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Sights & Attractions --- Zhouzhuang, a Town on Water

Zhouzhuang at ninght.The ancient town of Zhouzhuang is in Kunshan City, between Shanghai and Suzhou. It is known as the No. 1 Water Town in China, and it is rich in produce.

The ancient town of Zhouzhuang is in Kunshan City, between Shanghai and Suzhou. It is known as the No. 1 Water Town in China, and it is rich in produce. Zhouzhuang abounds in waterways, and boats are a must. The town feares a waterscape typical of the regions south of the Changjiang (Yangtze) River, with houses built along the rivers and streams. Thanks to these waterways, the town avoided the chaos caused by wars in the past dynasties, and its architectural layout from the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) Dynasties has remained intact.

Zhouzhuang, a 900-year-old water town.The rivers and streams in Zhouzhuang crisscross in the form of the Chinese character jing (??) and are spanned by 14 stone-arch bridges from the Yuan (1271-1368), Ming, and Qing Dynasties. The water, streets, bridges, houses, trees, and sailboats blend into a harmonious whole, affording a simple, leisurely life for the residents. "Mount Huangshan has a concentration of the enchanting beauty of Chinese mountains, and Zhouzhuang is the epitome of beautiful waters," said Wu Guanzhong, a great master of traditional Chinese painting. pitome of beautiful waters," said Wu Guanzhong, a great master of traditional Chinese painting. Zhouzhuang also has a rich cultural heritage. The Shuangqiao, Fu'an, and Zhenfeng bridges show the town's unique bridge culture. The house of the Zhang fily, where a boat can enter through the front gate and sail past in the courtyard; the splendid residence of Shen Wansan, a wealthy man of the Ming Dynasty; the Milou Pavilion where the poet Liu Yazi chanted poetry while drinking wine; and the teahouse that San Mao, a writer from Taiwan, felt emotionally attached to- all contribute to the cultural flavor of the town.

The trade ministers at the Informal Trade Ministerial Conference of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation pose in front of the stone boat, a boat-shaped stone structure that served as the venue of the meeting in Zhouzhuang.San Mao, a writer from Taiwan, felt emotionally attached to- all contribute to the cultural flavor of the town. In 1998, Zhouzhuang was included in the supplementary list of World Cultural Heritages by UNESCO. In 2000, the United Nations Center foruman Settlement awarded Zhouzhuang with the Best Example Prize of the Dubai International Living Environmental Improvement Conference.
man Settlement awarded Zhouzhuang with the Best Example Prize of the Dubai International Living Environmental Improvement Conference.

In 1984, an oil painting inspired by Zhouzhuang won critical acclaim in the United States. Armand Hammer, chairman the board of the Occidental Petroleum Corporation of the United States, bought the painting, Remembrance of My Hometown by Chen Yifei, and presented it to Deng Xiaoping on a visit to China. Afterwards, the world became aware of the beauty of Zhouzhuang, and the town became a tourist attraction. Zhouzhuang was among the first batch of China's AAAA scenic resorts. Today, it is a noted scenic spot on the eastern China tourist route, one of China's 16 recommended routes for visitors. The number of touris going to Zhouzhuang registers an annual increase of 30 percent, and in 2000, the town received more than 1.5 million tourist/times and earned 420 million yuan from tourism.
going to Zhouzhuang registers an annual increase of 30 percent, and in 2000, the town received more than 1.5 million tourist/times and earned 420 million yuan from tourism.

"Thank you. Zhouzhuang is fantastic!" Representatives at the meeting shake hands with the boatwoman at the end of their boat tour of the town.The main hall in a traditional house.On June 6, 2001, Zhouzhuang hosted the Informal Trade Ministerial Conferencef the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation. Trade ministers from the 21 member economies saw the integration of old and modern China in Shanghai and Zhouzhuang. "The meeting lasted for two days," said Long Yongtu, vice minister of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Economic Cooperation and Trade. "It was held for one and a half days in Shanghai and the remaining half day in Zhouzhuang."

"The arrangement was meant to show how a nation can keep its traditi ons alongside today's trend of economic globalization Long continued. "Shanghai represented the modern side of China, and Zhouzhuang showed that a nation can maintain its culture, tradition, and values while participating in the drive of economic globalization and opening to the outside world."

The Shuangqiao Bridge in Zhouzhuang.
The nanmu wood windows and doors on the stone boat.
Houses by the waterside. The railings are made of bamboo and stones.
One of Zhouzhuang's waterways.
A lane paved with stone slabs on a rainy day.
Zhouzhuang at ninght.

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