Nanxun

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Nanxun

Nanxun (南浔古镇) is located in Huzhou, Zhejiang Province. Situated in the plains surrounding Hangjia Lake, Nanxun is a historically and culturally well-known town in the province. Its history goes back some 750 years.

There are numerous scenic spots and historical sites in Nanxun.

The original flavor of the town has been well kept with old stone bridges, streets between rivers, houses along rivers, mansions with a combination of Chinese and western architecture, and old pine and cypress trees in courtyards. Gardens with both Chinese and western architecture are scattered all over the town. Together, they present a beautiful poetic scene.


Contents

Tourist Attractions

Jiaye Stack Building

Jiaye Stack Building, built in 1924, is one of the four stack buildings with the largest collection of books in the region south of the Yangtze River. At one time, it housed over 600,000 books. Now the Stack Room of Zhejiang Provincial Library, the Jiaye Stack Building has 52 rooms with a spacious courtyard and with a two-storey western-styled winding corridor.

Old stone bridges

Guanghui Bridge, also known as Imperial Temple Bridge, is a single-curvature arch bridge. It is not known when this bridge was built. It was renovated during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). Two vivid stone lions sit on one end of the bridge.

Tongjin Bridge, a single-curvature arch bridge, was built in the Song Dynasty (960-1279). It was repaired several times during the Qing Dynasty. Its original name was Nanxun Brook Bridge, also commonly called Big Bridge.

Hongji Bridge, a single-curvature arch bridge, has records in the local archive from as early as the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). It is more commonly known as New Bridge.

Small Lotus Garden

Like many of the other gardens in the region, the Small Lotus Garden has pavilions, stone gateways, rockeries, and bamboo forests. Old camphor trees line the paths on the west of the garden, adding a unique touch to this garden.

The garden is made up of the Outer Garden and Inner Garden. A 10-mu (1.65 acre) lotus pond is the main feature of the Outer Garden with a long corridor with engraved tablets along the pond. A spired architecture beside the pond provides an air of exoticness. The Inner Garden boasts a rockery made with stones from Taihu Lake.

Ying Garden

Ying Garden is known for its exquisite carvings, compactness and grace. There are ancient trees, and rockeries in picturesque disorder, all blending in well with the brick, stone and woodcarvings.

Former residence of Zhang Shiming

Known as the number one mansion in the southern region of the Yangtze River, the former residence of Zhang Shiming occupies over 4,000 square meters, with five courtyards, four entrances within the mansion, and 150 rooms. The style is unique, structure magnificent, and craftsmanship exquisite. The carvings – in wood, brick, stone and glass – were imported from France and are highly regarded as folk architecture relics.

One Hundred Room Building

The One Hundred Room Building is a cluster of buildings rarely seen elsewhere. It was built in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), a collection of 100 buildings, hence the name. Careful renovation work has maintained the classical features of Ming Dynasty architecture, with a hint of Qing Dynasty charm.

Folk customs

Nanxun has many folk customs, and a long history of holding events based on climate and other natural phenomena.

Celebrating the birth of a child

Presenting Soups

After a woman marries, she moves in with her husband's family. This is typical of most, if not all, parts of China. The woman is somewhat of princess when she is pregnant. About a month before she is due to give birth, her parents will prepare presents, collectively called "presenting soups." The presents are typically food items such as brown sugar, eggs, and milk powder. Some parents present baby clothing, diapers and other baby stuff made by themselves.

Third Day Noodles

A family will eat noodles on the third day after a baby is born, hence the name. The family will treat relatives, friends and neighbors to a hearty meal of noodles, chicken, fish and other delicious dishes to celebrate.

Full Month Drink

When a baby is a month old, it is said to have "completed its first month of life." The family typically throws a party called the "Full Month Drink," to celebrate with relatives, friends and neighbors. The baby is the star of the show at this party. Traditionally, the baby's mother's brother then holds the baby while it gets its first haircut.

Apprenticeship

It used to be that a teenager, usually a boy, would take up a skill or start a career in a certain trade at the age of 13 or 14. This involved an apprenticeship. The teen would first be recommended by a relative or friend to the master. If the master agreed to meet with the boy, the boy would go to him with gifts of a pair of pig trotters, red candles, local pastry called "Dingsheng Pastry", and a gift of money. After the pupil-master ceremony, the teen was formally accepted as an apprentice. Apprenticeship usually lasted for three years.

Back-Support Pastry

It might sound a little funny, but there's a logical explanation for the name of this pastry. Villagers would eat the pastry, made of rice flour, on the second day of February on the Chinese lunar calendar. This was and is typically when the "slack season" was coming to an end, and the spring plowing and toiling was close. The Back-Support Pastry was said to make the back strong so it wouldn't get hurt during farming.

Tea drinking

Nanxuners like drinking tea, so much so that tea drinking and teahouses were once considered a representation of every day local life in Nanxun. They drink tea any time of the day; early in the morning and even late at night. Teahouses are great places to catch up with friends, sharing news and stories, and information on market prices. In between sips of tea and the latest gossip, farmers also sell their farm produce and buy some groceries like cooking oil, salt, soy sauce and vinegar, or fabric, or snacks for children. Some of the larger teahouses also provide entertainment like storytelling, and snacks.

Scented Soy Tea

The drink of choice for many Nanxuners is scented soy tea. The drink is made with scented soy mixed with tea, pickled orange peel, roasted white sesame seeds and salty clove-flavored dried turnip. The tea is refreshing, fragrant, and colorful. This is a treat during the Spring Festival.

Useful information

Through ticket: 60 yuan

Information:

Nanxun Tourism Development Co., Ltd. Tel: 0572-301 2215 Website: http://www.chinananxun.com/

How to get there:

Nanxun is 123 km from Shanghai, 51 km from Suzhou and 125 km from Hangzhou.

Take a bus from the Hangzhou north bus station, Qiujiang bus station or Hutai bus station in Shanghai, or transfer to a Nanxun bus from Wuzhen.

Hotels:

Jinquan Guesthouse (a three-star hotel), Jiu’an Conference Center and Yinyuan Hotel are the more popular ones with visitors.

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