Archive for the ‘Suzhou Travel’ Category

Zhouzhuang Pictures – Zhouzhuang Photo Gallery

Thursday, March 28th, 2013
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If you are in the process of planning your Suzhou tour or Shanghai tour, a glimpse of Zhouzhuang Water Town is worth your time. Zhouzhuang is reputed as the No.01 Water Town in China and “Venice in the East”. Under the jurisdiction of Kunshan City, it is located 45km to the southest of Suzhou and 80km to the west of Shanghai. Zhouzhuang stands out from the numerous water towns dotted around the Yangtze River Delta mainly due to its complete and well preserved old houses, bridges and canals coupled with unique culture annd history. Now Zhouzhuang has been included in the UNESCO Tentative List for World Cultural Heritage Sites.
How to visit Zhouzhuang Water Town? There are plentiful buses running either from Suzhou or Shanghai to Zhouzhuang. Many local travel agencies operate daily bus tours visiting Zhouzhuang from Shanghai and Suzhou. So you can join in the coach tours starting from your hotel or go to your nearest long-distance bus station and jump onto a bus for Zhouzhuang.
Shanghai Suzhou Zhouzhuang One Day Bus Tour is available daily with complimentary pick up from your hotel in Shanghai. For more information on the public transport from Suzhou to Zhouzhuang, please refer to my post “How to visit Zhouzhuang Water Town“.
Follow me to have a photo tour of Zhouzhuang.
Passing through the center of Zhouzhuang Town, then walk to the entrance to the old water town of Zhouzhuang.
Walk to the entrance to the old water town of Zhouzhuang

Walk to the entrance to the old water town of Zhouzhuang

A traditional white-washed house
A traditional white-washed house

A traditional white-washed house

Zhouzhuang is surrounded and divided by lakes and rivers with over a dozen of stone bridges crossing the rivers. Boating on the rivers and canals are an interesting trip allowing you to have a close look at the houses and bridges on the both sides.
A boat ride offers people a close look at the historial houses and bridges

A boat ride offers people a close look at the historial houses and bridges

Zhouzhuang is quite famous for its stone bridges with different shapes. The beam bridge is across the river.
The beam bridge is across the river.

The beam bridge is across the river.

Zhouzhuang abounds in waterways. The old white-washed wooden houses are lined along the rivers and lakes with slab bases.
A stone hump bridge spans an narrow river

A stone hump bridge spans an narrow river

Rows of traditional houses stand by the rivers and bridges far away from the hustle and bustle
Rows of traditional houses stand by the rivers and bridges far away from the

Rows of traditional houses stand by the rivers and bridges far away from the

Some houses have been turned into tea houses and restaurants
Some houses have been turned into tea houses and restaurants

Some houses have been turned into tea houses and restaurants

A few waterways are quite narrow
A few waterways are quite narrow

A few waterways are quite narrow

This is the famous twin-bridge – round and beam bridges indicating the sky and earth.
This is the famous twin-bridge

This is the famous twin-bridge

Walking on the stone paths and slab bridges gives you a kind of spiritual comfort and quietness. Tired of the noisy world and get lost in Zhouzhuang
Tired of the noisy world and get lost in Zhouzhuang

Tired of the noisy world and get lost in Zhouzhuang

Overlooking the river sandwiched by the traditional houses from a bridge
Overlooking the river sandwiched by the traditional houses from a bridge

Overlooking the river sandwiched by the traditional houses from a bridge

Boats are docking on the narrow canal
Boats are docking on the narrow canal

Boats are docking on the narrow canal

Enter Shen House, the most wealthy family in Zhouzhuang in Qing Dynasty
Enter Shen Mansion, the most wealthy family in Qing Dynasty

Enter Shen Mansion, the most wealthy family in Qing Dynasty

Shen Family’s kitchen
Shen Family's kitchen

Shen Family’s kitchen

Upturned roof or eaves along with white walls and black tiles reflected on th river.
Upturned roof or eaves along with white walls and black tiles reflected on th river.

