Explore one of China's most cherished water towns on this exciting day tour. Zhouzhuang Water Town is a hub of cultural history and well-preserved ancient architecture. It has been called the "Venice of the East". Visit the Twin Bridges and the old drama stage of Zhouzhuang, wander around Zhang House and Shen House and take in the beautiful surroundings at Fuan Bridge.
Meet your private guide upon pickup at the Suzhou railway station or your hotel lobby in Suzhou. Set out on a full day of sightseeing in the comfort of an air-conditioned private vehicle, and talk with your guide about any particular interests you have so the commentary and itinerary can be customized. The first tourism spot is Zhouzhuang's Twin Bridges (Shide Bridge and Yongan Bridge) which were built during the late Ming dynasty (1368-1644) and are considered to be the symbol of Zhouzhuang. Zhouzhuang is surrounded and divided by lakes and rivers. Many stone bridges cross the rivers, showing distinctive views of the water-town. The Twin Bridges, which are Shide Bridge and Yongan Bridge, are the most famous and are considered the symbol of Zhouzhuang.Next, you will visit Zhouzhuang's Old Drama Stage which covers an area of 4,600 m² (49,500 ft2) and comprises an opera stage, seating area and exhibition hall. This massive stage often features performances of Kunqu opera, one of the oldest forms of Chinese Opera, as well as other traditional opera from the southern regions of the Yangtze River. Marvel at the vault-shaped roof of the stage, made up of 420 wood carvings.Enjoy lunch at a local Chinese restaurant (own expense)After lunch, you will move on to the Zhang House and Shen House, two examples of Zhouzhuang's distinctive historical architecture.Built in 1742 and located at the southeast side of Fuan Bridge, Shen House was the private property of the descendant of Shen Wansan, the first millionaire of Jiangnan (South of Yangtze River) in the early Ming Dynasty. The whole architectural complex is of the Qing's style and occupies an area of more than 2,000 square meters (half an acre). Over 100 rooms are divided into three sections and each one is connected by arcades and aisles.Zhang House is a stunning estate comprised of 70 rooms and six courtyards. It takes up about 1,800 square meters (less than half an acre). The residence dates back to the Ming dynasty. With Ruojing River flowing through, Zhang House is a dapper and graceful residential house; has a tranquil courtyard and pond. Deep halls all represent the life of the quondam owner.Fuan Bridge. Originally built in 1355, Fuan Bridge is a rare example of architecture of its kind being found in Eastern China. The bridge crosses over a river with towers erected at either side. Five pieces of precious stone from northern Zhenjiang province are featured on the bridge's fence, stone chairs and sides. Marvel at this stunning vestige of old China.End your private tour with a drive back to your hotel or the Suzhou railway station.