Tangzha, located in the center of the North New Town in Nantong, is one of the birthplaces of modern Chinese national industry, as it was a pioneer in the industrialization journey of modern China since 1895. By virtue of its significant role in the modern industrial development of China, Tangzha made a brilliant mark in the long scroll of history.

Row upon row of warehouses and western-style villa buildings are all witnesses of modern industrial history. After years of vicissitudes, Tangzha is recovering its former glory gradually.

1895 Cultural and Creative Industry Park-Authenticity and Creativity

1895 is no longer just a concept of time, but also a real scene full of vitality. The Park is where tradition and modernity collide, with each other, as well as history and reality. Here is a paradise for fashion creativity, a birthplace of creative design and creative exhibitions, as well as a test field to experience novel art and noble life.

It was the most complete, real, and concentrated site of early Chinese national industry. After a magnificent transformation, the run-down factory buildings have been replaced by a brand-new center of culture creativity, which has become a part of urban leisure life.

Shuise Dyehouse — Dignified, Natural

In Winter, the alleys of Tangzha Town always have unique scenery. In the courtyard of Shuise Dyehouse, several plants grow in order, together with dried medicinal materials, making the courtyard more distinctive. The elegant and majestic interior decoration with meticulous treatment of details reveals the owner’s style of dealing with people and affairs and scholarship. The thick wooden doors with a dignified history behind are just like elements in a painting with a long history.

Wang Haoran, the owner of Shuise Dyehouse, known as “The Owner of Jinglun Hall”, is an inheritor of silk weaving technology, which has been listed as an intangible cultural heritage. The ancient craftsmanship of dyeing has been passed down here. Petals are washed, dried, and kneaded, with every single detail processed in an earnest manner.

Pieces of raw materials are dyed and dried again and again before becoming the most natural fabric. In the natural process of dyeing, different dyes have specific timelines for dyeing, and the dyes in each vat also have the best times for dyeing per day. Failure and long wait are inevitable, as beautiful colors are not as easy to create as imagined. In this natural dyehouse, we can create our own colors here to our hearts’ content.

Photo: Zhuijiang Ganhai Nantong Trip

Shang Shu Yuan — Simple and Unadorned

Shang Shu Yuan is composed of several small courtyards with the style of Tangzha Town. Shang Shu Yuan is decorated with white walls and black tiles, small carved windows, highlighting a strong atmosphere of Chinese culture.

Photo: Zhuijiang Ganhai Nantong Trip

In winter, the bookstore is extraordinarily quiet. Different from chain new-style bookstores, there is no strong aroma of coffee, only light fragrance of tea. The bookstore is so quiet that as if the breathing of the green plants by windows can be heard. The burlywood bookcases with the name “Shang Shu Yuan” carved on are simple yet elegant.

In winter, the sunlight shining into the bookstore is quite warm, together with the breeze blowing over from time to time, inducing a feeling of well-being. People who enjoy tea and read here always have a peaceful mood. It is really a calming experience to settle to writing something in a strong atmosphere of ancient Chinese culture.

In Tangzha Town of Nantong, there is a feast of cultural relics for your eyes, as you can appreciate the glory and prosperity of the ancient town in the past, touch the blue bricks and tiles in the quadrangle courtyards, taste chicken clay pot and beef worth eating from day to day. The experience of travelling to here is surely unforgettable.

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