"There is a paradise in Heaven, and there are Suzhou and Hangzhou on earth." While strolling around in the elegant Chinese gardens in Suzhou, you may find another town not far from it also interesting for its well-preserved old architecture. This is Luxiang, an ancient town.
Boasting the best architecture quality and most quantity in the southern range of the Yangzte River Delta, Luxiang ancient town got its fame due to the 1995-year movie, "Shanghai Triad", directed by world-renowned Zhang Yimou, and staring Gong Li. The town therefore won itself another name, "Gong Li Island". Many travelers prefer to visit this ancient town after finishing their Hangzhou tours, because they are quite near which each other. Yes, this kind of tour arrangement is really money-friendly and time-efficient.
Built in the Southern Song dynasty (1127-1279), the ancient town is filled with various old streets featuring the Ming dynasty (1368-1644) style as well as well an array of preserved old villages with a history of thousands of years. There used to be many famous people living in the town, including 41 scholars and 2 Zhuangyuan, or top contestants in former imperial examinations.
There are around 30 Ming and Qing dynasty (1644-1912) old buildings maintained in the town at present, encompassing 10,000 square kilometers. Villagers live a simple life near Mt. Hangu. Six lanes in the town lead to Taihu Lake. Walking through the worn long lanes, you may feel like walking through an episode of history. To promote their deals, China travel agency have arranged this ancient town into their Suzhou deals, which are quite popular among clients.
Luxiang appears more impressive in spring, with a backdrop of rows of lush tea trees and fragrant fruit gardens growing lavishly. This place boasts the famous tea called Biluochun, which used to be reserved only for the imperial family.
While looking down from Mt. Hangu in the north of the town, a panoramic view jumps at your eyes. On drizzly days, white walls and black tiles loom against cheerful blossoms, resembling a dream-like paradise.
On the other side of Mt. Hangu, there is an islet called Beijianhu Islet. Reeds flourish on the islet; wild animals often pay visits here. If your last minute China travel deals happen to cover Suzhou, you should never miss visiting this ancient town.
Luxiang ancient town: 50 Yuan (7.6 US dollars), Diaohualou (Carved Building): 35 Yuan (5.3 US dollars).
Take bus 502 at the Suzhou railway station to Dongshan, and then take bus 500 to get to Luxiang ancient town. Or there are tourist coaches to take
you there from Suzhou City.
You can stay at guest houses in Luxiang, costing about 30 Yuan per night, or Diaohualou Hotel in Dongshan.
Biluochun Prawn is a widely known cuisine.
Meanwhile, don't forget to take some oranges home. Once selected as a location for a TV show 'The Oranges Are Red,' Luxiang is famous for juicy and sweet oranges.
Welcome to FC2!