Between Shanghai and Suzhou, there is a beautiful Jinxi Town. It is located in the southwest of Kunshan City, Jiangsu Province with an area of about 90.69 square kilometers (35 square miles) and a population of approximately 50,000. It is a typical water township of southern China with 16 lakes of different sizes and 238 river ways. However, unlike some other water townships, Jinxi Town has its own unique style. Compared with the commercial atmosphere of others, this newly developed town welcomes visitors with its quiet natural environment, places of historical interest and its cultural artifacts.
Jinxi is an old town with a history of over a thousand years. Many buildings still remain that were built in Ming (1836-1644) or Qing (1644-1911) dynasties. The man-made sceneries, such as Wenchang Pavilion, Lotus Pool Temple, together with the ancient bridges and alleyways present an elegant relaxing image of this ideal travel destination. The Eight Sceneries here are historically well known. Many ancient poets came here and composed poetry after seeing the picturesque little town. Now, the gleaming Tomb of Concubine Chen, the antique Wenchang Pavilion and Lotus Pool Temple attract more and more visitors day by day.
Tomb of Concubine Chen
Taiping Bridge which is located in the west of the town was built in 1552. People can enjoy most of the so called Eight Sceneries of Jinxi from the bridge. There is a custom of crossing the bridge when there is a wedding or a funeral, with the aim of gaining a peaceful life and good health.
Shuanghe Bridge, built in Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), was originally two bridges. But later, the two were unified. In the past, Shuanghe Bridge was a famous scenic spot, and the branches and the leaves of willows and peach trees on both sides swung in the breeze. But now, with the passing of time, it has become the town center. When standing on the bridge, people recalling the past in light of the present, sigh with emotion.
Shiyan Bridge was built in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Its architectural style is simple and delicate. There are nine poles and ten holes in the bridge and the length of it is 52 meters (57 yards). The stones with couplet dismantled from memorial arches lay on the body of the bridge. When people walk on the bridge, they can see the Chinese characters on the stones clearly. This is rare amongst rural water townships. It is an ideal place to pass time on a leisurely summer's day.
Lihe Bridge, commonly referred to as Nantang Bridge, South Kwan-Yin Bridge, was built in the Song Dynasty (960-1279) and rebuilt twice in 1407 and 1747. It is made of bluestone and granite and is the highest ancient bridge with the longest span in the old town.
Additionally, Zhongan Bridge, Puji Bridge, Puqing Bridge and Tianshui Bridge are also famous bridges with their own characteristics.
Amongst all the museums, the most famous one is the Ancient Tile Museum which is located in Ding House, in the middle of Shangtang Street. It is the only Old Tile Museum in China. There are over 2,300 items with high historical and artistic value covering 5,000 years on display.
|Transportation:||Take bus no. 130, 133, 258, 268, 291, 292, 293, 295, 296, 297, 298 and 299 to get off at Jinxi Station.|
Other Water Town in Kunshan:
Qiandeng Ancient Town
And as I know, hiring a private car is better than taking a cab because of the long-distance bus.
Thus, take Shanghai Main Railway Station as an example, it costs CNY 300-400 for the single trip. In addition, about the return way, you will still can hire a car to go back to Shanghai as long as it's not too late. Hope helpful!