With a fast-growing economy, China is a country that is thriving in all aspects. Thinking of this country, most people will see busy streets, skyscrapers and lots of seafood on the streets. In addition to the thriving economy, China boasts some picturesque cities that are not as famous as Guangzhou and Shanghai.
Sitting on the banks of River Tuojiang is one of China’s most beautiful towns according to Rewi Alley, a political activist, and writer born in New Zealand. The town of Fenghuang is home to Huang Si Qiao Castle that dates back to the year 687 and many diaojiaolou which are traditional wooden houses. While here, ginger candy and spicy pickled red peppers are a must-try for many tourists.
Bordering Russia, Shiwei is another picturesque town in China that is best explored on horseback. Although it is in China, the houses here are built-in Russian styles and the local delicacies are influenced by both countries. A must-try delicacy is Russian lie ba bread and Chinese Shao Kao barbecue.
Tongli is a little town yet it will take your breath away. Seven islands make up the town and they are linked by 49 bridges with some of them dating back more than a century ago. What makes the town even more beautiful are the canals crisscrossing it and the five lakes that surround it. It’s also home to Tuisi Yuan which is part of the UNESCO World Heritage site.
A popular sports video shooting, Hongcun has been captured in several films that include the Hidden Dragon. This ancient Anhui village sits at the foothills of the Huangshan Mountain and together with its half-moon shaped pond, it saw the town being declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Surrounded by a reef, the beauty of this small town is soul touching. The colonial, Victoria-style architecture, the drum-like sounds made by the tides here, the Piano Museum and the Sunlight Rock all contribute to Gulangyu Island being listed as an AAAAA Scenic Area. For spectacular views of the surroundings that include a beautiful coastline, it’s recommended that you go up the Sunlight Rock. This is the highest point in the town.
As a history buff, this is an interesting town to visit as it dates back more than 900 years ago. The Quanfu Temple and Zhang Ting are some of the interesting sights in Zhouzhuang. The waterways, rivers, stone bridges and beautiful streets have played a role in the town being known as the Venice of the East.