Nanxun Old Town (南浔古镇), praised as the nobility of water towns in China, is located in Nanxun District, Huzhou City, at the junction of Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces. Nanxun has been an important economic and cultural town in Huzhou (湖州) since ancient times. It has been famous for producing high-quality raw silk since the Song Dynasty and became a typical silk town in the south of the Yangtze River in the Ming and Qing Dynasties. The Jili silk produced here became the designated material for royal weaving. In modern times, with the opening of Shanghai as an opportunity, Nanxun was earlier influenced by European and American culture, and silk merchants rose rapidly. A number of important historical figures emerged, such as Liu Yong, Pang Yuanji, Zhang Jingjiang, and Jin Cheng, etc.
There are three highlights in the town, which are the ancient mansions of a blend of Chinese and Western architecture styles, the idyllic scenery of river flowing through bridges and passing local residences, and the exhibition halls of the history and development of the silk industry in Nanxun town.
Like many ancient towns in the south of the Yangtze River, Nanxun has a typical style of water town, but it is the one that can stand quietness and loneliness. Zhouzhuang has the Two Square and Circular Bridges painted by Chen Yifei; Luzhi has the Wansheng Rice Store written by Ye Shengtao. Wuzhen has the Lin Family Shop in Mao Dun's articles, while Nanxun is silently guarded by her rich cultural accumulation, waiting to embrace the visitors who really understand her.
Nanxun Old Town is not large, attractions in the scenic area are relatively concentrated and easy to visit on foot. Highlights in the town are rich and colorful, including the ancient private library, old mansions, gardens, guide halls, residential groups, bridges and corridors, etc.
Jiayetang Library (嘉业堂藏书楼) was built by Liu Yong's grandson Liu Chenggan in 1920, famous for the golden medal “Qin Ruo Jia Ye (钦若嘉业)” presented by the Emperor Puyi of the Qing Dynasty. Jiaye Library is one of the three private libraries in China and the most valuable scenic spot in Nanxun ancient town. It is a corridor style two layers building, consisting of seven double-entry rooms and wing rooms on both sides, a total of 52 stack rooms, and a collection of about 110,000 books. The library faces Xiaolianzhuang Villa across the stream and with a bridge connected, the surrounding environment is quite good.
Xiao Lian Zhuang Little Lotu Villa (小莲庄), also known as "Liu Garden", was the private garden of Liu Yong, who was the top of the "Four Elephants" of Nanxun in the late Qing Dynasty. It is one of the five famous gardens in Nanxun water town. It took three generations of the Liu family more than 40 years to build Xiaolanzhuang, which is an excellent place in both architecture and gardens. Xiaolianzhaung is composed of a family temple, the Yizhuang and a garden. The garden is divided into the outer garden and the inner garden, surrounded by long corridors, winding bridges, pavilions and towers, which can be compared with gardens in Suzhou.
The Former Residence of Zhang Shiming (张石铭故居), also known as Yide Hall, was built by Zhang Jingwen, the grandson of Zhang Songxian, one of the "Four Elephants" in Nanxun. It is a classic building with a combination of Chinese and Western architecture style. With a peculiar and magnificent structure, the building is praised as "The first house in the south of the Yangtze River". With Guxu Stream flowing in front of the house, the building sits on the west and facing east, with five corners, four enters and more than 150 rooms.
The Former Residence of Liu Tiqing (刘氏梯号), a western-Chinese architectural complex facing the west, is commonly known as the "red house". It was the residence of Liu An, the third son of Liu Yong. The whole building group can be divided into three parts, which are south, middle and north, among which the most characteristic part is the integration of the north and south Romanesque architecture. Besides the lofty and magnificent outlook, the interior of the building group also displays numerous vivid brick, wood and stone carvings. The outside of the red house looks like a typical architectural style of Jiangnan water towns. However, when going inside, you will find out that it is a Western-style building, which is very suitable for photography.
