Chinese Ancient Towns are the special zones of China. Something special lost in big cities can be seen in these ancient towns, because most of them keep the original condition and tradition of China. Frankly they are the living fossils of ancient lifestyles, festivals, custom, aesthetics and social relations as well as rooted clanship. Big cities such as Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong represent Chinese achievements of modernization and internationalization, and the ancient towns. Here lists top 10 ancient towns in China.
No.1: Zhengyuan Anicent Town in Guizhou
Zhenyuan Ancient Town is located in Qiandongnan Miao & Dong autonomous prefecture, Guizhou Province. Surrounded by gorgeous mountains and rivers, Zhengyuan Ancient Town is best-known for its picturesque landscape, historic sites and mysterious ethnic cultures. The ribbon-like Wuyang River, which runs about 94 kilometers from west to the east across Zhenyuan, cuts the town into the northern "Old Fu (Government) Town" and the southern "Old Wei (Fortification) Town".With a history of nearly 2,300 years, Zhenyuan has been a hub of land and water transportation; a center of politics, trade and culture; as well as a strategically important spot in eastern Guizhou. The area's local cultures blend together with Western elements, making it a place of unique glamour.
No.2: Furong Ancient Town in West Hunan
Furong Ancient Town ,also called Lotus Ancient Town, is located in Yongshun county, Xiangxi Tujia & Miao Autonomous Prefecture, South Central China's Hunan Province. It's about 90km away from Zhangjiajie City,and 75km away from Jishou City. Furong Ancient Town is the site of former Youyang City in Qin and Han Dynasties. It is the door of Mengdong River waterway tour and the south gate of Mengdong River Scenic Spot. Now adays, the transportation of Furong Town, including train,highway,as well as waterway, is very convenient.With over 2,000 years' history, Furong Town is originally named Wangcun. It is an ancient town where Tujia Ethnic people live together. Untill now, in the town, pavement laid with black flagstones and ancient domestic house ( mainly Diaojiaolou ) are well preserved.
No.3: Jiangwan Ancient Town in Wuyuan, Jiangxi
Along the eastern route, what are most attractive are the well-protected ancient villages of the Ming (1368–1644) and Qing (1636–1911) Dynasties as well as the pastoral landscape. The ancient town of Jiangwan with a history of 1000 years is one of the main attractions. It is the hometown of China’s former president, Jiang Zemin. Jiangwan was first built in the late Sui Dynasty (581–618) and early Tang Dynasty (618–907) over 1000 years ago. In the year 1079 in the Northern Song Dynasty (920–1127), Jiang Di moved there with his families and gradually an extended family came into being. Wuyuan is surrounded by mountains and rivers. With good natural and cultural environment, a number of talented personages were born and grew up there, bringing Wuyuan fame as the “the Hometown of Books”.
No.4: Zhouzhuang Ancient Town in Jiangsu Province
Zhouzhuang, one of the most famous water townships in China, situated in Kunshan City which is only 30 kilometers southeast of Suzhou. It is a enchanting place. This village features crisscrossing water lanes, ancient bridges and buildings built on and over the rivers. In an area of half a square kilometer, 60 percent of the Zhouzhuang's structures were built during the Ming and Qing Dynasties. It is noted for its profound cultural background, the well preserved ancient residential houses, the elegant watery views and the strong local colored traditions and customs. Zhouzhuang has been called the "Venice of the East". As one of the most famous water townships in China,it is noted for its profound cultural background, the well-preserved ancient residential houses, the elegant watery views and the strong local colored traditions and customs.
No.5: Shuhe Ancient Town in Yunnan Province
Shuhe Ancient Town is located in the northwest of Lijiang Ancient Town. Shuhe is a town where clearly testified Naxi People developed their agricultural society to business society, and a classic example for opening-up and the forming of the ancient horse hordes. As being a part of the Lijiang Ancient Town, Shuhe has been listed in UNESCO's World Cultural Heritage in 1997. Shuhe River (束河) is called Shao Wu in Naxi language. It means a village located at the foot of a very high peak. You can see the towering Ju Bao Shan Peak when you are in the town near the river. As one of the earliest living places of Naxi People in Lijiang River area, the town of Shuhe is also one of the best protected ancient towns along the famous Tea and Horse Road.
