Zhouzhuang is a lovely medieval water village in Jiangsu province, not too far away from the bustling streets of Shanghai. It is famous for it’s numerous canals that flow through the town and all the little picturesque houses surrounding them!
Although it is a big tourist attraction and you would have to pay to enter the town (100yuan per person), it is absolutely worth it. I visited Zhouzhuang almost every time I came to China!
Among the beautiful (car free!) streets you can find various little shops, tea houses, temples and historical sites – grandiose houses built by wealthy men over the centuries. They are fine examples of Chinese architecture, many of them with courtyards, which was a symbol of wealth and prosperity.
The town also kept the tradition of their wonderful craftsmanship and while strolling through the streets, one can observe many of the craftsmen hard at work.
The absolute must do while in Zhouzhuang is a boat ride through the canals. You will sit in a lovely boat, a kind of a gondola, with the gondolier, dressed in batik printed clothing. They may also sing for you, which adds to the whole experience, but be aware, they will probably ask for extra money for the song ;)
There are also a lot of sweets to try on the way! But my favourite ones are the glutinous rice balls – in all forms. As a sweet soup or just on their own, with a nice sesame filling. You can order some in almost every restaurant.
And another tip, eat as much as you can. There are some really extraordinary dishes to try.
At the end of the day, if you would like to see more of the Chinese water village sites, head over to the nearby Zhujiajiao for perfect night views and beautiful walks!
I hope you enjoyed this post, feel free to comment and let me know if you would like to visit these beautiful towns!