Old Residential Row House (百间楼) has a history of more than 400 years. Buildings are built by the river with blue tiles and white walls. The shore was shaded with willows. There are no cookie-cutter shops here, and residences here are primitive and original. Terrace houses lined in row at Baijianlou Street with side walls connected, the most concentrated section is from the Lotus Bridge to the Long Bridge. Now Baijianlou is still inhabited by local residents. Even though the house is shabby, it still has its own charm.
Tongjin Bridge (通津桥), built in the Song Dynasty, is a single-hole stone arch bridge located on the ancient canal of Dongdajie. It is the top bridge in Nanxun and the intersection of the cross-shaped water system. During the Ming and Qing Dynasties, it was a very prosperous silk trade place. When entering the North District, you can see it at a glance. It turns into a circle against the shadow in the water, which has a typical feature of Jiangnan water town.
The former residence of Zhang Jingjiang (张静江故居) was built in the 24th year of the reign of Emperor Guangxu of the Qing Dynasty, which is a typical mansion in the south of the Yangtze River. The former residence is three enters and five rooms building. There is one living room and five rooms in the first enter, and each enter is connected by courtyards. The inside enter would be higher than the front enter. In the former residence are displayed all kinds of precious photos, letters and appointment certificates of Zhang Jingjiang's life story.
There are 9 scenic spots included in the ticket package of Nanxun Old Town, which are Jiayetang Library, Xiaolianzhuang Villa, Former Residence of Zhang Shiming, Former Residence of Zhang Jingjiang, The Red House, etc.
Here is the recommended visiting route for tourists, starting from Xiao Lian Zhuang Little Lotu Villa and Jiayetang Library, then head north to visit the Former Residence of Zhangshiming, cross the river to the east street and visit The Red House, Guanghui Palace, Silk Guide, finally, end your journey in the northeast scenic area, take a stroll around Former Residence of Zhang Jingjiang and Old Residential Row House.
Nanxun District is in a northern subtropical monsoon climate zone with mild and humid weather and four distinct seasons. The annual average temperature ranges from 15.5-16℃, with the lowest temperature in January averaging 3-4℃. The hottest month is July, with an average monthly temperature of about 28℃. The average annual rain days are 142-155 days, and the average annual precipitation is 1050-1850 mm.
Nanxun Old Town is suitable for tourism all year round. However, spring when the flowers are blossoming and autumn when the sky is high and clear, is always considered as the best time to visit the water town. In spring, the water is warmer under the bright sunshine, and the new green willow trees on the riverbank are particularly charming. It is the best season to appreciate the charming scenery of the ancient town on water. Walking on the long and thin slate road of the ancient town in autumn, you can feel the endless simplicity and warm beauty of the Old Residential Row House, which makes you intoxicated. Summer is the best time to enjoy the lotus flowers in Xiaolianzhuang. The lively atmosphere of the ancient town during the Spring Festival and the rich cultural atmosphere of the ancient buildings will make people linger on in winter. June and July are the rainy months of the year in Nanxun. Remember to bring rain gear with you.
Nanxun Old Town is located in Nanxun District, Huzhou City, at the junction of Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces. It is about 120km west from Shanghai, 88km northeast from Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang province and 60km southwest from Suzhou and 35km east from Huzhou City.
There is neither train stations nor airports in Nanxun, therefore the most recommended way to get there is by taking a private car. For independent travelers, you can also get to Nanxun by coach or train-bus transfer from Huzhou. Huzhou Railway Station (湖州站) is the nearest train station to Nanxun, about 45km away from Nanxun Old Town. High Speed Trains are available from Hangzhou, Shanghai Hongqiao, Nanjing, Beijing, Xi’an, Huangshan, Fuzhou, Xiamen, Changsha and more cities to Huzhou Railway Station. After arrival, travelers can take bus 101 and transfer to Nanxun bus 114, 171, 168, etc. for 1.5-2 hours to reach Nanxun Water Town. If by taxi, it may cost around CNY 200-300 for 50-60 minutes. (Notice: Information given above is only for your reference, might change according to the real situation.)
