Zhouzhuang

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One of several water towns crisscrossed by rivers, streams, and canals to the west of Shanghai, Zhouzhuang is a beautiful town of old buildings, boats, and bridges.

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One of the most well-known water towns in China, rivaling nearby Zhujiajiao, Zhouzhuang is sometimes referred to the "Venice of the East," most likely due to the resemblance of the boat drivers to Venetian gondoliers.

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While generally more touristy than nearby and Xitang, at least for now, Zhouzhuang has better preserved older buildings and offers a better glimpse Ming-era China.