I have a weakness for ancient river towns in China. I love them and you will see why!
Zhouzhuang Ancient Town is – on one hand – a major tourist attraction, and people flock into town to stroll the alleys, enjoy the local cuisine, and ride the canal boats.
And to shop…Zhouzhang is famous for it’s wine, among other things.
All sorts of other important things are handmade there as well. Boats, wine jars, fish nets, gardening implements, art…. many things!
And there is always a buddhist temple with incense wafting and candles flickering.
As I wander the village, I peer into homes and alleys, into kitchens and family gatherings. The light is always most enchanting in the early evening as the lanterns are lit and the village is quiet.
Because, on the other hand, Zhouzhuang is home to families who have lived here for generations and for whom life is not always easy.
The whole of the lower mainland around Shanghai is canals and lakes, and boats are still more useful than roads and cars.
Zhouzhuang Ancient Town is in the Greater Shanghai area – maybe an hour from downtown Shanghai. It’s a daytrip for many, but for me, it was a 3-night stay – at the Zhouzhuang Zhengfu Hummble Cottage that I found on Booking.com. (Because it is inside the water town and parking is outside, it is a long way to drag a suitcase so be warned. The hosts from my hotel helped of course – and as the town is like a maze – I really needed that help!)
So many images and details draw me back time and time again.