If you want to get rid of the hustle of public transportation and troublesome navigation, you can take a private tour package which covers sightseeing, English-speaking guide and transfer from us. Our local tour guide and driver will escort you to Nanxun Old Town with speed and convenience, and take care of all the details. You just need to focus on sightseeing.
If you have more questions about Nanxun Old Town, please feel free to contact us and our professional travel consultants are here ready to help!
Nanxun Old Town is about 120km from Shanghai, which takes about 2 hours by car.
By Coach: It takes about 2 hours from Shanghai to Nanxun. Travelers can take a long distance coach at Shanghai Bus Station, Shanghai South Bus Station, Shanghai Hutai Road Bus Station, etc. Every day, there are over 15 coaches running from Shanghai to Nanxun from 06:00~17:00. There are also direct buses to Nanxun from Shanghai Hongqiao Airport. The whole journey takes about one hour. Tourists can buy tickets directly from the airport.
By Train-Bus Transfer: There are about 4 high-speed trains running from Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station to Huzhou Railway Station every day from 07:00~18:20. The whole journey takes around 2 hours. After getting off the train, you may take local bus 101 and transfer to Nanxun Bus 168 to reach the old town for about 2 hours.
Nanxun Old Town is about 88km from Hangzhou, which takes about 1.5-2 hours by car.
By Coach: It takes about 2 hours from Hangzhou to Nanxun. Over 10 coaches are available from Hangzhou North Bus Station to Nanxun Bus Station from 08:00~17:30 every day.
By Train-Bus Transfer: There are more than 60 high-speed trains running from Hangzhou Railway Station or Hangzhou East Railway Station to Huzhou Railway Station every day from 07:00~21:30. The whole journey takes around 30 minutes. After getting off the train, you may take local bus 101 and transfer to Nanxun Bus 168 to reach the old town for about 2 hours.
Taxis are rare to find in Nanxun Old Town, and local bus intervals are long. Therefore, the local human-powered tricycle is one of the main ways of transportation in Nanxun town. Moreover, taking a tourist boat is another way to enjoy the beauty of the exquisite town.
If you would like to stay one night in and around Nanxun Old Town, accommodation in the scenic area is naturally the first choice, and the price is relatively affordable. Different types of accommodation have been provided in recent years, including archaistic inns in the old buildings, high-end boutique villas, as well as affordable youth hostels. Areas around Old Residential Row House and Xiao Lian Zhuang Little Lotu Villa are the top 2 tourist most chosen places to stay around. Those with high requirements for accommodation can choose star hotels outside the old town. Besides, Nanxun Old Town can be visited in a day, so travelers may get back to Shanghai, Hangzhou or Suzhou for accommodation.
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Nanxun Liuyinlu Inn (南浔留荫庐客栈) ★★
Yuemutang Villa Hostel (南浔悦木堂别墅民宿) ★★★★
Highlights in Nanxun Old Town can be visited within 1 day. Therefore, Nanxun is usually arranged as one of the side-trip destinations from Hangzhou or Shanghai. Hangzhou, known as "the heaven on earth", needs around 2 days to explore; while a classic Shanghai tour takes 2-3 days.
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If you have enough time, a 6-8 day tour of Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Shanghai, such as Nanjing - Suzhou - Shanghai - Nanxun - Hangzhou, is also recommended.
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Some visitors also ride a high speed train to Huangshan to visit the world-famous Yellow Mountain. A Huangshan tour usually takes about 2-3 days around.
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Moreover, it is also a good idea to travel Nanxun and other popular destinations in China, such as Beijing, Xian, Yangtze River, Xiamen, Chengdu, Kunming, etc. All our tours can be customized according to your interests, group size, needs, travel time, budget, etc. If you are interested, please feel free to contact us for a personal Xitang tour 2023/2024!
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Top 3 Nanxun tours chosen by most customers to explore Nanxun in the best way. Check the detailed itinerary, or tailor your own trip now with us.
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