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Six Jiangnan water towns

2014-08-18 17:09:20

( By Wu Hao




Nestled on the border with Jiangsu province, about 125km from Hangzhou, Nanxun is a water town whose contemporary modest appearance belies its once glorious past. Established over 1,400 years ago, the town came into prominence during the Southern Song Dynasty due to its prosperous silk industry. By the time the Ming rolled around, it was one of Zhejiang’s most important commercial centers. The town shares the typical features of other southern water towns – arched bridges, canals, narrow lanes and old houses with stark whitewashed walls and black-tiled roofs – but what sets it apart is its intriguing mix of Chinese and European architecture, introduced by affluent silk merchants who once made their homes here. Nanxun today is a quiet place that remains relatively undisturbed by tourism. Plans are currently in the works to restore or remove some of the old buildings along the canal to give the town what’s become a controversial face-lift to increase tourist revenue. Hopefully, even with these new developments, the peace and tranquility of Nanxun will be preserved.

Entrance fee: 100 yuan Opening hours: always open

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