Zhouzhuang is one of the most famous water towns in China. Often referred to as the “Venice of the East,” the town is criss-crossed with rivers and streams lined with ancient houses. Located less than 32 km (20 miles) from Suzhou, Zhouzhuang is famous for its twin bridges, Shide and Yongan that are symbols of the town. A boat ride is a good way to see the city.
With lakes on four sides, the beauty of Zhouzhuang is specially to be found along the waterside lanes and around a number of the stone bridges. A different vista at every turn can be found here. All those make a visit most enjoyable. Also, one can enjoy the fairyland atmosphere of the evenings here when the myriad stars twinkle as though in communication with the glittering lights.
With regard to Zhouzhuang, there is a story: In 1984, Chen Yifei,a painter of China, studying in the United States. He used the Double Bridge as the creation material and created an oil painting which was entitled “The memories of home”. It was exhibited in a New York gallery of Armand Hammer, chairman of Occidental Petroleum Corporation on October and caused a sensation in the United Stated. Especially those works which were used the traditional Chinese ink painting technology depict the beautiful flowing water and southern garden scenery. Those beautiful picture brought American to a mythical situation.
“Art News”, the U.S. magazine, published an article entitled “Bold challenge to the Western trend “to introduce Chen Yifei’s artistic achievements.
On November, Armand Hammer bought “The memories of home” with a high price and visited to China. He sent this oil painting as a gift to Xiaoping Deng who was the president at that time. We don’t know why he chose China’s “local products” as a gift to the Chinese leaders, but just this chooses that let Chinese people really know Zhouzhuang.
With its unique tourism resources, the town is promoting its potential as a visitor destination, whilst maintaining the concept of “Simultaneous Protection and Development”. Its 10 years of development has recently been honored with the title of “No 1 Water Town of China”, and it has also been established as one of “The Top 50 Places Favored by Overseas Tourists”.
In recent years, Zhouzhuang has been dedicated to successfully preserving its traditional culture and exploring it potential as a cultural sightseeing destination. It is now an important showcase for Chinese culture for visitors from across the world. It attracts more than 2.5 million visitors every year, resulting in an annual income from tourism of 800 million yuan ($117 million).
After a decade of restoration and a subsequent decade of development, Zhouzhuang is no looking at a decade of progress. As part of a bid to establish Zhouzhuang as a global tourism destination, the town is promoting itself through increased investment, improvements to its visitor facilities and by building its international profile.