You can’t say you have visited Suzhou without paying their Watertown a visit. Yes it sounds cliche but it’s so true.
The 2 more popular Watertowns in Suzhou are Zhou Zhuang (周庄古镇) or Tong Li (同里古镇）Initially we had planned to go Tong Li but when we were in Suzhou, majority of the day tours offered were Zhou Zhuang, reason being it’s the only AAAAA designated Water Town by UNESCO, and the No 1. water town in China. Moreover, the difference between the 2 are not much as the locals mentioned so we went ahead with Zhou Zhuang Day Tour.
We made a booking of the day tour with a counter we saw upon arrival at SuZhou Railway Station and started the day early. Upon reaching the main area, we had to take a boat to get into Jiangsu Zhou Zhuang. I guess this is something we won’t know if we do not follow a tour. The tour started by bringing us into the old Zhang House and Shen House, admiring the picturesque courtyards, arcades and rooms in the stately homes. The crowd was overwhelming in small spaces so I didn’t take photos of it.
There’s 14 ancient bridges in Zhouzhuang and different bridges have different meaning – peace or career luck etc. Twin Bridges, refers to Shide Bridge (世德桥) and Yongan Bridge (永安桥) are the most famous bridges that symbolises peace.
On our free and easy period, we explored the preserved buildings, observed the locals’ way of life, seeing handicraft shops and many more.
Before we headed back, we settled down at a cafe and it offered the best canal view ever. That cuppa latte tasted especially good.
Before we go, a gondola ride is a must here. If you are feeling vexed and in need of an inspiration or retreat, Zhouzhuang is the perfect place for you to cultivate your Zen mode.
Once the tour ended and we reached Pingjiang Street, we headed for some local cuisines on our last day here. We went to this place named 洪登记 and it’s popular place filled with many.
The food portion was huge and taste was off the charts! Who knew steamed egg goes well with Ikan bilis? Not to mention their “sour spicy” fish was awesome!
… and then it was back to Shanghai the next day. I’d say Suzhou definitely has left quite an impression on me; nothing but good memories. I actually missed the gondola ride with the boat rower singing away. The touch of melancholy and the feel remains till this day.
Have you ever felt this way before?