Upturned roof or eaves along with white walls and black tiles reflected on th river.

A close look at the boats, the houses and the canal.
Any questions, just drop a line.

How to Visit Zhouzhuang

Monday, December 3rd, 2012
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Plan your Suzhou tour or Shanghai tour? It is highly recommended to have an excursion to Zhouzhuang (周庄) either from Suzhou or Shanghai. Zhouzhuang is known as the No.01 Watertown in China. This over-900 year old watertown has become a trove of oriental culture with its simple and pristine custom, unique folklore, the well preserved ancient residential houses and mesmerising watertown views.
 
Zhouzhuang is the most typical of all the water towns in Jiangnan (south of Yangtze River) in the triangle area of Yangtze River Delta. “Zhouzhuang” literally means “Zhou’s village”, a village named after Zhou Digong. Zhou Digong was a pious buddhist. In 1088 during the Northern Song Dynasty, Zhou Digong donated his 13 hectares of land to the local Fuquan Temple as its temple property. Later the local villagers called the land “Zhou Village” – Zhouzhuang in appreciation for Zhou Digong’ generosity.
 
How to get there
1. Suzhou – Zhouzhuang
You may take a long-distance bus to Zhouzhuang from the Suzhou Railway Station North Square Passenger Bus Station or from Suzhou North Bus Station.
Operating hour: 6:00 – 17:30
Bus ticket: RMb 17
When you arrive at Zhouzhuang Long-distance Bus Station, you still need to take a RMB10 taxi ride from the bus station to the entrance to Zhouzhuang.
 
2. Suzhou – Tongli – Zhouzhuang
You may visit Tongli Ancient Town and Zhouzhuanng on the same for a day trip from Suzhou. Taking a bus first to Tongli from the Suzhou Railway Station North Square Passenger Bus Station or from Suzhou North Bus Station. After sightseeing in Tongli, take a half hourbus ride from Tongli Bus Station to Jiangze (江择). Jiangze County is only 300m away from Zhouzhuang, but Jiangze is under the administration of Wujiang District of Suzhou whike Zhouzhuang is under the jurisdiction of Kunshan City.
 
3. Shanghai – Zhouzhuang
Take the long-distance bus from Shanghai Northern Long-distance bus sation.
 
Entrance Fee: RMB 100
Enquiry: 4008282900
Complaint: 0512-57211654
Medical Care: 0512-57216107 (Day)
Medical care: 0512-57219990 (Night) 
 
Follow me to visit Zhouzhuang
After visiting Tongli ancient watertown, I walk to the Tongli Bus Station and jump on the bus for Jiangze (江泽),the last stop of the bus line with a bus fare of RMB 1. 
 
Taking a public bus from Tongli to Jiangze (江泽), 300m away from Zhouzhuang. 

Taking a public bus from Tongli to Jiangze (江泽), 300m away from Zhouzhuang.

 
The bridge is a division line between Zhouzhuang(周庄) and Jiangze County (江泽). I get off the bus and leave the bus station of Jiangze. I walk on my right side. Soon I come across a bridge which is said to be the divided line between Zhouzhuang and Jiuangze.

The bridge is a division line between Zhouzhuang(周庄) and Jiangze County (江泽).

 
 
Crossing the bridge, soon I see a decorated archway inscribed with two big Chinese charactors “周庄” – Zhouzhuang. It is the main stree of Zhouzhuang leading to the main entrance to the ancient water town. 

a decorated archway inscribed with two big Chinese charactors 周庄

Wandering along the major commercial avenue in Zhouzhuang.

Wandering along the major commercial avenue in Zhouzhuang

 
Soon I notice a road direction signboard pointing to the main entrance to the Zhouzhuang old water town.

a road direction signboard pointing

 
Looking at the signboard, I turn to the right and stroll on a wide street leading to the mainain entrance. The street is teeming with streetfront and restaurants.
 
