A Jiangnan water town is always intoxicating, among many ancient towns in Jiangnan, Luzhi Ancient Town is more unsophisticated and has more liveliness. Although there are also commercial stores, the more common scenes are quiet alleys, people living in lanes, lazy house cats, elderly people sitting by river chatting, all ordinary and cozy. Please come to Luzhi Ancient Town to take a stroll on the Xihui Street - Dongshi Street, you will surely be slowly cured.
In the old days, among the three downtown areas of Luzhi Ancient Town, "Xizhanghui" was the most prosperous, which was ranked one of the "eight scenic spots in Fuli" in the twenty-seventh year of the reign of Emperor Qianlong in the Qing Dynasty (1762). Nowadays, the Xihui Street is built by water, with two streets on the banks of a river. The large number of stores on both sides of the river recreates the former prosperity of the Jiangnan water town.
The ancient stone bridges that run through Shangtang and Xiatang are the typical scenery of Luzhi Ancient Town. From west to east, they are Yongning Bridge, Yong'an Bridge, Xianghua Bridge and Jinding Bridge. The ancient streets paved with green slabs are full of the traces of times; ancient bridges and rivers, black tiles and white walls together nurture this typical Jiangnan water town.
On today's Xihui Street various stores are established like retail store of Luzhi Sauce Factory, Xianghua Bridge Aozao Noodles, Xihui Restaurant, Xihui Trotter, Tianyi Aowei Restaurant. As tourists come and go, Xihui Street still overflows with the original charm of Jiangnan water town that makes people forget to return.
If the commercial prosperity recreates the scene of market in a water town, then the Xianghua Alley enriches the historical and cultural atmosphere. Located at the north side of Xianghua Bridge, Xianghua Alley has many historical sites, such as the Baosheng Temple, the statues of arhats, the thousand-year-old ginkgo tree, and Ye Shengtao Memorial Hall, etc. Strolling through them, you can feel the continuous inheritance of the thousand-year culture and appreciate the rich humanistic atmosphere.
Zhongshi Street, at the center of Luzhi Ancient Town, starts from Jinli Bridge in the south and ends at Zhongmei Bridge in the north. The corridors stretching along the river bank, the oar propelled boats cutting through waves in the Zhongshi River, the Jiangnan-style houses with deep courtyards, and the stores standing on both sides of the river have remained unchanged through the years.
From Jinli Bridge in the south to Zhong’an Bridge in the north, there is a corridor built with wooden beams and dark tiles, which still retains its original appeal. The corridor stretches along the river like a jade belt to demonstrate the beauty of water town. In the old days, there was a saying that "In the southern half of Luzhi the street does not get wet on rainy days". This is the place for the people in Luzhi Ancient Town to relax and have fun. It witnesses the cooking smoke of the town and also carefree childhood of children. As far as the eye can see, there are all the moving moments of life in a water town.
The Zhongshi Street is famous for delicious food that is hidden in the lanes and alleys. Qiuxiang Crabapple Cake is an internet-famous store in Luzhi Ancient Town. The crabapple cakes it sells have soft and sweet red bean paste sandwiched between the golden and crispy skin.
Dongshi Street sits in the east of the ancient town, starting from Zhengyang Bridge in the east and ending at Zhongmei Bridge in the west, it is a famous street in the ancient town. There are ancient stone bridges that run through the Shangtang and Xiatang, which are, from east to west, Zhengyang Bridge, Fengyang Bridge, Dongmei Bridge, Taiping Bridge, Guangji Bridge, Fuchang Bridge and Zhongmei Bridge.
Luzhi Ancient Town was praised as "China's ancient bridge museum" by Mao Yisheng. Among the existing 41 ancient stone bridges, Zhongmei Bridge is the oldest built in the Song Dynasty with a history of more than a thousand years. Zhongmei Bridge, also known as Hefeng Bridge, together with Huangyu Bridge, forms a unique scene of "three steps across two bridges". The bridge is incessantly crowded with tourists, and small boats row endlessly under the bridge, witnessing a thousand years of history in Luzhi Ancient Town.
In addition to the old stone bridges, the old streets still overflow with the fragrance of times, since Dongshi Street also brews the sauce inherited for a hundred years. The Luzhi Sauce Garden has witnessed the prosperity and flourishing of sauce products in Luzhi, and the old scene of the time-honored "Yuanfeng Sauce Shop" has been restored in the Sauce Garden, where dozens of vats of pickled Luzhi radishes waiting to be opened next year.