Introducing Zhouzhuang Water Town
Zhouzhuang is the most popular of all of the ancient water towns around Shanghai as well as in China, noted for its profound cultural background, the well preserved ancient residential houses and the elegant watery views. The waterways and architecture of this ancient town are straight out of the pages of a Chinese fairy tale. It has been called the Venice of the East.
Zhouzhuang Water Town Fast Facts
• Chinese Name: Zhouzhuang Guzhen 周庄古镇
• Best Time to Visit: March to May; September to November
• Recommended Visiting Hours: About 3 to 5 hours
• Things to Do: Photography, Architecture, Nature, Cruise
• Opening Hours: Town: All day; Shen’s House & Zhang’s House: 08:00-20:00; other sites: 08:00-16:30
• Entrance Fee: ¥100 for Daytime; ¥80 for night ticket (including only Shen’s House & Zhang’s House );
Boating Tour Fee: Zhouzhuang Village Tour – ¥50/person; Water Lane Tour – ¥150/boat (1-6 people);
Wansan Fortune Cultural Tour – ¥220/boat (1-6 people)
• Address: Southwest of Kunshan, Suzhou, Jiangsu Province
What to expect at Zhouzhuang Water Town
Zhouzhuang Water Town lies to the east of the Grand Canal, and is encircled by Jishui River, its ancient sluiceway. The stone wares, wooden wells, remains of ancient animals, and rice seeds excavated at Liangzhu Site in Taishidian, which lies to the north of the town, indicate traces of human activities that dated back to 5,000-6,000 years ago. Driven by social and economic progress, Zhouzhuang Water Town was founded in 1086, and the name Zhouzhuang has been used ever since.
Located in the basin of Suzhou section of the Grand Canal, Zhouzhuang Water Town enjoys a favourable geographic environment, with a well developed watercourse system. Since the 12th century, when ancient residents of the town connected Jishui River with the Grand Canal, Yangtze River and its sluiceways, Zhouzhuang Water Town has become a socio-economic centre for trade in daily necessities and social intercourses. Since the 13th century, Zhouzhuang Water Town, surrounded by important areas of crops and cotton production and fishery, has been a crucial centre for trade in staple food, cotton cloth, and handicrafts. As rich merchants and men of letters came to settle down in large numbers, waterside structures sprouted, such as arch bridges with stone rails, large houses with spacious courtyards, arcades over streets, riverside galleries and pavilions, and revetment steps, creating an environment for the townspeople to be in harmony with nature. As self-initiated protection has been going on continuously, Zhouzhuang Water Town has retained its original appearance, with its shaped river system, traditional layout of constructions, and unsophisticated folk customs. Zhouzhuang Water Town provides important data for research into ancient waterfront towns.
How to get to Zhouzhuang Water Town
• Take a Suzhou-Zhouzhuang direct bus from Suzhou North Bus Station or the north square of Suzhou Railway Station.
• Take a Shanghai-Zhouzhuang direct bus at Shanghai South Long-Distance Bus Station or to Shanghai Hongqiao Long-Distance Bus Station to the town.
• Take Kunshan Tourist bus Line 7 at Huaqiao Station and get off at Zhouzhuang Bus Station.
• Take a bus from Hangzhou North Bus Station to Kunshan New Bus Station. Then take bus No. 130 or Tourist bus Line 1 and get off at Zhouzhuang Water Town.
Additional travel advice on Zhouzhuang Water Town
• The day-time entrance ticket is valid for three days. Visitor who wants to stay more than one day should apply the extension at the ticket office. The staff will take image of the visitor and print the image on the ticket by which the visitor can enter and exit the tourist attractions freely.
• Please take care when taking a boat tour.