Nanxun – Water Town

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Reflections

Reflections

After spending Saturday in the factory, I was keen to get out of Shanghai and see some sights. Initially thinking of heading to Suzhou or Wuxi, I came across this article on water towns, and opted instead to tick another one off the list; especially since I enjoyed visiting Tongli and Zhouzhuang so much. Nanxun, which I hadn’t heard of before, topped the list.

Enlisting a newly moved-to-Shanghai Drew, we headed West. Two or so hours from Shanghai by car (yes we were lazy), it’s a place that must surely arrive soon on the Chinese tourist map – the new motorway heading out in that direction guarantees it. However, for now, it seems that the crowds have not yet arrived, and we were pleasantly surprised by how quiet the place was.

Pleasant surprise soon gave way to broad grins, however. The state of preservation felt like it could have been a real live water town just weeks before, boats carrying silk yarn merely taking their Sunday rest. The people were warm and friendly, the scenery preposterously beautiful, and by the end we simply felt lucky to have been able to visit such an historic town that still housed a real community of people. Unfortunately, I am sure the youth will not want to return and it’s likely that if I ever return tourist shops will have replaced the townhouses by the river.

But how about a Bali-style retreat of river-side escapes, two hours from the city? I can see it now.

What's for dinner?

What’s for dinner? – Visiting the library

Two lovely ladies that virtually chewed our ears off upon discovery that we spoke Chinese. Charming!

Two lovely ladies that virtually chewed our ears off upon discovery that we spoke Chinese. Charming!

Sucker for patinas of use.

Sucker for patinas of use.

Sartorial man with cell phone

Stylish man with cell phone

View up the first of the side-canals. We meant to catch a boat at some point, but in the end the guys on bikes won out!

View up the first of the side-canals. We meant to catch a boat at some point, but in the end the guys on bikes won out!

Can't resist peeking into the side streets

Can’t resist peeking into the side streets

Handsome hat seller

Handsome hat seller

Red lanterns, reflected

Red lanterns, reflected

Textures

Textures

This guy ... how sartorial!

This guy … how sartorial!

I mean really

I mean really

He kept on appearing in photos, as if someone was paying him to walk by.

He kept on appearing in photos, as if someone was paying him to walk by.

The mop project continues

The mop project continues

There he is again

There he is again

No matter where I go in the world, there are always groups of old men hanging out, drinking, playing games, riding motorbikes, gambling ... I am sure I will be the same some day.

No matter where I go in the world, there are always groups of old men hanging out, drinking, playing games, riding motorbikes, gambling … I am sure I will be the same some day.

Pixelated

Pixelated … a designer definitely sweated the details on that top rivet

View up the main section of the river

View up the main section of the river

Watching the world go by

Watching the world go by

Pleasing mixtures of colours

Pleasing mixtures of colours

'Jonny, you arrange your images into graphic design layouts' - according to Drew ... he is absolutely right. I do - that's what happens when you have a graphics designer for a Mum.

‘Jonny, you arrange your images into graphic design layouts’ – according to Drew … he is absolutely right. I do – that’s what happens when you have a graphics designer for a Mum.

At first, we thought this guy was going to be your normal tourist trap pusher, but he turned out to have a real sense of humour and amazing idea of the photos that we wanted to take. I suppose with all the visitors, you get photographic training for free!

At first, we thought this guy was going to be your normal tourist trap pusher, but he turned out to have a real sense of humour and amazing idea of the photos that we wanted to take. I suppose with all the visitors, you get photographic training for free!

Resting, away from the rain.

Resting, away from the rain.

I always enjoy it when it rains in a new place ... interesting to see how people react.

I always enjoy it when it rains in a new place … interesting to see how people react.

Gone Fishin'

Gone Fishin’

Lots of people peeking out to catch a glimpse of the funny foreigners ... not sure how much longer these guys will be here. I imagine it will all be tourist shops if I ever come back.

Lots of people peeking out to catch a glimpse of the funny foreigners … not sure how much longer these guys will be here. I imagine it will all be tourist shops if I ever come back.

Pointing out the birds nest above our heads.

Pointing out the birds nest above our heads.

Across the river

Across the river

Drew and I could not believe our luck at being here - truly a great experience.

Drew and I could not believe our luck at being here – truly a great experience.

Like a scene from a movie

Like a scene from a movie

Checking to see if the rain has stopped

Checking to see if the rain has stopped

Red shorts

Red shorts

Neighbours

Neighbours

My best mop image to date

My best mop image to date

This character had me giggling - doing his afternoon exercises while the rain had paused.

This character had me giggling – doing his afternoon exercises while the rain had paused.

One of the pleasingly semi-circular bridges

One of the pleasingly semi-circular bridges

Rain adding a certain something to the wet roofs.

Rain adding a certain something to the wet roofs.

Our guy, very pleased with a highly-inflated tip!

Our guy, very pleased with a highly-inflated tip!

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