Local specialities like tea, wine, snacks and the list could be much longer. 

Local specialities like tea, wine, snacks and the list could be much longer.

Wanshan Hock is one of the most delicious Wansan pork hock,named after Shen Wansan, the richest man in the late Yuan and early Ming Dynasty in Jiangnan.

Wanshan Hock is one of the most delicious Wansan pork hock,

 
A stone archway bridge with its reflection on the water and overhead willow trees falling over the bridge.

A stone archway bridge with its reflection on the water and overhead willow trees falling over the bridge.

 
A boat at anchor well protected with rain proof cover.

A boat at anchor well protected with rain proof cover.

 
There are many old residential houses with faded white-washed wall and till inhabited by the local village.

old residencial houses with faded white-washed wall and till inhabited by the local village.

 
A boat lady is slowly row the boat and come to us. Though the man is very active and to the point for shopping them.

A boat lady is slowly row the boat

 
Boat, Bridge and traditional residential houses

Boat, Bridge and traditional residential houses

 
The boat is passing by the residential house with its laundry hanging outside.

The boat is passing by the residential house with its laundry hanging outside.

 
The waterway is quite narrow and the residences on the both side could talk and shake hands with each other. 

The waterway is narrowing

A square archway stone bridge

A square archway stone bridge

 
The white-washed houses floating on the canal with amazing reflection on the water.

The white-washed houses floating on the canal with amazing reflection on the water.

 
 
A pretty stone archway bridge spans the canal.

A pretty stone archway bridge spans the canal.

 
Some passengers are getting on the boats on the canal cruise tour.

Some passengers are getting on the boats on the canal cruise tour.

 
Boating on the canal like The Venice in the East.

Boating on the canal like The Venice in the East.

 
The famous double bridges – a round archway bridge and a square archway bridge.

The famous double bridges – a round archway bridge and a square archway bridge.

 
An archway bridge is on the cross riverway.

An archway bridge is on the cross riverway.

 
Any questions, just drop a line.

How to Visit Tongli Town

Sunday, December 2nd, 2012
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If you plan Suzhou tour, dont’ miss a side trip to Tongli.  Tongli Town (同里)is a famous ancient watertown in the Yangtze River Delta, specifically scattered around the large river crisscross triangle area of Suzhou, Shanghai and Hangzhou. Under the administration of Wujiang District in Suzhou, Tongli Town is located in the southeast of Suzhou, 50 minutes drive from downtown Suzhou, one and half hour from Hangzhou and one and half hour from Shanghai.
 
The ancient Tongli Town has a history of over 1000 years, a typical watertown in the Yangzte River area. The ancient town is scenic enough to be surrounded by waters. The town is cut into 7 islands by 15 canals which are linked by 45 bridges. It is reputed as “the Venice of the East”.
 
When you visit Suzhou, Shanghai or Hangzhou, you may have a side trip to Tongli Town. Of course, having an excursion from Suzhou to Tongli is the most convenient with only 50 minutes by bus or half hour by taxi. At the time of research, the taxi ride from Suzhou to Tongli costs about RMB 100 while a long-distance bus ride only costs RMB 8.
 
For a bus ride to Tongli from Suzhou, you may take a long-distance bus either from the Long-distance Bus Station on the northern square of Suzhou Railway Station or from Suzhou North Bus Station. Suzhou Railway Station and Suzhou North Bus Station is only one bus stop away.
 
For a long-distance bus from Shanghai to Tongli Town, you may take the bus either from Shanghai Sightseeing Bus Center (Shanghai Stadium) leaving at 9:30am or Shanghai Long-distance Bus Station (Zhongxing Road) every leaving every half hour. For the public tranportation from Hangzhou to Tongli Town, you should go to Hangzhou North Bus Station for a hourly bus ride to Tongli.
 
