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“Nice water town, though a bit commercial”

Huzhou Nanxun Old Town
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Private Day Tour To Nanxun Water Village from Shanghai
Ranked #1 of 60 things to do in Huzhou
Certificate of Excellence
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Reviewed February 25, 2013

This is one of the relatively least visited water towns in the area. You won't find the huge crowds that swarm Zhouzhuang, Tongli or Wuzhen here, but don't expect to find only peace and quiet either, as it's pretty commercial all the same.
The ancient town is in fact part of a new, modern, big urban district lying east of Huzhou city. It's about 2 hours easy ride from Shanghai.
The town itself is beautiful though, with nice canals and houses with lots of red lanterns. The scenic spot is nice to stroll along, visiting the garden and mansions, which combine Chinese and Western architecture.
I found the nicest part of the old town north of the main scenic area, a place called Baijianlou in Chinese (百间楼), or the "100 room complex". Along this canal, the houses are not restored and kept their ancient, local charm. Chinese old town style life style still exists here and can be seen along the canal with small number of tourists.

5  Thank Dongpurou
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 22, 2013

Nice old buildings, most in typical chinese style, but also some in typical European style. Further there are some waterways and nice parks. Summer will be the ideal time to visit, but maybe crowded...

2  Thank kybernon1978
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 6, 2012

Me and my family went to this old little town on the second day of the Chinese new year. We live in Hangzhou, so old towns of this style are not new to us. We didn't intend to explore every detail of Nanxun. Instead, we just planned to spend a day relaxing, walking around and getting away from all the crowdiness in the city.

The ticket to the town is marketed at 100 RMB that covers all the tourist attractions inside of the town, but you can get a better deal with 60 RMB at http://www.lvmama.com/product/30891 Yet, it turns out that you can get FREE entrance to the town if you decide to stay in one of the hotels inside of the town, in which case you do have to pay separately for the attractions if you want to see what's inside.

We stayed in 赏玉阁会所 (http://www.shangyuge.com/abouts.asp), boy, they have a private hot spring! That saved us a bundle because we were planning to have a detour to a hot spring spa. Asides that, their decoration is very old-fashioned. My parents liked it very much.

We walked along the river. The town is smaller than we thought. Many old buildings and houses were very well maintained, and a few others were under renovation. Since it was during the Spring Festival, the whole town was very festive. The stalls along the road were selling all sorts of candy, food, and souvenirs. If you're up for it, try some fried stinky tofu. What a treat! :P

We didn't go into any of the attraction sites, so we guided ourselves through the town fairly quickly. If the weather were warmer, we'd sit outside along the river and have some local tea and enjoy the view. All in all, it was a great getaway during the holidays, and my parents say they'll visit the town again with their friends when summer comes.

6  Thank adizzyfish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 21, 2011

I live in nearby Shanghai with easy access to the area's numerous water towns. I've been to the most popular ones, including Wuzhen and Zhujiazhao, and have always felt they were 'staged' for tourists. The homes are cleaned up and refurbished to give one the feeling of what it may have looked like a thousand years ago, but there is no heart and soul to the place, and as bus loads of Chinese tourists crowd through the narrow lanes, the experience is far from peaceful.
Nanxun, perhaps due to it's location a bit farther from Shanghai, has managed to retain it's original heart and soul. This town marked the beginning of the silk road, and thus became home to many affluent Chinese businessmen. Therefore, the foreign influence resulting from silk road trading is evident in the culture and architecture. It's fascinating to wander through these elegant estates and gardens, but you really need to have a guide to educate and entertain you on the stories behind the walls. I called the Nanxun Tourism Center directly to request one, as the travel agencies typically provide disappointing service. They put me in touch with Michael Wang, who is a native of Nanxun and grew up in the watertown. He not only has university-level english skills but an in-depth knowledge of the the town's history and culture. As an added bonus, he can provide some guidance and insight into other aspects of Chinese culture, such as painting, calligraphy, or tea. He captivated me with his interesting stories and bits of trivia that only a local would know, and even recommended a delicious lunch prepared by a local chef. What really impressed me was before he ordered the food, he asked if I had any food allergies, disliked msg, etc, -he paid attention to every detail! If you are trying to decide which water town to visit, please have your travel agency get in touch with Michael to host your tour. You won't be disappointed!

6  Thank chinatravelbug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed 2 weeks ago
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Thank A TripAdvisor China Member
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.

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