Known as a collection of beauty of China’s water town, Zhouzhuang, like a lotus on the water, is surrounded by rivers as Nanbeichi, Houxiang, Youcheyang and Zhongshi. There are many bridges as well, the most famous being Yong’an and Shide, alias Double Bridge, from which many artists have drawn inspiration, including the eminent painter Chen Yifei. Sitting on a boat, you may be carried away by the quiet and beautiful scene. At night when all streets are empty, you catch a glimpse of dim lights down the narrow lanes. Occasionally, the sweet peace is punctuated by the distant sound of laughter, and a harmonious environment is created.
Zhouzhuang is also well known for its simple but unique architecture, which stands well up through 900 years. More than 60 percent of the current residences were constructed during the Ming and Qing dynasties. Hence, it’s "a treasure of China" described by Luo Zhewen, a notable architect.
Moreover, Zhouzhuang boasts rich cultural resources like Grandmother Tea, and such simple local customs as fast boating.
People of Zhouzhuang have a way of drinking tea. They use ancient tea sets, boil water in pottery or earthen jars, and have bamboo slices or branches as fuel. Several minutes after washing the tea, they pour on it boiled water. By such means, the tea, beautiful in color, is both fragrant and tasteful. But why is it called Grandmother Tea? People used to see groups of old women sitting together and drinking tea leisurely. Hence, the name.
Fast boating goes far back to the Qing dynasty, originally started to raise the morale of soldiers. Later on, people held races on holidays, in weddings, and during the time of harvests. At present, travel boats are provided for tourists to do sightseeing around.
Bambooware and bronze braziers have also won enormous acclaim for Zhouzhuang. The durable bambooware is known far and wide for its fine workmanship, while the exquisite bronze braziers of many shapes once won a prize in the South Pacific Industrial Expo and the reputation of "Zhouzhuang Braziers".