Taihu Lake and those who visit Taihu Lake must take a visit to Yuantouzhu. You can enjoy leisure cruise time on Taihu Lake just as Fanli (范蠡) did a thousand years ago, you can enjoy a light walking along the shore of Yuantouzhu, or immerse in the fantastic scenery which praised by a well-known Chinese modern poet Guo Moruo “The superb view of the Taihu Lake, after all, lies in the Turtle Head Island” (太湖佳绝处，毕竟在鼋头).
Yuantouzhu Scenic Area is listed as a National AAAAA Tourist Attraction which attracts lots of travelers to its breathtaking scenery especially during spring season when Yuantouzhu International Cherry Blossom Festival is held.
Yuantouzhu is a highlight of a Wuxi tour no matter you want to enjoy the charming cherry blossoms in spring or appreciate the vast Taihu Lake scenery all year round. Below are some recommended Wuxi tour packages including Yuantouzhu:
Highlights to Explore in Yuantouzhu
Appreciate Fantastic Scenery in Yuantouzhu
Yuantouzhu is a garden more naturally formed than man-made. In history, numerous refined scholars and poets came to Yuantouzhu because they regarded it as a peach garden far away from the madding crowd. During the Republican period, many celebrities came and built private gardens according to what they learn from the design of imperial garden in northern China, forming its unique example of garden style in Jiangnan (regions south of the Yangtze River).
Entering into Yuantouzhu, you won’t miss the Taihu Lake Memorial Archway decorated in classical style with glazed tile roof and on which was inscribed the poem of Guo Moruo “The Super View of Taihu Lake”. Pass through Ever-Spring Bridge which looks like the Yudai Bridge of Summer Palace, have gorgeous view of lotus blossom in Ouhua Shenchu, walk to Turtle-head Peninsula in the Spring Waves to fully appreciate Taihu Lake scenery. Visit the old Guangfu Temple which was first built in Six Dynasties (222~589 AD) to have a basic understanding about Buddhism; enjoy about 180 kinds of orchid in Jiangnan Orchid Garden with tall bamboos and clear stream flowing, enjoy beautiful flowers and trees along Ten-mile Fragrant Lane, or even climb up at the top of Luding Hill to have panoramic view of Taihu Lake. Besides, there are more surprises waiting for you to explore.
Enjoy Beautiful Cherry Blossom in Spring
Every year from March to April, Yuantouzhu is like a young lady putting on its most graceful clothes, showing its beauty to all. Travelers who come to Yuantouzhu at this time can catch the best time to attend the International Cherry Blossom Festival and immerse yourselves in the sea of flowers. Yuantouzhu is regarded as the no.1 place in China, as well as one of the top three places in the world, to appreciate cherry.
The best areas to appreciate cherry blossom in Yuantouzhu include Sakura Valley, Lovers’ Valley, Changchun Bridge, the Sino-Japanese Friendship Oriental Cherry Planation, Renjie Garden and Ten-mile Fragrant Lane. You can either wander through the tranquil path decorated with blossom cherry, take a traditional boat floating on the water and enjoy the sakura miles away, or climb up to the top of Luding Hill to have a panoramic view of the amazing sakura.
Take a Boat across Taihu Lake to Fairy Island
Taihu Fairy Island is located at the southwest side of Yuantouzhu, about 2.6 kilometers away. Fairy Island is a beautiful island blending with the old Taoist culture and legends.
On the Fairy Island, you can take a view of the memorical archway, Huixian Bridge, Matchmaker’s Cave, Heavenly Street, Taiyi Temple of Heaven, Lingxiao Palace, Dajue Bay, Buddha’s Cave, etc.
Travelers can take ferry from the pier of Yuantouzhu Scenic Area to Fairy Island. The boat will sail slowly on Taihu Lake so that you can have a sight of Yuantouzhu and Taihu scenery on the water. The boat journey takes about 20 minutes. The last boat from Fairy Island to Yuantouzhu is at 16:00 from Monday to Friday and 16:30 on Saturady and Sunday. Please arrange your visiting time properly in order to catch a ferry back to Yuantouzhu.
Recommended Yuantouzhu Visiting Route
This route takes about 4 hours to explore the whole area of Yuantouzhu. Recommended visiting route is Entrance Gate - Chongshan Hill - Sino-Japanese Friendship Oriental Cherry Planation - Jiangnan Orchid Garden - Sakura Valley - Ten-Mile Fragrant Lane - Tourist Center - Pier - Fairy Island - Turtle-head Peninsula in the Spring Waves - Hengyun Villa - Guangfu Temple - Hushan Zhenyi - Entrance Gate.
