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As one of the most famous water townships in China, Zhouzhuang is a town in Kunshan county-level city, 30 kilometers (18 miles) southeast of Suzhou in Jiangsu province. Has been called the "Venice of the East", this town is famous for its profound cultural background, well-preserved ancient houses, elegant watery scenes and strong local traditions and customs.

Surrounded by lakes and rivers, this town covers an area of 3,600 hectares and enjoys its beauty along the waterway, canals and many stone bridges. Different turnings present different scenes to the tourists.

This ancient town boasts a history of over 900 years old and 60 percent of the buildings here were built in Ming and Qing Dynasties. Once called Zhenfengli, Zhouzhuang was one section of the fief Yaocheng in the Spring and Autumn Period (770 BC-476 BC). It got its present name to monumentalize the donor Zhou Digong- a very pious Buddhist after its donation to Full Fortune (Quanfu) Temple in 1086 during the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127).
Because of the position on the Jinghang Canal, Zhouzhuang grew prosperous during Ming Dynasty. As the place became flourishing, more and more merchants, scholars and officials came here to build garden residences. People today still can visit several good examples of those ancient garden residences such as Zhang House and Shen House. Zhouzhuang was open to the public in the late 1980s and was declared a UN World Hertage site in 1998.

Climate and Weather
In April and May, the temperature in the mid-teens and 20sCentigrade seems to be high, but the rain is still moderate. In summer, the weather is hot and stuffy while it's very cold and drippy in winter.

Zhouzhuang currently has a population of about 22,000, but millions of tourists come here every year.

Top Attractions
As a world-wide water town, Zhouzhuang is endowed with many tourist attractions, among which the Twin Bridges as the symbol of Zhouzhuang is very famous and visitors should not miss it when touring here. Besides, Fuan Bridge, Shen House, Zhang House and Chengxu Taoist Temple are also worth visiting.

Best Travel Season
Spring and fall are the prime times to visit Zhouzhuang for the moderate rain and temperatures. October is the best time to visit Zhouzhuang due to the light rain and moderate temperature.

People cannot resort to any vehicles including bicycles, so small boats are the only tool in Zhouzhuang.

Food and Drink
Zhouzhuang owns a lot of local dishes and drinks. For example, wansan pig’s upper leg: praised to be the top dish among all dishes in Zhouzhuang. Cooks choose the best leg of pork and stew them over slow fire. The pork looks fat, but it isn't greasy at all. This dish caters to all people at different ages.
Xiangjiang (white clam river) aquatic products: in zhouzhuang, aquatic products are available any time in one year. Among them, perches, white clams and fresh – water white baits--considered as the three treasures of xiangjiang, are the best ones. Besides, there're many other aquatic products such as eels, soft – shell turtles and shrimps and so on.
Three-Flavor Meatballs and Wansan Cake are also very famous there.
As for drinks, wansan brand wine and liquor: wine-making industry in Zhouzhuang is very prosperous because of the affluence of rice there and Wansan brand wine is the most famous one. Besides, the Grandmother Tea is also very popular in Zhouzhuang since people there are really fond of tea.

Night life
After the night falls, streets are almost empty. Tourists can jog on the narrow lanes to feel the ancient features of the town. Walking by the waterside, you will appreciate the calm water as well as the numerous stars twinkling in the clear sky, creating a harmonious environment.


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