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Attractions >> Classical Gardens >> Ancient Town >> Scenic Area >> Temple & Pagodas >> Museums
Ancient Town
Zhouzhuang Zhouzhuang Zhouzhuang Zhouzhuang

Zhouzhuang

Zhouzhuang which is a famous town of China-Nan is rising in costal region in the Chinese southeast, melting the traditional culture and modern civilizations in the integral whole and it is the new small town of 21 century, is the famous national history and cultural town, national AAAA class view area, national health town and the national small town constructions of demonstration. Zhouzhuang had the honor of acquiring to unite that the people in the center of the Dibai best example prize of international improvement living environment in 2000. The history of Zhouzhuang is long, it was called Yaocheng in the period of Chunqiu and Zhanguo; In A.D.1086, Zhoudigongs' houses became to gather the town gradually, so called Zhouzhuang, it has already had the history of setting up the town for more than 900 years, Zhouzhuang which is the ancient town of China-Nan and has the style of small bridge, flowing water and families has already been included in United Nations world cultural inheritance prepare detailed list.

The historic canal town of Zhouzhuang is affectionately known as the "Number One Water Town," and its combination of charming bridges, enchanting narrow alleys, well preserved historic homes, and an array of small museums undeniably earn that moniker. While this charm has brought a steady flow of tourists from around the world, its popularity also means that the town has developed an excellent array of sights and services for tourists. Visitors to Zhouzhuang can spend the night in a restored mansion, eat in traditional restaurants, see performances of local operas, and watch craftsmen shape local handicrafts as they have for centuries. These amenities, combined with its unique charm and historic atmosphere make Zhouzhuang a memorable way to experience of the water towns and the China of centuries gone by. Old Zhouzhuang is several square miles of closely built houses along the shores of a network of canals, threaded by narrow streets. The town center developed where four canals intersected in the shape of a "#". Clustered around the main intersections are the more lavish traditional homes, shops, and the two historic bridges that have become a symbol of Zhouzhuang. One is the quaint "Twin Bridge", where two bridges link to cross a pair of canals. The other is the much larger Fu'an Bridge (the Bridge of Peace and Prosperity) Connecting two of the town's most lively shopping streets, the bridge itself became piece of prime real estate, and several stories of shops and restaurants perch on each of the bridges corners. The tops of these towers are traditional restaurants and tea shops, with wide windows looking over the canals and the lively streets. Having a meal or a quick snack here is not only a tasty break from sightseeing, but a great way to soak up the unique atmosphere of the water towns! Once you've crossed the bridges, try a quick boat tour through the canals - they're even more charming when you're gliding beneath them in a traditional skiff. Since the canals were the main means of transporting goods around Zhouzhuang, it's streets are quite narrow - in many places the eaves of the houses almost meet in the middle, keeping the road dry even in the rain! The houses lining the narrow streets have almost all been preserved, and many of the small street side stores have today sell folk handicrafts and charming local products, like embroidery, hand carved combs, woodcarvings, and silks. Other stores have been set up as they were centuries ago with craftsmen working in the traditional ways, to give visitors a better sense of what life in a water town was really like. You can see blacksmiths, basket weavers, embroidery studios, a traditional pharmacy stoked with jars of roots, leaves, and mysterious dried animal parts best left alone!

Tongli Town

Tongli Town Tongli Town Tongli Town Tongli Town

Tongli, an ancient town in the Yangtze River Delta, located south of Suzhou city in Jiangsu Province. The town has a total area of 102.91 sq. km with a population of 58,000. The scenic Tongli is surrounded by five lakes, which are named Tongli, Jiuli, Yeze, Nanxing and Pangshan. The town is divided into 7 small islands by 15 rivers connected by 49 ancient bridges, making these islands an integrated area. The architecture built by riverside, famous for "small bridge, flowing stream and thatched households", which make Tongli town the best-reserved town by riverside as well as the key cultural relic’s protection unit of provincial level, which has been listed as one of 13 scenic spots of Tai Lake.

Pretty and rustic Tongli town is famous for its fertile paddy fields, rich natural resources and outstanding natives, thus crowned as "Small Oriental Venice". Tongli is characterized by a large number of buildings in Ming and Qing Dynasties, small bridges and celebrities. Tongli has 38 houses in these periods, as well as 47 ancient temples. And there are ancestral halls and around 100 personal houses of local rich and famous people. In the past, Tongli town features over 20 natural interesting places including "Eight Scenes Ahead", "Eight Scenes Back" and "Successive Four Scenic Spots", while new attractions are "Eyeing on the Moon by East Creek", "Mist in Southern Area", "Overlooking on Top of Northern Hill", "Flute form Fishing Households" and "Flourishing Vegetation of the Hill".

Tongli’s people are diligent, hard-working and well-educated, and many celebrities come from Tongli town. At present, Tuisi Garden in Tongli town has been listed as one of World’s Cultural Heritage by the UNESCO, and Tongli town is also applying for join in this list. Nowadays, there are many media coming Tongli for their film shooting, so Tongli become a big attraction in China tour.

