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.