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Water tour of Zhouzhuang

Zhouzhuang, an ancient water town with thousands of years of history, is embraced by the cities of Kunshan, Wujiang and Shanghai, and surrounded by Nanhu Lake, Baixian Lake and Dianshan Lake.

Water tour of Zhouzhuang

The boat is a necessary mode of transportation on the grooved waterway of Zhouzhuang. The reputation of “the first water town” in China is justified. The “Water Tour of Zhouzhuang” allows tourists to visit the ancient town by boat. The tour starts from Baixian Lake, passes Dongzhaigang, and arrives at Nanhu Dock. Along the waterway, tourists can enjoy rural scenes, historical sites and water views.

The pleasure-boats, called “Hua Fang” in Chinese, are gaily painted. The wide Jishuigang River wriggles into the Baixian River. One can appreciate the sails hoisted on the torrent while sitting leisurely in the boat and drinking tea. Passengers are entitled to enjoy a rare, carefree mood.

Floating along to the east, rural scenes of autumn are displayed on both sides of the river banks. Trees in different shades overlook fields and paths that lead to farmhouses. Farmers can be seen busily tending to their cattle, while fishermen slowly make their way down the river. What a lively picture of the life in a water town in South China!

Jishuigang River was called the “East River” in ancient times, and has 6,000 years of history. Shen Wansan left Zhouzhuang 600 years ago, traveling by this river to the outside world, was successful in business and became one of the richest men in the South Yangtze River region in the early Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). Records show that Jishuigang River was a very busy waterway with ships and boats going back and forth at that time.

The scenery of Nanhu Lake attracted many famous Chinese visitors such as poet Liu Yuxi (AD 772 – 842) and Lu Guimeng (AD ? – 881). Nanhu Lake has been called the pearl of Zhouzhuang. Quanfujiang Temple is like a lotus in the center of the lake. Seen from afar, the temple pavilions and palaces appear sublime.

By Xie Fang and Yin Ran