No.6: Xitang Ancient Town in Zhejiang
Xitang Town is a small ancient scenic town on water that still preserves its original look. It is situated in Jiashan County, Zhejiang Province, China, near to Hangzhou and Shanghai with convenient transportation. It takes just 90 minutes by bus from Shanghai or Hangzhou (or shorter, if you take the train to nearby Jiashan) first. Xitang is famous for it numerous bridges, alleys and sheltered corridors three features. The 1300 meters sheltered corridors in Xitang is a unique site in the town.Inside the town, there are many well-preserved architectural groups constructed during the Ming and Qing dynasties, which boast a higher artistry and study value, thus being highlighted by the experts at home and abroad studying antique buildings.
No.7: Wuzheng Ancient Town in Zhejiang
Wuzhen Ancient Town is a famous ancient town which is 80 kilometers from Hangzhou and Suzhou, 140 km from Shanghai.With its thousands of years of history and culture; its honest and beautiful scenery of rivers and lakes; its unique flavor of the cuisines, colorful folk festivals, deep heritage and timeless lifestyle, Wuzhen has become a living fossil of ancient oriental civilization. The water town will show tourists a fascinating historical picture which is an innate beauty.Traditional buildings remain intact today even after hundreds years of weathering. It is a typical ancient water towns in southern Yangtze River, known as the "a land flowing with milk and honey, House of Silk". In 1991, it was named as historical and cultural city of Zhejiang Province. In 1999, the protection and tourism development project of this ancient town started.
No.8: Zhujiajiao Ancient Town in Shanghai
Zhujiajiao Ancient Town is a popular place to attract tourists whichi is found within the suburbs of Shanghai City .Zhujiajiao Ancient Town is called as Water Town because it is surrounded by water is because it sits right in between lakes and mountains. There are the numerous water passageways which run in between homes and infrastructures.The history of Zhujiajiao Ancient Town is over 1,700 years. Today, it is also known as the “Pearl Stream”. Among the four ancient towns within Shanghai, it is Zhujiajiao Ancient Town which is most preserved. Despite the modernizations which were adapted by the town, it has still successfully kept its traditional beauty which is seen with the antique bridges, age-old willow trees and houses with traditional architecture.
No.9: Luodai Ancient Town in Sichuan
Luodai Ancient Town boasts an extensive history of around 1,800 years in total.This ancient town is situated around 10 to 20 kilometres from the city of Chengdu, covering a surface area of 20 000 square kilometres, with around 23 000 people calling it home.Luodai Ancient Town houses a population of which the majority is made up of the Hakka people, making up over 90% of the total population, which accounts for the reason why the Hakka language is so widely spoken in this part of the nation.The close proximity of the Luodai Hakka people to the modern and urban city of Chengdu accounts for a unique selection of these people, since the other predominantly Hakka towns are situated relatively far from urban areas, so it makes for a very interesting branch of the Hakka culture, which spills over into the local tourism industry.
No.10: Liye Ancient Town in Hunan
Liye Ancient Town is located along the bankside of youshui river, Longshan County, South Central China's Hunan Province.Liye Town was once an important channel connecting the central plains and the southwest of china, and thus was known as "an axis linking chu and shu". After the excavation of the terra-cotta warriors and horses, the 36,000 bamboo slips inscribed with scripts from the qin dynasty （221bc-206bc） unearthed in the town in 2002 is the most important archaeological discovery for the study of the history of that period, and thus has attracted worldwide attention. in november 2002, the site of the liye ancient town was added to the fifth batch of key historical sites under state protection, and in 2005, it was titled "china's famous historical and cultural town." in addition, the ancient and unique ethnic and folk culture of the town constitutes the core of the original culture of the tujia ethnic minority.