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Zhouzhuang Water Town & Hanshan Temple

Zhouzhuang Water Town

Known as a collection of beauty of China's water town, Zhouzhuang, like a lotus on the water, is surrounded by rivers as Nanbeichi, Houxiang, Youcheyang and Zhongshi. There are many bridges as well, the most famous being Yong'an and Shide, alias Double Bridge, from which many artists have drawn inspiration, including the eminent painter Chen Yifei. Sitting on a boat, you may be carried away by the quiet and beautiful scene. At night when all streets are empty, you catch a glimpse of dim lights down the narrow lanes. Occasionally, the sweet peace is punctuated by the distant sound of laughter, and a harmonious environment is created.

Zhouzhuang is also well known for its simple but unique architecture, which stands well up through 900 years. More than 60 percent of the current residences were constructed during the Ming and Qing dynasties. Hence, it's ' treasure of China'described by Luo Zhewen, a notable architect.

Moreover, Zhouzhuang boasts rich cultural resources like Grandmother Tea, and such simple local customs as fast boating.

Grandmother Tea

People of Zhouzhuang have develped their own way of drinking tea. They use ancient tea sets, boil water in pottery or earthen jars, and have bamboo slices or branches as fuel. Several minutes after washing the tea, they pour on it boiled water. Followed these procedurals, the tea, beautiful in color, is both fragrant and tasteful. But why is it called Grandmother Tea? People used to see groups of old women sitting together and drinking tea leisurely. Hence the name.

Fast Boating

Fast boating goes far back to the Qing dynasty, originally started to raise the morale of soldiers. Later on, people held races on holidays, in weddings, and during the time of harvests. At present, travel boats are provided for tourists to do sightseeing around.


Bambooware and bronze braziers have also won enormous acclaim for Zhouzhuang. The durable bambooware is known far and wide for its fine workmanship, while the exquisite bronze braziers of many shapes once won a prize in the South Pacific Industrial Expo and the reputation of 'houzhuang Braziers'.

Admission Fee: CNY 100

Hanshan Temple (Cold Mountain Temple), Suzhou Hanshan Temple

Hanshan Temple (Cold Mountain Temple) was originally built during the Southern Dynasties (420 - 589). It is said that a famous monk named Han Shan once visited here. Later, the temple was named in honor of his visit. Its total area is 10,600 square meters (about 3 acres). The existent temple was rebuilt from 1906 to 1911, including the sutra hall and the bell tower. In 1995 a Buddha tower was built behind Hanshan Temple, ending the history that this temple had no Buddha tower for more than 600 hundred years.

A sitting statue of Buddha is in the main hall of the Hanshan Temple. On each side of the statue there are nine gold-plated arhat statues, each with a different facial expression. If you come to visit them, you will definitely be touched by their life-like designs.

Admission Fee: CNY 25
Bus Route: 3, 6, 9, 17, 21 31, 301
Tourist Bus Route: 3