Friday, July 16, 2010

Jiangsu, part 6: Going to Zhouzhuang

Instead of heading to the Shanghai World Expo for a second day, we decided to go to the nearby old canal town of Zhouzhuang.

On the bus, I noticed something amissed with the emergency escape hammer.
n8 - Someone Loved the Emergency Hammer Too Much
There was no hammer!

Good thing we didn't need it.

Our bus avoided the toll expressway and took the old roads. Save money, pay time.

Our bus had a sign-in sheet. The attendant (not the driver) had Chunlin write, "Mark the American foreigner" in Chinese for me. Ma ke Mei guo lao wai.

When we arrived at the crossing into Jiangsu province, the bus stopped for an ID check. Police took all the Chinese cards. Just keeping tabs on everyone, you know...

Through cities and fields. Powerlines everywhere, tall buildings on the horizon every which way. Quickly back into another city and out again. And a left turn finally with a sign for Zhouzhuang.


We bought our tickets for the return bus at 15:40, then hired a pedicab to take us through the new town to the ancient town.
n9 - Pedicab through Zhōuzhuāng

n11 - Chunlin and Mark in the Pedicab

100 yuan entrance fee for the historic section.

We walked for the bridge to the old town since our driver couldn't quite get us up the hill.
n13 - Yunhai Pagoda from Zhōuzhuāng Bridge

We arranged for the pedicab driver to be waiting for us and ventured into the old town.

n18 - Quangong Bridge Reflection

It instantly reminded me of Venice, but smaller and with fewer closed-up buildings. But that's probably something to do with the 100 yuan entrance fee.

n23 - South from the Double Bridge

Chunlin bought some ham hoof hocks.
n16 - Lunch!
She had a couple of them vacuum-sealed. We ended up giving them to her brothers in Beijing.

Zhouzhuang is a lovely town. Tourists are expected.

n27 - Crowd at the Double Bridge

n28 - Taiping Bridge Corner

Zhouzhuang is an old trading center on the network of canals all across that area, connecting to the Yangtze and the Grand Canal that carried goods north to Beijing. The Mongols put the capital in Beijing, but that region didn't have enough farmland to support the imperial bureaucracy. Therefore they buit the Grand Canal to the fertile fields of the south. And so the cities on the interconnected lakes and rivers prospered.

n24 - North Double Bridge Reflection

While we were there, Christina called. It was prom night back in Seattle.
n19 - Chunlin Takes a Call from Christina after the Prom
Christina wanted to stay with friends at a hotel until 4 a.m. We said no and had Christina's father pick her up at one o'clock. Staying out till 4? Trouble that way lies...

(More photos on flickr.)

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