|Map of Luzhi Town (Click to enlarge)|
The natural beauty of the town is indescribable. Old stone bridges, limpid water, venerable maidenhair trees and old-style dwellings, as well as the traditional women's costumes, create an ideal 'civilized, rich, pastoral and harmonious' environment. Many travellers from all over the world enjoy the peace and tranquillity. In addition, the town is noted for several historical and cultural relics, such as Baosheng temple, the Wansheng Rice Company and the White Lotus Flower Temple built in the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1279).
The town's most notable features are its numerous quaint stone bridges, which were built in the Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties. Owing to that, Luzhi Town deserves its reputation as a 'Museum of Chinese Ancient Bridges.' At one time, there were 72 bridges in the tiny town; 41 still exist and are well preserved. All of the bridges are different in design and style, but two are considered especially noteworthy.
Built in the Wanli era of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), Zhengyang Bridge (also called the East Bridge) is the biggest stone arch bridge in that town. It is known for being the first site in the town to receive sunshine in the early morning. Moreover, this old bridge is a vantage point for viewing the whole fascinating landscape of the water town.
Located on the eastern side of town, Dongmei Bridge (Chicken-Goose Bridge) is most famous for its unique structure and many Buddhist designs, which are listed in the history of Chinese bridges. It is a completely round bridge, half of which rests above the surface of the water and half of which lies below. The combination of Buddhist engravings and unique circular design makes this a very rare bridge definitely worth visiting.
In the southeast of the ancient town lies a culture park, covering about 25 acres (10 hectares). The vivid rockeries, delicate bridges and murmuring rivers there all bring you to a typical garden in Jiangnan (Southern Yangtze River region). The reproduced Plum Blossom Villa, used to be one of the best tourist sites in Suzhou, bears profound cultural sense. An ancient stage stands in the center of the park. Traditional folk shows are often held there at weekends and on holidays. Besides, there is a riverside street where tea houses, bars, cafes and souvenir shops locate, providing a place to enjoy leisure time.
There is a Water Town Women's Costume Museum in the park, where you will be amazed by the distinctive traditional costume worn by women of the town. Their coats and trousers are characteristically pieced together using different cotton materials in a variety of designs. In addition to wearing these interesting clothes, local women are accustomed to wearing colorful kerchiefs and embroidered shoes.
Built in 503, Baosheng Temple is a must-see historical site in the town. This old temple has a history of more than 1500 years. Its nine famous clay arhats were sculptured in the Tang Dynasty (618-907) and are still well preserved. Such arhats are not only rare in the region south of the Yangtze River but unique in the whole country. In addition, the temple boasts treasures from different dynasties, including a Buddhist stone pillar from the Tang Dynasty, a stone flagpole from the Northern Song Dynasty, a hall built during the Ming Dynasty and an iron bell from the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).
Xiao's Mansion is the most integrated, well-preserved architecture dating back to the Qing Dynasty. Situated on Shangtang Street, the mansion was built in 1889 and represents a typical southeast China house of a rich family in the 19th century. Covering an area of over 1,200 square yards (1,000 square meters), the house is composed of dozens of rooms and a private lane named Xiao Lane. Visiting the house, you can relive the previous tenants' elegant life style.
Wansheng Rice Shop
Built in 1910, Wansheng Rice Store is an old-established rice shop that was once operated by two wealthy businessmen and now serves as the rice distribution centre for Luzhi and nearby towns. Many quaint antique agricultural tools are displayed for travellers to view.
Luzhi is truly a peaceful and pristine land. Beautiful water, elegant stone bridges, and lovely women will take you into a fascinating world - one which you may enjoy so much that you forget to go home.
1. Take Rail Transit Line 1 and get off at the terminal Zhongnan Street Station. Go out via Exit 1. Then take bus no. 528 and get off at Xiaoshi Road Station.
2. Take bus no. 18 from Fengmen, bus no. 52 from Wuzhong Bus Station or Suzhou South Bus Station, or bus no. 518 from Suzhou Railway Station or North Bus Station and get off at Luzhi Bus Station.
Suzhou Bus Search
Take a bus from Shanghai Zhongshan Bus Terminal to the town. The bus departs about every one hour from 06:10 to 16:50, with a fare of CNY 17.
Take a bus or train from Hangzhou to Suzhou. Then from Suzhou Railway Station or North Bus Station, take bus no. 518 to reach Luzhi Bus Station. From Suzhou South Bus Station, take bus no. 52.
|Admission Fee||Free to enter the ancient town. |
Combo ticket for scenic spots in the town: CNY 78
Zhanglin Garden: CNY 20
|Boat||CNY 150 for a boat allowing four people|
|Opening Hours||The town is open all day long. |
Opening hours of scenic spots in the town:
Spring, summer and autumn: 08:00-17:00
* Note: Tickets sale stops 15 minutes before the closing time.