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 station.

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.

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.

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.

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 main 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

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 Canglang Pavilion

Thursday, November 29th, 2012
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Plan your Suzhou tour? Suzhou has four most famous classical gardens listed as World Cultural Site which includes Canglang Pavilion (沧浪亭). Canglang Pavilion is typical of the classical gardens in Song Dynasty (960 – 1279), the oldest private garden in Suzhou.
 
Canglang Pavilion literally means “Blue Wave Pavilion”. The garden was built in the year 1044 by the famous poet named Su Shunqing (1008–1048) in Song Dynasty. The garden features the Song Dynasty layout and design. The name Canglang comes from a verse in a poem written by Qu Yuan Qu Yuan (340 BC-278 BC). Qu Yuan wrote the verse to alllude to an honest  official who rather resign from his office than do in a corrupt way. Su Shunqing used the verse to express his emotion after his removal from office.
 
The ownership of the garden changed many times and went through a bunch of renovations and revamping. The garden was opened to the public in 1955 and in 2000 it was listed the UNESCO world cultural heritage site together with other classical gardens in Suzhou.
 
The Blue Wave Pavilion is located at No.03 Cangang Pavilion Street, Sanyuanfang, in the south of the ancient city of Suzhou. Canglang Pavilion is often put together with the Garden of the Master of the Nets on a same day trip since the two gardens are within walking distance.
 
A lake is ahead of the garden with a bridge stradling the lake leading to its main north gate. The garden is set on a hill in the center topped by the famous Canglang Pavilion. The hill is surrounded by the small lake lined with rockeries and the old trees. The garden lacks the northern wall, which gives people an illusion of space by borrowing scenes from the lake outside the north of the garden.
 
The wave-type long corridor with leaky windows frames beautiful views from the outside of the garden. The verdant bamboo garden is one of the highlights in Canglang Pavilion. The bamboo garden boasts of over 20 kinds of bamboos. The largest builing in the garden is Mingdao Hall 明道堂 with in the southeast of the garden. The hall has some impressive furniture made from the gnarled roots of Banyan trees. 
 
Entrance fees:
RMB 20 (April 16 – October)
RMB 15 (November – April 15)
Enquiry Tel: 0512-65293190
 
Public transport:
Bus lines going to Canglang Pavilion: Tourist Bus 2, Tourist Bus 4 and Tourist 5; Bus 1, Bus 5, Bus 7, Bus 30, Bus 39, Bus 101, Bus 102, Bus 103, Bus 218, Bus 261, Bus 308 and bus 309. 
 
The lake outside the north of Canglang Pavilion 

The lake outside the north of Canglang Pavilion

 
A zigzag bridge stradled the lake leading to the garden main entrance 

A zigzag bridge stradled the lake leading to the garden main entrance

 
The north of the garden has no wall, but a long corridor with leaky wondows framing the outside lake views 

a long corridor with leaky wondows framing the outside lake views

 
The garden is set on a hill in the center topped by the famous Canglang Pavilion 

The garden is set on a hill in the center topped by the famous Canglang Pavilion

 
The hill is surrounded by the small lake lined with rockeries and the old trees. 

The hill is surrounded by the small lake lined with rockerie

 
The bamboo garden boasts of over 20 kinds of bamboos

The bamboo garden boasts of over 20 kinds of bamboos

 
The leaky window frames a pretty view. 

The leaky window frames a pretty view.

 
The moon gate borrows the view outside.

The moon gate borrows the view outside.