Here are 5 great ancient towns in China. We hope you get to visit them all.
Wuzhen Water Town
While many people come to China looking for the Great Wall or to visit the capital, the Wuzhen Water Town is one of the most typical Chinese settlements in the entire country. Located within the middle of six ancient cities near the Yangtze River, this is a city with more than two millennia of history, also with ancient stone bridges and old mottled walls. The town spans more than 2km, and is split up into six separate districts all of which house many traditional and local-based workshops.
The town is located at the foot of Qingcheng Mountain, with a long history as a transfer center between Maowen County, Jinchuan County and the outskirt counties of Chengdu. The town is popular among tourists as a place for relaxation and interaction with nature, given the lack of modern recreational amenities like KTVs, bars and movie theatres. Join Jetbay also in walking down the streets lined by ancient wooden buildings. These big tile-roofed houses preserve the town’s primitive simplicity.
Shangli Ancient Town
The Shangli Ancient Town is located north of Ya’an City, at the boundary of four counties. The Town is also known as “Wujiakou” (town of five families), formerly home to the Han, Yang, Chen, Zhang and Xu families during the ancient times. Join Jetbay in visiting this town with its streets arranged according to the layout of the Chinese character for “well”, alongside residences, shops, courtyards and pagodas.
Notably, the town is known for its eight stone bridges, out of which the Erxian (Double Immortals) bridge is the most famous. As a former trading town, Shangli lies at the entrance of the South Silk Road, at the intersection of two rivers. The town has further historical value, with the Red Army stopping by during the Long March, leaving behind slogans carved into walls and stones that still remain today.
Pingyao Ancient Town
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Pingyao is a stellar example of a traditional Han city, first founded in the 14th century. While key attractions like the City Walls and Rishengchang Bank are must-visits for tourists, just walking along the ancient walkways can be an experience in itself! The Shuanglin Temple and Wanfo Shrine are located 5-10km away from the main county. The former is reputed as an “oriental art gallery of painted sculptures”, while the latter is one of China’s earliest and most precious timber structure buildings in existence.
Also known as the Pearl Stream, the town is located 48 km away from Shanghai’s city centre. This famous water town is the best-preserved among the 4 ancient towns of Shanghai, with distinctive stone bridges like the Fangsheng (“Setting Free”) Bridge.