- part 1 -

Zhouzhuang is another of China's water towns which has been around for quite a while, - and where time seems to have stopped for several hundred years ago.  Zhouzhuang has more canals criss-crossing the town center,- and has more bridges than Wuzhen.
The bad news is, that it appears to be much more commercialized to an extend that spoils a lot of the original atmosphere.  Groups of tourists crowd the narrow streets behind- and along the canals,- each group with its own fast talking guide, heavily armed with loudspeakers (VERY LOUD) and waving a little flag, so that the tourists don't get lost!  Around the old town center, a lot of new structures have been built, and they really do not fit in well although they are built in the traditional style.  There is even a big Buddhist temple,- but only for show!  There are no monks there,- no life, - and no teaching and further development of the 2500 years old wisdom -, all is sterile and "dead" and there is no atmosphere or "feeling" in the building!  I wonder if the tourists really "buy" that, - but for the serious traveler it is indeed a shame to commercialize something that important!

I will strongly suggest to visit Zhouzhuang when it is NOT holiday season,- and NOT in the weekends.  And most important:  Come early,- before the tourist buses arrive - - - -
If you do, you will be rewarded with some highly delightful sights and some unique impressions of an old Chinese water town, because old Zhouzhuang IS beautiful, and it IS worth to visit if you happen to be in the neigbourhood - - -

The pictures displayed here are taken in the morning, - before the invasion of the many tourist groups - , and that explains why it looks quite peaceful, and quite different from what it would look like a few hours later - - - -
Also I have gone close to some details and people, in order not to make my Zhouzhuang experience too much like the Wuzhen story.

Please enjoy my impressions from the more than 900 years old Chinese water town,- Zhouzhuang.







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Updated:  June 6th. 2003
                 Nov. 19th. 2004