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Top Ten Most Inspirational Old Water Towns in China

Editor : Kerry Lee   |   Resource : AT0086.com

The water towns in South China have undergone hundreds of years but their ancient customs still exist, which is really fascinating. Many famous water towns have even been included in the declaration of the World Cultural Heritage list. The primitive simplicity and beauty of those towns as well as some inspiration strongly attract those nostalgic Chinese and foreign tourists.


Xitang is a famous town with hundreds of years of history, lying in Jiashan County in Jiaxing City, Zhejiang Province. Its flat terrain is marked by a quiet, natural environment with rivers running through it. The quiet water, handsome bridges, and the reflections in the early morning and the rosy sunset, fishing boats and the glistening lights in the evening, form an amazing picture full of a sense of poetry.


Zhouzhuang, one of the most famous water townships in China, situated in Kunshan City which is only 30 kilometers southeast of Suzhou. In an area of half a square kilometer, 60 percent of the Zhouzhuang's structures were built during the Ming and Qing Dynasties. It is noted for its profound cultural background, the well preserved ancient residential houses, the elegant watery views and the strong local colored traditions and customs.


Wuzhen, a town with a history of 1200 years, is just 50 minutes' drive from Hangzhou. This small town, with its black tiled, oil-painted timber framework houses that contrast sharply with its white walls and gray flagging brings to mind a Chinese ink and wash painting. The window sills of the houses on the banks of the river are further extended with boards, on which flowers, plants and bonsai bloom in the warm sunshine, adding a touch of life and color to this tranquil, old-style town.


Located in Kunshan city about 25 kilometers east of Suzhou, Luzhi is an old but extremely beautiful water town. With a history of more than 1400 years, it compares favorably to Zhouzhuang Town. The natural beauty of the town is indescribable. Old stone bridges, limpid water, venerable maidenhair trees and old-style dwellings, as well as the traditional women's costumes, create an ideal “civilized, rich, pastoral and harmonious” environment.


Approaching to the present Guangfu Town, you may not find so many bridges, lanes or pavilions like it has in many other Jiangnan water towns, but 2500 years long history still showed its ancientness. Most tourists come here for the plum blossom in Dengweishanwu, which is unique scenery in the multitudinous water towns.


Mudu, an ancient landscape water town south of the Yangtze River, is located to the southwest of the Suzhou City. With a history more than 2,500 years long, Mudu has witnessed the rise and fall of many dynasties and it is also endowed with plentiful cultural connotations. Mudu is a traditional town and has typical landscape gardens, small rivers and bridges. Unlike the prosperous eastern cities in China, Mudu displays a simple, peaceful image.


nanxun was one of the few “affluentest towns" in china and was called the” town of wealth” in the ming and qing dynasties. With beautiful gardens and bridges scattered around everywhere, nanxue is also soaked in ancient culture. It has been home to the locals for more than 700 hundreds years. People in nanxun have created a unique lifestyle and culture in this fertile land.


Anchang town, one of the earliest famous historical and cultural towns ratified by Zhejiang province, is located in the north of Shaoxing County. With a long history of several thousand years, Anchang still keeps its riverside main street of 3 li, traditional stores, Taimen, workshops, flagging lanes and old bridges all of which make Anchang renowned as “Thousands of folk dwellings are built near the clean water, and the bridges like rainbows are crossing on the river.”


Tongli is an ancient water town in east China's Jiangsu Province. Tongli enjoys fame across China for its beautiful rivers, historic bridges and opulent court yard homes. Because of the landscape, almost all of the buildings are constructed along the waterfront. The water also creates reflections of the town's arched roofs, lofty gables and stone bridges while green willows also line the banks can. This creates a truly poetic atmosphere.


Located in a suburb of Shanghai city, Zhujiajiao is an ancient water town well-known throughout the country, with a history of more than 1700 years. Unique old bridges across bubbling streams, small rivers shaded by willow trees, and houses with courtyards attached all transport people who have been living amidst the bustle and hustle of the modern big city to a brand-new world full of antiquity, leisure and tranquillity.
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