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Situated near the picturesque, fresh-water Lake Tai, with its 40 islands, Wuxi is 80 miles west of Shanghai, two hours by train. Wuxi is now a thriving city, putting on a new face alongside its age-old traditions. The Grand Canal passes through the center of the city, and the main tourist sites, such as Liyuan Garden, are alongside the lake. Wuxi's clay folk-art figurines have been famous since the Ming Dynasty, and are most noted for their imaginative design and exacting craftsmanship. Today, the Huishan Clay Figurine Studio continues to manufacture figurines in the same artful tradition. Visitors are invited into the studio to observe the process and tour the display room.

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