Last Update: 15th October 2020
With a long history of more than 750 years, Nanxun Old Town lies south to Lake Tai. It has been home to the rich since the Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644). The town features private gardens former residences of celebrities, old temples, old stone bridges, etc.
- Chinese Name: Nanxun Guzhen (南浔古镇)
- Area: 2.18 x square kilometers
- Things to do there: Photography, History and Culture, Architecture, Cruise
- Who visits: Photographers, History and Culture Lovers, Architects
- Time required: 2 – 3 x hours
Nanxun Old Town is well-known for its unique silk from hundreds of years ago. You’ll find many high-end private residences and gardens, and Western buildings there.
Xiaolianzhuang Garden is the private garden built by the richest person in the old town, Liu Yong (1825 – 1889) in 1885. It covers an area of around 108 hectares. Apart from the exquisite classical buildings, it offers amazing lotus in summer to admire.
Standing on either side of a river, Hundred-Room Houses lie for some 400 meters long. They were built by the Director of the Board of Rites, Dong Fen (1510 – 1595) for his families and servants between 1573 and 1620 in the Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644). They have the traditional Ma Tou Walls. Houses themselves with reflections in the river make for great views.
Zhang Shiming Former Residence stands out for the traditional classical structures in the region and the European architectures during French Renaissance. It may be a paradise for architects and designers. You’ll be amazed at exquisite wooden, stone, brick and glass carvings.
If you’re interested in Taoist Temple, it is suggested that you pay a visit to Guanghui Palace originally built between 1064 and 1067. You’ll be surprised that Wong Tai Sin of the Taoism and Bodhisattva of the Buddhism are both worshiped in the one temple.
Zhang Jingjiang Former Residence is also one of the must-visit spots in the old town. The residence is a traditional structure with 3 courtyards in the Qing Dynasty style. Zhang Jingjiang (1877 – 1950) was the late president of Nationalist Party. His pictures and appointments are on display in the residence.
Nanxun Jilihu Silk Hall tells the history of the old town and presents the silk products to admire. In addition, you can see local traditional tools in the hall.
Walk around the town, and you can find pubs, restaurants and handicrafts stores transformed from the traditional houses. Woodblock printing is one of popular activities among tourists in the town. If you are lucky enough, you may see the local wedding ceremony on the cruise boat which runs along the river.
As the old town is very well-known among tourists, it is suggested that you visit it in the early morning.
The best months to visit are from March to October.
You can take a direct bus from Suzhou, Shanghai, Hanzhou or Jiaxing to the town. Alternatively, you can just rent a vehicle to the town.
- Opening hours: 24 hours
- Opening hours for the charged scenic spots: 08:00 – 17:00
- As at 15th October 2020, tourists can explore the town for free.
- Tthe pass ticket for Xiaolianzhuang Garden, Zhang Shiming Former Residence, Hundred-Room Houses, Zhang Jingjiang Former Residence, Nanxun Jilihu Silk Hall, Library of Jiaye Hall, and Red House is 100 CNY per person; children between 1.2m tall (1.2m tall included) and 1.4m tall (1.4m tall not included) are charged 50 CNY per person; the elder between 60 years old (60 years old included) and 70 years old (70 years old not included) are charged 50 CNY per person; the elder above 70 years old (70 years old included) and children under 1.2m tall (1.2m tall not included) are free of charge.
- The pricing for chartering the cruise boat from Xiaolianzhuang Garden to/from the Covered Bridge is 400 CNY per boat. One boat can just accommodate 8 passengers. The round-trip cruise lasts for around 60 minutes long.
- The pricing for chartering the cruise boat from Xiaolianzhuang Garden to the Covered Bridge is 280 CNY per boat. One boat can just accommodate 8 passengers. The one-way-trip cruise lasts for around 20 minutes long.
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