How to Get to Yuantouzhu
Yuantouzhu is a famous peninsula situated at the northwest of Taihu Lake, about 12 kilometers from Wuxi downtown (Sanyang Square). It is close to Li Garden (蠡园) and Li Lake (蠡湖), about 1 kilometer away. Travelers who visit Yuantouzhu can get to Wuxi (Wuxi Railway Station - 15 km from Yuantouzhu; Wuxi East Railway Station - 28 km from Yuantouzhu, Sunan Shuofang International Airport - 25 km from Yuantouzhu) first, and then transfer to Yuantouzhu Scenic Area.
- Shanghai - Wuxi: 130 km, 2 hours by car, 30 minutes by high speed train. There are about 200 high speed trains from Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station and Shanghai Railway Station to Wuxi Railway Station and Wuxi East Railway Station. Within 1.5 hours, you can get to Wuxi from Shanghai and the fastest trains need only about 30 minutes.
- Suzhou - Wuxi: 50 km, 1 hour by car, 10 minutes by high speed train. It is extremely convenient to travel from Suzhou to Wuxi. There are about 150 high speed trains a day and the fastest one takes only 10 minutes.
- Nanjing - Wuxi: 200 km, 2.5 hours by car, 1 hour by high speed train. There are over 100 high speed trains from Nanjing Railway Station or Nanjing South Railway Station to Wuxi Railway Station or Wuxi East Railway Station. It is the most recommended travel way.
- Hangzhou - Wuxi: 200 km, 3 hours by car, 1.5-2.5 hours by high speed train. There are about 20 high speed trains available every day from Hangzhou East Railway Station (a few from Hangzhou Railway Station) to Wuxi Railway Station or Wuxi East Railway Station.
Travel with China Discovery (Recommended):
If you want to get rid of hustle of public transportation and troublesome navigation, you can book a private tour package which covers sightseeing, dining and transfer from us. Our local tour guide and driver will pick you up at the airport/train station/your hotel and then escort you to Yuantouzhu with speed and convenience. We will take care of all the details. You just need to focus on sightseeing. Contact us now >>
Useful Yuantouzhu Travel Tips
1. Sightseeing Bus
To save your energy and time, you can take sightseeing bus which charges extra CNY 10. It usually starts from the Entrance Gate, passing through Ouhua Shenchu, Shili Fangjing, Sino-Japanese Friendship Oriental Cherry Plantation, Sakura Valley, Chongshan Yinxiu, and stops at Tourist Center. Operating Hours: 08:00~15:45 (March ~ November), 08:30~15:15 (December ~ February)
The Cherry Blossom Festival is held from the middle of March to early May. The cherry blossoms are in full bloom from the end of March to early April. It is also the time Yuantouzhu with most tourists. The Lotus Blossom Festival is from June to August; September is the busiest fishing month of Taihu Lake when you can enjoy interesting activities about fishing during the Fishing Custom Festival.
3. Luggage Storage
The Tourist Center provides luggage storage service from 8:30-16:00. You can put your luggage there for free with your ticket to Yuantouzhu. A deposit of CNY 50 is needed and you can get it back when fetching your luggage.
How to Plan Your Travel in Wuxi
How to Get to Wuxi: You can easily get to Wuxi by high speed train from Suzhou (0.5~1.5 hours), Nanjing (1 hour), Hangzhou (1.5~2.5 hours), Beijing (5.5 hours), Shanghai (0.5~1.5 hours), etc. as well as flight from Beijing (2.5 hrs), Xian (2 hrs), Chengdu (2.5 hrs), Guangzhou (2.5 hrs)...
Best Time to Visit Wuxi: Spring (March~ May) and autumn (September ~ November), especially spring when various flowers can be aprreciated
In order to explore the cultural and natural highlights of Wuxi, 2 days are needed generally. What you won’t miss are Lingshan Grand Buddha - an 88-meter-bronze Buddha statue and Yuantouzhu with Wuxi’s best scenic beauty. It is also recommended to visit Huishan Old Town to probe in to the historical ancestral halls and buildings, Jichang Garden to admire ingenuity of the classical gardens of south regions of the Yangtze River, Wuxi Old Street (Nanchang Street) along the old canal to feel traditional and modern atmosphere together. Besides, there are lots of gardens and wetlands located near Taihu Lake delivering an amazing natural vista to you.
If you want to explore more about Jiangsu Province, you can travel to Suzhou - the city of classical gardens and silk, Nanjing - an old capital of 6 dynasties, Yangzhou - old culture center of southern China, etc. Check more about Jiangsu Tours>
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