Water Towns of Eastern China Photography

Stock Stock Images By Dennis Kraft

In the triangle between Shanghai, Suzhou, and Hangzhou there are a number of fascinating towns that have developed over centuries, shaped by the rivers, lakes and canals that surround them. Some of these communities on the water originated over two thousand years ago but most began to develop between the 11th and 13th centuries. Today, large numbers of tourists flock to China's water towns to wander along narrow lanes and saunter over ancient bridges but a few hidden gems remain.



Water Towns of Eastern China Details

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Caption List:

1. Suzhou Canal 01 . This photo was taken near Old Town Street in Suzhou Industrial Park in Suzhou, China and is one of a large series of connecting canals that run through Suzhou. Suzhou is also known as the Venice of the East.

2. Chinese Countryside 01. This farm is located in the Yangtze delta area of Jiangsu province not far from Shanghai. The local people survive by farming and aquaculture utilizing the canals and land much as their forefathers have for centuries.

3. Chinese Watertown 05. China has dozens of water towns in Jiangsu, Anhui and Zhejiang provinces and further North where people have lived on or near the water for centuries. They often have miles of canals that interconnect, many of them are scenic and have become modern tourists attractions.

4. Chinese Water towns 06. China has dozens of water towns in Jiangsu, Anhui and Zhejiang provinces and further North where people have lived on or near the water for centuries. They often have miles of canals that interconnect; many of them are scenic and have become modern tourists attractions.

5. Chinese Watertown 01. China has dozens of water towns in Jiangsu, Anhui and Zhejiang provinces and further North where people have lived on or near the water for centuries. They often have miles of canals that interconnect, many of them are scenic and have become modern tourists attractions.

6. Chinese Watertown 04. China has dozens of water towns in Jiangsu, Anhui and Zhejiang provinces and further North where people have lived on or near the water for centuries. They often have miles of canals that interconnect; many of them are scenic and have become modern tourists attractions.

7. Chinese Watertowns 07. China has dozens of water towns in Jiangsu, Anhui and Zhejiang provinces and further North where people have lived on or near the water for centuries. They often have miles of canals that interconnect; many of them are scenic and have become modern tourists attractions.

8. Chinese Watertown 02. China has dozens of Watertowns in Jiangsu ,Anhui and Zhejiang provinces and further North where people have lived on or near the water for centuries. They often have miles of canals that interconnect and many of them are scenic and have become modern tourists attractions.

9. Chinese WaterTown 19. Chinese water towns tend to have their own characteristics and architectural styles but buildings are usually only one or two stories in height and are often white walled with dark grey tiled roofs. Rain is common in the spring and summer.

10. Chinese Water Towns B and W 08. China has dozens of water towns in Jiangsu, Anhui and Zhejiang provinces and further North where people have lived on or near the water for centuries. They often have miles of canals that interconnect; many of them are scenic and have become modern tourists attractions.

11. Chinese WaterTown 22. Water towns often have trees set along the banks and over hanging the canals providing shade and relief during hot humid summers in this part of China. The trees attract song birds and small bats which also help with cutting down the numbers of insects.

12. Chinese Water Town 16. Tourist boats crowd a waterway in the water town of Tongli. Some water towns such as Zhujiajiao and Tongli see thousands of tourists each year and boat operators make their living, guiding them through the canals of this famed town.

13. Chinese Water Town 12. The romantic view of water towns are beautiful settings of old bridges over meandering canals, ancient households, ancestral halls, old temples, pavilions, ancient opera stages, classical gardens guide halls, pawn shops, dye houses, distilleries and farms and all these elements can be found in many of the existing water towns with a little searching.

14. Chinese WaterTown 23. A collection of hand powered river boats are moored awaiting tourists who descend on the more touristy water towns in droves on weekends and holidays.

15. Chinese Watertown 03. China has dozens of water towns in Jiangsu, Anhui and Zhejiang provinces and further North where people have lived on or near the water for centuries. They often have miles of canals that interconnect, many of them are scenic and have become modern tourists attractions.

16. Chinese Water Town B & W 09. The vast majority of tourists visiting Chinese water towns tend to be Chinese. Small craft and souvenir shops, restaurants specializing in local foods, spas, and boutique hotels, contribute to the local economies.

17. Chinese Water Town 14. While some Chinese water towns have histories going back over 1500 years, most Chinese water towns began to develop in the 11th and 13th centuries, mainly in the Yangtze River delta area between Shanghai, Suzhou and Hangzhou.

18. Chinese WaterTown 32. The local governments have invested considerable sums of money to beautify and furbish Chinese water towns to attract tourism. This includes adding pagodas and cultural attractions, cleaning up and repairing old buildings and building new structures in old architectural styles.

19. Chinese WaterTown 25. Two stone lions stand at guard, while on the other side of the canal, a troop of tourists stroll in orderly fashion.

20. Chinese WaterTown 28. The canals of Chinese Water Towns are still used in daily life. Local people clean food and clothes, and sometimes fish in the canals and surrounding waterways.

21. Chinese WaterTown 31. A gentleman enjoys a picturesque view of the canal and surrounding water town.

22. People of China 03 The Boatman. A boatman maneuvers his watercraft in one of the canals in a Watertown near Suzhou

23. Chinese WaterTown 21. The seven most famous water towns in China are Tongli, Wuzhen, Zhouzhuang, Zhujiajiao, Nanxun, Luzhi, Qibao and Xitang.

24. Chinese Water Town 10. Some Chinese water towns have histories going back over 1500 years, and were commercial centres for selling and transporting goods. Everything from fish, vegetables, rice, ducks and geese, and other agricultural products. A vast network of rivers, lakes and canals in this area of China encouraged a thriving trade. today, there are still some towns undiscovered and undeveloped where life continues at a slower pace.

25. Chinese Water Town Luxu 13. While many water towns have been developed in recent years for tourism, there are still a few where local life and culture continue undeveloped such as the town of Luxu. Even here, however, modern development is catching up with local life.

26. Chinese WaterTown 15. The shape of the water towns were built in response to the flow of the rivers in the area.

27. Chinese WaterTown 18. Chinese water towns often have lakes adjacent or in the vicinity which contributes to slow moving and calm waters.

28. Chinese Water Town Tongli 11. Tongli near Suzhou is made up of seven islets with 15 canals and more than for bridges. Five lakes in the area feed the canals of the town. The romantic view of water towns are beautiful settings of old bridges over meandering canals, ancient households, ancestral halls, old temples, pavilions, ancient opera stages, classical gardens guide halls, pawn shops, dye houses, distilleries and farms and all these elements can be found in many of the existing water towns with a little searching.

29. Chinese WaterTown Luxu Town 27. The quiet, still canal overhung with trains captures the peace and serenity of Chinese life in a non-tourist water town. Such places are increasingly rare in China.

30. Chinese WaterTown 26. The quiet, still canal overhung with trees captures the peace and serenity of Chinese life in a non-tourist water town. A street over, busy traffic and the hustle and bustle of town life belie the quiet here.

31. Chinese WaterTown 20. If you are lucky enough to find one of the water towns in China that have not attracted tourists, it is a treat to wander along the canal banks and enjoy the quiet beauty.

32. Chinese WaterTown Lion guardian on the bridge 17. Stone lions often decorate the landing spots in water town or sit atop bridges. They symbolize wealth and status in Chinese culture.

33. Chinese WaterTown Lotus Pond B & W 29. The more touristy Chinese Water Towns also have cultural attractions such as gardens or this lotus pond and pagoda.

34. Chinese WaterTown 30. In the Chinese Water Town of Wuzhen, a bridge over the canal is decorated with lanterns.

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