Hi there! Add here – the guy who floods his posts with photos. This week’s post would be all about ancient water towns – a key highlight of the Jiangnan region. I visited 3 water towns: Tangxi (塘栖), Nanxun (南浔) and Xitang(西塘) over the course of the week; Tangxi during my theme field trip (In case you are wondering why Add is so free, can spend so much time on sightseeing. He’s not – it’s just that sightseeing is also part of his work) and the other 2 on my own. Although similar in appearances, each ancient water town had its own unique appeal.

The boat rides along the waterway is something not to be missed when visiting a water town as they offer a perspective of the town, different from that of the banks. Things to look out for when visiting a water town include its arched bridges, canals and old buildings along the 2 sides of the waterway. For the most memorable experience, one should visit a water town when it is misting or what the Chinese call 烟雨. That is when the scenery is the most beautiful, like a painting.

Tangxi Ancient Water Town

Being the smallest of the three water towns (it only has one main street), Tangxi Ancient Water Town is the quietest and the least commercialised. Tangxi Ancient Water Town is renowned for its Guangji Bridge – the only 7-arch stone bridge on the Grand Canal.

Guangji Bridge
Entrance of the food street
A typical alley

Nanxun Ancient Water Town

What distinguishes Nanxun Ancient Water Town from other water towns is its architecture – an intriguing blend of both Chinese and European styles. From the exterior, the buildings look like any other traditional Chinese building but when one takes a peek inside, elements of European architecture such as stained-glass windows, tiled marbled floors and red bricks could be seen.

An example of European style architecture would be the stained-glass windows seen in the picture
European style architecture
A typical street
View of the river from the bridge
Bridge as seen from on board the boat

Xitang Ancient Water Town

The presence of sheltered walkways sets Xitang Ancient Water Town apart from other water towns. Aside from its sheltered walkways, Xitang is also well-known for its vibrant nightlife in the form of its bar street.

Rivers, Houses, Bridges and Boats
View of the street
A bar in the day
View from within the boat
Shipi Alley
Performance Stage

Got to go now! Have to wake up early for tomorrow’s trip to Qiandao Lake.

P.S. In the title, 我的 was used as it sounds like water


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