China Trip – Zhouzhuang: Explore The Ancient Water Town 周庄 (Day 2) – After 1.5+ hours of ride from Shanghai, finally we reached outside-of-Zhouzhuang. Zhouzhuang is 30km away from Suzhou, you can say that Zhouzhuang is under the prefecture city of Suzhou. I tell you what, the first thing I felt when arriving at Zhouzhuang is cold! It’s 7 degree celcius there, 2 degree lower than Shanghai. The wind and the dryness were really cold.
Very funny thing is that when the bus was stopping, the “private” cab drivers started moving close to the bus, offering a ride to Zhouzhuang. It’s not one or two person, but 6-7 persons together.
There’s no official cab at Zhouzhuang. It’s all these “private” cab, charging you for only 10RMB, and they will drive you to Zhouzhuang water town area. We did not the ride as we had someone to fetch us, it’s arranged by our hotel – Long Xing Inn. The bus station to Zhouzhuang is very near only, about less than 10 minutes and I was starting to feel excited already.
We met with the owner of Long Xing Inn outside of Zhouzhuang ancient water town and she brought us to the ticket counter to buy our entrance ticket. You need to buy tickets to go into Zhouzhuang ancient water town, it costs 100RMB per person for two days or visit. You must always keep your ticket well as you can’t go in again without the ticket, you also need to show the ticket when visiting some of the attractions in the water town too.
Brother booked the hotel through a Chinese website and the owner told us that we were the only one who used English name to book. Haha. The room was not bad, only 140RMB/night with attached bathroom. They also have Chinese-ancient-themed room which is more expensive.
We put our stuff in the hotel, rest a while, then we went to explore the ancient water town. The sky wasn’t really blue enough for me to take nice photos. It’s very dull and cold afternoon.
Zhouzhuang is a very famous and popular water townships in China and it’s also known as “Venice of the East”. It has over thousand years of history. Although it’s not as big as Venice, it’s still pretty with authentic Chinese architecture house. Though, many of them are upgraded with better building materials.
There’s no road in Zhouzhuang, it’s all water canal that connects to different parts of the town. Though you can tour Zhouzhuang by foot.
There’s so many water townships near to Shanghai and the reason we chose Zhouzhuang was because that it’s the most famous and has the longest history. I realised that we should have visited more water townships as Shanghai was pretty boring after then. Haha.
Zhouzhuang was kinda quiet in the afternoon. Most tourists come in the morning. I’ve met people spending a few days at there as Zhouzhuang is very relaxing. It’s the opposite of the Shanghai’s busy city. It’s very calm and there’s no pollution. People at there are very friendly too, but I don’t really understand their dialect. There’s some attractions to visit in Zhouzhuang like ancient house of famous people, temple, but we only did the visit the next day during the morning. We just walked around Zhouzhuang.
Be sure to get a map with you as it’s easy to get lost at there. We did get lost and ended asking people for direction to go back where we came from. Haha. It gets even quieter when the night falls at about 5pm. Many shops started closing and the temperature drops even lower to 5 degree celcius! It’s my first time experiencing cold weather.
Wan Shan’s Hock 万山蹄, pork leg named after the richest man in the late Yuan and early Ming Dynasty in Jiangnan – Shen Wanan.
We went back to the inn for a rest, then headed for dinner. Food at there was not really nice, it’s different and it’s weird. It’s different from Southern Chinese food. I don’t really know what’s good to eat at there, appetite haven’t came back at that time.
After dinner, we went to buy some beer at the mini-market and also some sweets to bite. Slept early that night because we wanted to check out the sunrise at about 7am.