Mudu Ancient Town
Chinese name: 木渎古镇 (Mudu Guzhen)
Location: The Mudu Ancient Town is located 15 kilometer west to the Suzhou city.
Opening time: 08:00-16:30 (November - March) and 08:00-17:00 (April - October)
Entrance fee: RMB60/p.p (including Yan Family Garden, Ancient Pine Garden, the Mansion for the Second Place at Palace Examinations, etc. )
Recommended time for a visit: About 3 hours.
How to get there:
- By bus: Take tourism bus line 4 or No. 502, 38 and get off at Yan Family Garden (Yanjia Huayuan in Chinese, 严家花园). Other bus available for a visit to Mudu Ancient Town include: 7, 34, 54, 64, 70, 161, 204, 304, 311, 406, 415, 501, 522.
- By shuttle bus: Get to the Wuxian bus station of Suzhou first, and then take bus departs for Dongshan, Xishan or Guangfu, all these buses will go by the ancient town of Mudu.
Introductions of Wudu Ancient Town:
Unlike other common ancient towns in China, Wudu Ancient Town has water town features, the Xiangxi River (brook) and Xujiang River converges with each other here, the water ways shows a 'Y' shape and the layout for the folk houses along the water looks like bandings, classic and characteristic.
The ancient town of Wudu is known as 'the first town of Wuzhong' (Wuzhong means the centre areas of the Wu kingdom in ancient China). Famous attractions, architectural culture, cultures for Chinese gardens, religions and folks can be found everywhere in the town. The history of Wudu is traced back to the Wu and Yue kingdoms in the early stage of Spring and Autumn Period.
History and culture:
Here profound historical and cultural details attract everyone, the 'top 10 attractions' was preferred very much by Emperor Kang Xi (Qing Dynasty). Today tourist may still find the remaining attractions charming and worth to see, the top one include: the Leaning Bridge Dividing the Rivers (Xieqiao Fenshui), the Sunset at Rainbow Bridge (Hongqiao Wanzhao), the Resting Wild Goose at Riverbank (Xiasha Luoyan), the Lights on Fishing Boats at Jiangtang Pond (Jiangtang Yuhuo), the Overlook of the Moon at Xijin (Xijin Wangyue), the Curfew at the Intelligent Rock (Lingyan Wanzhong) and the Snow on Nanshan (Nanshan Qingxue).
Mudu is a cradle for eminent person. Over 20 people had been selected successful as candidate in the highest imperial examinations and over 27 people had become successful candidates in the imperial examinations at the provincial level in ancient time, including the famous Fan zhongyan, Feng guifeng, etc.
Main attractions and interesting things to do:
- Gardens and Mansions: Mudu Ancient Town enjoys a good reputation as a town with gardens. Main places being visited at the town are the Yan Family Garden (admission fee at RMB25 yuan), the Bangyan Mansion (Banyan means people who win the second place in the imperial exam, RMB10 yuan), Hongyinshanfang (RMB25 yuan), and Gusong Garden (RMB15 yuan).
- Old streets and bridges: The ancient town is covered with river ways; the bridges therefore become a necessity for local people and visitors. The most popular bridges worth to see include Wang Family Bridge, the Leaning Bridge, the Rainbow Bridge, the Xi’an Bridge, Lang Bridge, etc.
- Old trees: Ancient tree is called the living fossil, the 500 years old podocarpus, 200 years old maidenhair tree and other pines and old trees in Mudu town witnessed the development of the country and are still full of live.
- Taking boats: Boating becomes a must during the visit at the water towns, taking a boat at Mudu town only costs RMB10 yuan, the boatwomen may sing folk songs for you. Exploring the peaceful town by boat is one of the most interesting things to do here.
- Food and snacks: The Suzhou Cuisine is one the great four cuisines in China, don't forget to try the food and snacks during the visit at Mudu, the cherry pulp was once served to the emperors, the prawn meat with scallop, crabs, many dishes are worth to try.