The 900-year-old water village of Zhōuzhuāng (周庄) is the best-known canal town in Jiāngsū. Located some 30km southeast of Sūzhōu, it is very popular with tour groups, thanks to Chen Yifei, the late renowned Chinese painter whose works of the once-idyllic village are its claim to fame.
It does, however, have considerable old-world charm. Get up early or take an evening stroll, before the crowds arrive or when they begin to thin out, to catch some of Zhōuzhuāng's architectural highlights. The village has 14 stone bridges, dating from the Yuan dynasty through to the Qing.