Top 8 Suzhou Water Towns

Built along the water with hundreds and even thousands of years, Suzhou water towns featuring old arched bridges, meandering rivers, traditional houses are undoubtedly a highlight of Suzhou travel besides the Suzhou classical gardens. Here list the 8 famous Suzhou water towns where you can appreciate the elegant scenery and get cultured of the picturesque Jiangnan - the region south of the Yangtze River, such as China’s No. 1 Watertown - Zhouzhuang, the Venice of China - Tongli and tranquil Luzhi and Mudu towns.

 

Location: Southwest of Kunshan City, Suzhou; 38 km (23.6 mi) from Suzhou downtown
Recommendation Rate:
Travel Time: 1-2 days (if time permits, spend a night here)
Ticket Price: CNY 100 / person from 08:00 to 16:30; CNY 80 after 16:30 (valid for 3 days)

Reputed as the “No. 1 Water Town in China”, Zhouzhuang Water Town is also one of the “Six Ancient Towns” in Jiangnan. Zhouzhuang has a history of nearly one thousand years, and more than 60% of the dwellings were built in the Ming and Qing Dynasties (1368-1911), among which the Shen’s House is quite worth exploring. Surrounded by water, the town preserves 14 ancient stone-paved bridges like Double Arch Bridge and Fu’an Bridge. Besides, tourists can experience the unique folk customs like Kunqu Opera and taste the local snacks like Wansan Braised Trotters.

 Recommended Tour:  1 Day Tour to Zhouzhuang Water Town from $115
Location: Wujiang District, Suzhou; 18 km (11 mi) from Suzhou downtown
Recommendation Rate:
Travel Time: 1-2 days
Ticket Price: CNY 100 / person (7:30-17:30; valid for two days)

Honored as “the Venice of China”, Tongli Town has a history of more than 1,000 years since it was built in the Song Dynasty (960-1279). It is surrounded by five lakes and divided into seven islands by a network of rivers, and 49 old bridges connect them together. In Tongli Town, visitors can see the gardens, ancient temples and hundreds of famous residences. These landscapes fully show the tranquility and beauty. The folk culture of “Walking across the Three Bridges” is also very popular to avoid disasters and get blessings. Tongli Town is a good choice to appreciate the slow pace of the poetic life of Jiangnan water town.

 Recommended Tour with Tongli Town:  2 Days Suzhou and Tongli Town Tour from $239
Location: Kunshan city, Suzhou; 18 km (11mi) east of Suzhou downtown
Recommendation Rate:
Travel Time: half day
Ticket Price: CNY 78 / person

Luzhi Town is one of the fabulous Suzhou water towns as old as Suzhou Old Town, with a history of 2,500 years. It is honored as the “Chinese Folk Culture Art Village”. The town is surrounded by several rivers, and their water crisscrosses the Luzhi Town, creating a unique town pattern of abundant water lanes and stone bridges. There are many ancient streets and old alleys in Luzhi Town, offering a tranquil and mysterious environment. The shops and the grey-tiled residences with pink walls are also good places for visitors to feel the leisure life of Suzhou. Moreover, ginkgo trees are a major feature of Luzhi town. At present, there are 7 ginkgo trees in the town and the oldest one is about 1,300 years old.
Location: Southwest of Suzhou City; 13 km (8 mi) from Suzhou downtown
Recommendation Rate:
Travel Time: half day
Ticket Price: CNY 78 / person

Near Taihu Lake, Mudu Ancient Town is a water town of Han culture with a history of more than 2,500 years, the same age as Suzhou City. It is also known as the garden town for having over 30 private gardens. Visitors can enjoy a quiet scene composed of gurgling streams, arch bridges and beautiful gardens. Tian Ping Mountain located in the northwest of the Mudu Ancient Town is famous for its “red maple, clear spring and odd rocks”. In addition, tourists can appreciate many articles of exquisite workmanship - clay sculptures and embroideries to experience the local folk culture.
Location: Wuzhong District, Suzhou; 28 km (17 mi) west of Suzhou downtown
Recommendation Rate:
Travel Time: 3-4 hours
Ticket Price: CNY 56 / person for a combo ticket

As a peninsula located on Taihu Lake, Guangfu Ancient Town is a good place to experience the Taihu Lake scenery. Famous for its handicraft culture, Guangfu Ancient Town is one of the birthplaces of jade, nut, red wood and Buddha carvings. The handicraft art of embroidery here is also famous. In addition, Guangfu Ancient Town is a religious resort where tourists can see many religious temples of Buddhism, Taoism, Christianity and Islam, such as Bronze Kwan-Yin Temple. Sea of Fragrant Snow - Plum blossom view is an unmissable beautiful scene in February.
6 

Qiandeng Ancient Town

Location: Southwest of Kunshan City, Suzhou City; 35 km (21.7 mi) from Suzhou downtown
Recommendation Rate:
Travel Time: 3-4 hours
Ticket Price: free for visiting the town; charged for internal scenic spots

Walking into the Qiandeng Ancient Town, visitors can see the residential buildings along the river and the rows of revetments. Up to now, the double chessboard pattern that streets are parallel to the rivers is still well preserved. Here is the birthplace of Kunqu Opera and Jiangnan Sizhu-Music. The town retains Yu-family Pawnshop, which is rewarded as the “No. 1 Pawnshop in China”. Also, the Rocky Road from the Ming and Qing Dynasties is rather unique, which is one of the best preserved flagstone streets in Jiangsu Province.
7 

Jinxi Town

Location: Kunshan City; 45 km (28 mi) from Suzhou by car
Recommendation Rate:
Travel Time: 2-3 hours
Ticket Price: CNY 65 / person

Jinxi Town, adjacent to Shanghai in the east and Suzhou City in the west, has many water lanes, small bridges, ancient streets and some amazing places of interest, such as Lotus Buddhist Temple, Shiyan Long Bridge and Ding’s House. Honored as “the Hometown of Chinese Folk Museums”, Jinxi Town possesses rich folk culture and art wares like purple clay pots and clay ornaments. Except for these, the snacks like Wadi Crispy Pastry and Changlong Moon Cake are all very worthy of tasting.
Location: Middle of Taicang City; 75 km (46 mi) from Suzhou downtown
Recommendation Rate:
Travel Time: 2-3 hours
Ticket Price: free for visiting the town; CNY 50 for a joint ticket to internal attractions

With a history of over 1,300 years, Shaxi Ancient Town is one of the most peaceful Suzhou water towns composed of waterfront buildings and ancient streets. This ancient town retains a large number of celebrities’ former residences, deep alleys, and old bridges. The complete pattern of “one river, two streets, three bridges and one island” is a major feature of Shaxi Town where you can also purchase handicrafts like lanterns and antiques. The bronze figures of different shapes reflect the folk culture of Shaxi; and the local snack - Sugared Rice Cake cannot be missed for the visitors with a sweet tooth.
- Last modified on May. 06, 2020 -
Ask a Question
Question Summary (100 characters)
Details (optional) (2,000 characters)