China’s Venice, Zhouzhuang

November 12, 2012

We arrived early when the parking lot and the streets were about empty.  That’s the best time to get there.

Zhouzhuang is surrounded by water, and boats are needed for most short trips.

Zhouzhuang history is rooted in China’s Spring and Autumn Period (770 BC – 476 BC) more than a thousand years before Venice was established. However, it would not be called Zhouzhuang until 1086 AD .

The town is well known for its preservation of numerous buildings from the Ming and Qing Dynasties.

Zhouzhuang, the Venice of Asia,  is on the United Nations Reserve List for the World Cultural Heritage and the Dubai International Best Practice to Improve the Living Environment.

As you can see, it gets crowded. Most of these tourists were Chinese citizens from the growing middle class.

This is where I was a photo thief. I wanted to take a picture of these captured birds but the owners wouldn’t let me.  He pointed at a sign that said I’d have to pay.

I walked a distance and used my meager telephoto lens to take this shot of the birds tied to the owner’s boat.

For a comparison with Venice in Europe, while there are no historifcal records that deal directly with the founding of Venice, available evidence has led some historians to agree that the original population of Venice were refugees from Roman cities near Venice (420 – 568 AD). From the ninth to the twelfth centuries Venice became a city state.

If you enjoyed this photo essay, see the Li River Cruise


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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