Mudu Ancient Town

Mudu Ancient Town Mudu Ancient Town Mudu Ancient Town Mudu Ancient Town

Each of the water towns outside has its own special characteristic, another twist above the charm of winding canals and ancient houses. Mudu is celebrated because of its excellent collection of classical gardens, and also its relatively less touristed feel. The Qing Dynasty Emperor Qianlong liked the town so much he visited it six times. Although it has existed for over 2,500 years, today's Mudu took shape in the Ming and Qing dynasties. Inspired by the classical gardens in nearby Suzhou, many of Mudu's own local elite decided to add elegant gardens to their homes. Behind the white washed walls that line the town's canals lie a treasure trove of Suzhou style gardens. While in major cities the gardens are in by the busy modern city, in Mudu they are all clustered together in the historic center - when you finish seeing one you can stroll to the next through the old streets and along the banks of the narrow canals, soaking up the charm of the ancient town along the way!

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Meili Town

Meili Town Meili Town Meili Town Meili Town

Meili Town is one of the well-known water towns in southern region of lower reaches of Yangtze River. Because Meili Town is located along the river, it was battered frequently by tidal waves and flood disasters. It is said that the locals would like to build a solemn pagoda, asking for blessings from the Heaven, so the 22-meter-tall Jusha Pagoda was built in the Song Dynasty. It is the symbol of Meili, and it is also a witness of the town's long history – it passed through good and hard times. Almost a thousand years have gone, the pagoda is having deep traces of the past although time passes fast like a flying rocket. Furthermore, Yueheqiao Bridge (Moon River Bridge) is still so crowded with walking pedestrians, the ancient wells still flowing clean and crystal-clear water, and the old and frugal atmosphere can still be felt throughout the streets and lanes in Meili Town.

Today Jusha Park is the tourism and cultural center in downtown Meili. In the early hours of the morning, in the forest of pretty flowers and flimsy fog, majestic pavilions and beautiful kiosks are hidden seen. The bucolic fragrance of land in Yangtze's lower reaches poetically wafts in the morning mist. Sun rises and birds sing. Locals have gotten up and do exercise in the park. If one is walking there, one will feel like walking in a scenic picture. The masterwork of exquisite rockeries, which look like peaks made by the Mother Nature, a clear stream is flowing below the falling willows and the lovely fish are swimming freely.

``Zhenze Town

Zhenze Town Zhenze Town Zhenze Town Zhenze Town

Near the border of Zhejiang Province, there is an ancient water town called Zhenze in Wujiang City at south of Suzhou. The town is also traditionally known as "the head of Wu State and the tail of Yue State". National Expressway No. 318 and Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal are passing through here, the land and water transportations are very convenient. The history traces back to the reign (1131 – 1161) of Shaoxing Emperor of the Song Dynasty. In the middle period of the Qing Dynasty Zhenze Town had been flourishing in silk trade. The products were sold in many foreign countries.

There is a great deal of historical and cultural relics in Zhenze Town. The ancient bridges, old pagodas, Buddhist temples and residential houses, which seem have thought-provoking stories behind their history.

Guangfu Town

Guangfu Town Guangfu Town Guangfu Town Guangfu Town

This Suzhou's ancient town is a peninsular located on eastern coast of famous Taihu Lake. It is also one of the Thirteen Great Taihu Lake Sightseeing Areas.

The emperors from Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties of ancient China have left lot of invaluable relics in Guangfu Town. They are very well-preserved. The stone stele inscription made under a Yuan Dynasty emperor's holy decree was erected in 1341. Zhengtong Emperor of the Ming Dynasty christened the Tian Shou Shang En Temple (Temple of Longevity Blessed by the Heaven) in 1443. Nowadays, the temple still holds a large temple fair, which will attract about a hundred thousand people, on the ninth day of first month of the Lunar Calendar every year. The plaque inscription "Breeze Blows in the Scene of Moon Reflects on the Water" by Qing Kangxi Emperor.

Apart from the above mentioned heritage, there are countless literature works carved on stone tablets and hard plaques by past Chinese masters to be found in Guangfu Town. These give tremendous charm to this old town.

Luzhi Town

Luzhi Town Luzhi Town Luzhi Town Luzhi Town

Luzhi is well known in China as “the best town in the south of the lower reaches of the Yangtze River.” This town has a history about 2500 years. Its old Chinese culture, interesting places, arch stone bridges and gates, old Chinese houses and a maidenhair tree of 1300-year old make Luzhi become a bright pearl in tour of China.

When you step in Luzhi which located in Kunshan city about 25 km east of Suzhou, you may have a special feeling about these scenes. There is a beautiful but remote river flowing through the town. One of the Luzhi’s characteristics is that there are many bridges and arch gates in this town. So the other name of this town is “the bridge kingdom”. Luzhi just covers an area about 1 sq. km, but there are more than 70 bridges in different shapes in the town. The other good thing is the maidenhair trees. There are 7 maidenhair trees in this town. Three of these trees have more than 800 years old. The highest one among them is more than 50m in height, it is still straight and strong today !

In Luzhi, the villagers’ clothes, especially the women’s, are also full of the local style that something looks like ethnic minorities' apparel in southwest China. Nowadays, they still keep this habit to wearing this type of clothes. This also is a speciality of Luzhi town.

Walking along the river, feeling the warm spring wind, watching the good historic scenery, that will make you inebriated in your China tour.

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