Yangtze watertowns beckon with scenery and history(2)
2007-10-18 10:40:30 [ Big Normal Small ]     Comment
Luzhi Town

Built in 503 BC, Luzhi's natural beauty is extraordinary. Old stone bridges, limpid water, venerable maidenhair trees and old-style dwellings, as well as the women in traditional costumes, create a picture of a civilized, rich, pastoral and harmonious environment.

There were 71 bridges in different styles built in the Song Dynasty and 41 of them remain, enough to give the place the title of "City of Bridges." There are more bridges there than in Venice. Luzhi has been called "the first watertown in China."

Luzhi Town is also noted for historical and cultural relics, such as Baosheng Temple, the Wansheng Rice Company and the White Lotus Flower Temple.

Mudu Town

Surrounded by several mountains, Mudu is at the junction between Suzhou and Taihu Lake and it is the portal to the lake.

Each river and each bridge there has an ancient beautiful legend attached to it.

The name "Mudu" means "timber blocking the river" and it comes from a legend during the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC), when King Wu was building the "Guanwa Palace" for his concubine Xishi, the huge amount of timber rafted down for the building blocked the river.

Because of its geographical position and nearby Taihu Lake and the Grand Canal, a mild climate and fertile soil, Mudu is also called "the land of fish and rice."

Zhouzhuang

With a history going back 900 years, Zhouzhuang is a "modern" watertown and is a comfortable fusion of traditional culture and today's lifestyle. It is noted for its well-preserved ancient residences, elegant waterfront views and strong local traditions and customs.

In 1988, Zhouzhuang was included on the World Cultural Heritage Candidate List by UNESCO. The natural environment gives Zhouzhuang its distinctive lifestyle: boats are used to cover even very short distances. The surrounding lakes make it a tranquil retreat from the turmoil of the outside world.

Jinxi Town

Many foreigners believe Jinxi is the paragon of Yangtze River watertowns. The late well-known writer Shen Congwen described it as "a dreaming damsel" while Feng Yingzi, quoting an ancient Chinese line, said it "looks as becoming as ever, whether in light or heavy makeup."

The town is named after the Jinxi River which zigzags through it from north to south. Jinxi is called the hometown of Chinese folk museums because it initiated the Chinese Ancient Bricks and Tiles Museum and the Antiques Museum of East China, as well as others. The residents live a quiet life and the towm seems to be isolated from the stream of time.

Sanshan Island and Cangshan

Sanshan Island enjoys a temperate climate: the four seasons are distinct, the winter is not too cold and summer not too hot. The Cangshan scenery is serene and beautiful.

Cangshan is a state-level key scenic spot area. Meny fossil remains of mammals were discovered in 1984, such as macaques, brown bears and wild boar.

Fossils of the trilobite nautilus have also been found on Sanshan Mountain.

Tourists also come for cave exploration.
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