During the day, only the early morning reflects the true spirit of Zhouzhuang. The entire town is peaceful since there is no hustle and bustle of tourists and no merchants shouting hard for business. You can step into a teahouse and start a comfortable and leisurely day, just like the locals.

Ah-Po Cha (Grandma Tea) is fairly famous in Zhouzhuang. What’s interesting is that the “tea” here is to “eat” rather than to “drink”. The reason for this is that when people enjoy the tea, they often have a variety of snacks, such as small crispy cookies, sweet green rice ball, DingSheng (Victory) cake, etc. In the teahouse, people talk about daily life and keep in touch with each other to further enhance the connection and friendship.

 

 

Downtown Streets

People who love to travel often say that there is nothing like going to a bazaar to blend into a place. For Zhouzhuang, home to a large population of the natives, the bazaar here is a typical reflection of local life. The Nanhu Lake fish market mainly deals the small fishes and shrimps from Nanhu Lake or Baixian Lake in Zhouzhuang. Local grandmas gathered here and placed the sharpbelly, wild crucian, Baisi (white silk) fish, etc. neatly on their stalls. Unlike other stall owners, they often do not have the “trader’s calling” to sell these fishes and shrimps. When customers comes, they will show their courtesy and passion but for the rest of the time, they often chat with the neighboring stalls, showing the simplicity of local people and revealing what Zhouzhuang is really like.

 

You can walk into the alleys and continue your tour to meet with the small stores with ordinary storefront signboards. It may not take much effort to find the delicacies that are low-key but have been so lavishly praised by Chinese fellow netizens. It may be a bowl of steaming hot Douhua (tofu pudding), or the thin, crispy and sweet insole-shaped flaky pastries, etc.

Zhouzhuang, a poem for everyone, depicts the yearnings of many tourists for the water town in Jiangnan (the lower reaches of Yangtze River). Relax yourself under the splendor of spring and go on a trip for the baptism of soul to understand more about its charm.

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