If you are a bit green-minded, or if you just enjoy seeing thousands of erotic artifacts — from paintings of people having sex, sculptures of sexual organs, and manuals on how to do sexual intercourse — then the China Sex Museum is for you.
Located in Tongli, in the Jiangsu Province, China, it is a mere 2-hour bus trip from Shanghai.
In 2008, when I went to Shanghai with a friend, we grew tired of seeing the numerous skyscrapers and decided to go to neighboring towns. I had chosen Tongli not only because of its Sex Museum, but because it is one of the many ancient water towns in the south of the Yangtze River Delta.
Finding the right bus at the Shanghai Stadium was a bit of a challenge, given that it was a weekday and there were not a lot of English-speaking Chinese we could ask.
In the end, it was my CouchSurfing host who gave me detailed instructions over the phone. We did find the bus, and in two hours, we were dropped off in Tongli.
Our first stop was the Ancient Chinese Sex Culture Museum.
Cameras were unfortunately not allowed inside, but suffice to say that I have never seen so many illustrations, sculptures, stone carvings, figurines, and paintings of sexual organs and couples having sex in my entire life — all in one place, to boot!
Afterwards, we just walked around town. Being a weekday, there were not so many tourists around and the town was a picture of tranquility.
I ate lunch by the canal, watched men and women navigate their boats around the river, observed old men playing cards and smoking cigars, and wondered at the women washing their laundry in the murky green waters of the canal.
There were a lot of street food too, and I absolutely loved the fried pancake with egg and some meat which cost only 1RMB (7PHP).
The vendor pointed at me and spoke a lot of Chinese, but the only word I understood was “Philippine” which he repeated over and over. I just gave him a thumbs-up and smiled.
That day was perfect for strolling around and doing nothing, and it was a huge contrast to the ever-bustling Shanghai.
At 4pm, the bus picked us up again, and in two hours we were back in the city.
Would you visit Tongli?