Sprawling, ancient Shàoxīng (绍兴), built on a network of canals, is among the oldest cities in the province. Unlike the more touristy water towns, which have concentrated historic areas, Shàoxīng is a contemporary city marbled with old, where modern housing blocks are shot through with rivulets and white-washed homes. The city is also the birthplace of many influential and colourful figures, including the writer Lu Xun.
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