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Jinxi Water Town

China Water Towns Suzhou attractions Jinxi Water Town.jpg

Jinxi Water Town

Jinxi is an ancient water town, it is located to the south Kunshan city in Jiangsu province and around 35 km to the west of Suzhou, and with convenient access to main motorways which link it to Shanghai Hongqiao Airport. It famous with its delicate architecture and laid back lifestyle, Jinxi water town, near Suzhou city, was described by the eminent Chinese writer Shen Congwen as "a sleeping maiden" during his short stay there during the 1970s. 

Jinxi Ancient Water Town covers 90.69 square kilometers of cultivated land a with rich natural water resources. There are five lakes and over 30 bridges cross the waterways of the town. The mild and humid North Subtropical Monsoon climate means that it enjoys adequate light, rainfall and four distinct seasons. Jinxi Water Town has many places of historic interest and scenic views due to its rich historical and cultural heritage. The improved infrastructure has led to a surge tourism to Jinxi, which hopes to continue its development and play a role in the world economy by attracting more overseas visitors and investors.

Jinxi Water Town is fascinated the imperial family and aristocracy in the Song Dynasty (960-1279), and poets in the Ming Dynasty (1836-1644) extolled the "Eight Sceneries" of the town which are apparent even today when one takes a walk around the old bridges, lakes, quiet lanes, temples and gardens. Foreigners believe Jinxi is a paragon of Yangtze River water towns and that its beauty surpasses that of Suzhou. The late well-known writer Shen Congwen described it as "a dreaming damsel" while Feng Yingzi, quoting an ancient Chinese line, said it "looks as becoming as ever, whether in light or heavy make-up".

China Water Towns Suzhou water towns Jinxi Water Town.jpg    China Water Towns Suzhou water towns Jinxi Water Town.jpg

History
Jinxi Ancient Water Town can be dated back to the Neolithic age, and much later, in the Spring and Autum period (770-476 BC), the King of Wu assigned Lord Wu Zixu the task of building a town. During the Han dynasty (206 BC-AD 220 ), a famous general, Ma Yuan, trained his troops in the area and, during the Three Kingdoms period, Prime Minister Zhang Zhao was buried in Jinxi. The famous painter Gu Kaizhi of the East Jin Dynasty (AD 317-420), fled to the town to avoid political oppression. During the Song Dynasty (960-1279), the Emperor Song Xiaozong and his beloved concubine Chen came by Jinxi while traveling through the region. The concubine became obsessed with the natural beauty of Jinxi and she decided to remain in the town for a while. Tragically, she died in Jinxi and the Emperor, grieving over the death of his beautiful concubine, laid her bones in Wubao Lake to the south of the town. He ordered Jinxi to change its name to Chenmu and a Buddhist Temple known as the Lotus Pond was built in Chen's memory. 

Jinxi is an ancient water town, it is located to the south Kunshan city in Jiangsu province and around 35 km to the west of Suzhou, and with convenient access to main motorways which link it to Shanghai Hongqiao Airport.     Jinxi Water Town is famous with its delicate architecture and laid back lifestyle,  Jinxi water town, near Suzhou city, was described by the eminent Chinese writer Shen Congwen as "a sleeping maiden" during his short stay there during the 1970s.

Highlights
The Lotus Pool Temple and Wenchang Pavillion are major attractions to visitors to the town, which are well preserved historical sites. Construction of the temple began in 1164 (the year after Chen's death) and lasted nearly 40 years. The temple consisted of a palace hall, rooms along the veranda surrounding the hall, a meditation room, pavilions, courtyards and a gaily-painted pleasure-boat. The scale of the temple rivaled other more famous ones in China in those days. In 1656, during the Qing Dynasty, Halls for the Goddess of Mercy (Guanyin) and Maitreya (Mile) and a Hall of Great Compassion were added to make the temple a first-rate Buddhist retreat. 

In additional, it is known as "China's town of folk museums". For instance: The Root Carving Museum and Wonder Stone Museum, Chinese Ancient Bricks and Tiles Museum, the Antiques Museum of East China, the Red Porcelain Museum, Zhangsheng Art Gallery and the Old Coins Museum.

How to get to Jinxi Water Town

It takes about 40 minutes from Shanghai to Jinxi Water Town by driving.

Travel Guide
Address: Jinxi Town, Kunshan 215324, China

Admission Fee: CNY 65

Tel: +86 512 5723 1352

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