A bunch of the ancient buildings in Ming and Qing dynasties are well preserved and open to the public including Retreat and Refection Garden, Pearl Pagoda, Chongben Hall, Genhle Hall, Chen Qubing’s former residence, Wang Shaoao’s Memorial Museum and Songshiwu Garden. The ancient watertown is mainly composed of canals, roads, bridges, residences and gardens where you will be lost in the beautiful view.
 
Entrance fee: RMB 100
Opening Hour:
07:30-17:30 (May-October)
07:30-17:15 (November-April)
Enquiry: 0512-800882990
Complaint: 0512-63321999
Emergency: 0512-63320995
 
Follow me to Tongli Town by bus from Suzhou Railway Station North Square Passenger Bus Station (苏州火车站北广场客运站站). 

Suzhou Railway Station North Square Passenger Bus Station

 
Aboard the long-distance bus for Tongli Town

Aboard the long-distance bus for Tongli Town

 
Every bus has assigned seats. You’ve got a printed bus ticket with your seat number.

Every bus has assigned seats. You’ve got a printed bus ticket with your seat number.

 
We leave from Suzhou at 8:15am and arrive at Tongli Passenger Bus Station around 9:00m.

Tongli Passenger Bus Station

 
Just next to the Tongli Bus Station is the Tongli Tourist Information Center and Tciketing Office where you buy your entrance ticket. It is approx. half hour’s walk from the tourist inaformation center to the main entrance to the Tongli ancient town. You can buy a 5-yuan electric car carrying you to the entrance.

Tongli Tourist Information Center and Tciketing Office

 
The sample entrance ticket for Tongli Town. Each ticket allows visitors to have access to 10 major attractions within the Tongli Town. 

Tongli Entrance Ticket

 
If you want to learn more about the town’s history and anecdotes behind, you can hire a local English speaking tour guide rated RMB 120 per group. 

English speaking tour guide rated RMB 120 per group.

About half hour walk takes me to the street leading to the decorated archway enrance to the ancient town. The street is lined with shops selling local products and restaurants offering the local snacks and dishes.

the decorated archway enrance to the ancient town

 
An old bridge straddles a canal after the decorated archway. The local residents live a slow life, fishing, drinking, reading and the list could be much longer.  

An old bridge straddles a canal after the decorated archway.

 
The houses are confronted by the wide canals.

The houses are confronted by the wide canals.

  
A local hairdresser’s shop

A local hairdresser’s shop

 
At the northeast corner of the bridge, there is a Youth Hostel known as Tongli International Hostel. Tel:18913050199, 0512-63339311 

Tongli International Hostel

 
He is making malt sugar in a unqiue way of extending the stick malt sugar much longer than most of the people expectation. 

He is making malt sugar in a unqiue way

 
An old theatre stage
 

An old theatre stage

You won’t be lost since there are a slew of signboardds en route reminding you of your next right direction.

a slew of signboardds en route reminding you of your next right direction

 
Numerous pleasure boats are waiting for passengers to be on board for the canal cruise.  

Numerous pleasure boats are waiting for passengers to be on board for the canal cruise.

 
Passengers walking on shore while the pleasure boat is plying on the canal. 

Passengers walking on shore while the pleasure boat is plying on the canal.

 
The faded white-washed wall with wooden windowns

The faded white-washed wall with wooden windowns

 
The canal cuts through the town with residences being connected to the water.

The canal cuts through the town with residences being connected to the water.

 
The arch stone bridge spans the canal
 

The arch stone bridge spans the canal

 
Enjoy a slow life in Tongli Town
 

Enjoy a slow life in Tongli Town

 
Bridges, trees, canals, boats and happy holidaymakers constitue a pretty picture of the old town. 

Bridges, trees, canals, boats and happy holidaymakers

 
A cup of tea keeps life pressure away

A cup of tea keeps life pressure away

 
The narrow old faded lane tells you the history

The narrow old faded lane tells you the history

 
Simple and pristine life
 

Simple and pristine life

Any questions, just drop line.