Water Towns

Not far from Shanghai and Suzhou these traditional towns, historic buildings and canals are easily explored by boat which gives you a taste of what life was like in China centuries ago. Its most popular attractions are summarised below:

Zhu Jia Jiao

With a history spanning nearly 1,700 years this ancient canal town features beautiful archways, stone bridges, stone-paved streets and over 10,000 houses that date back to the Ming and Qing dynasty. At it’s prime in the 1930’s there were seventy rice stores here transporting the product all over China. Some private gardens have now been opened to the public, including Kezhi Garden.


This scenic and historic town that lies within the triangle formed by Hangzhou, Suzhou and Shanghai. With a history of more than 1,000 years, the majority of the ancient residential houses, workshops, and stores still standing on the banks of the rivers have remained unchanged for centuries, lending an atmosphere of antiquity to this ancient town where waterways thread their way through flagstone alleys and streets.

Zhou Zhang

One of China’s best preserved Water Towns, surrounded with many branching streams, stone bridges and old residence with black tiles and white wells. An ancient water town on an island in a lake in the “land of rice and fish”. Visitors can explore picturesque narrow canals, little streets, bridges and overhanging traditional houses, see well-preserved old residences, eat delicious fish or other local delicacies.


The tiny village of Tongli is truly a delight to behold, filled with lovely canals, ancient stone bridges, enchanting teahouses, lush gardens and some stunningly exquisite examples of classical Chinese aesthetics in architecture. The principal highlight is the serenely majestic Pearl Pagoda.