Framed by historic bridges, waterways and quaint houses, the historical water villages of China strewn across the Yangtze river tributaries has mesmerized world travellers across centuries and earned itself a distinction as the â€œVenice of the Eastâ€.
Not sure which water village sojourn is best for you? Here are some of our favourite picks to inspire you!
Ahn Luh Zhujiajiao
Best for: Lux Manor Living
Location: Zhujiajiao, Shanghai, China
Delicately restored from a 600-year-old Ming Dynasty courthouse to recreate the wealthy mansion lifestyle of the past, each villa comes with a courtyard, a private garden and butler service. Accessibly hidden in Qingpu district just 1 hour away from Shanghaiâ€™s Pudong skyline, this is by far one of the most accessible water towns escapes for modern urban travellers.
Price: Starting from ~USD 670 per night
Best for: Elegant Zen Refresh of an Icon
Location: Wuzhen, Zhejiang, China
As Chinaâ€™s largest and most picturesque water town, Wuzhenâ€™s timeless romance is best experienced through overnight stays at Alilaâ€™s understatedly elegant and spacious rooms. Watch as the crowd of day-trippers turn into a brightly lit maze of quiet alleyways. Dubbed â€œHome of the Silkâ€, Wuzhen preserves much of its ancient traditions such as indigo fabric dyeing, wood carving, Huagu Opera and shadow plays.
Price: Starting from ~USD 630 per night
Ahn Luh Lanting
Best for: A Poetic Step into Old China
Location: Shaoxing, Zhejiang, China
Home of the famous philosopher and writer Lu Xun, Shaoxing is a cultured manâ€™s gondola experience as you sail on a traditional wupeng across iconic attractions described in his literature. Finally, retreat into your private traditional China-inspired villa at the embrace of Kuaiji Mountain area, painstakingly constructed from original Hui pieces from Ming and Qing dynasties.
Price: Starting from ~USD 510 per night
Qiushuli Blossom Hill
Best for: Off-the-Beaten Chic Sojourn
Location: Nanxun, Zhejiang, China
Dubbed the â€œHidden Book Townâ€, the less known Nanxun has preserved much of its original architecture and heritage as Jiangnanâ€™s wealthiest water town. Top it off with a stay at the former ancient garden villa of Liu Geng Gan, Nanxunâ€™s richest person. The villa has been stylishly restored by French designer, Thomas Dariel into a heavenly abode.Â
Price: Starting from ~USD 100 per night