A Tale of Three Cities Home

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Zhou Zhuang

It was the most picturesque town on the water, it was so sad not to able to taste the stewed picnic pork

Part of the Jin Jiang tour to Suzhou includes a visit to the historic water town of Zhou Zhuang, which the tourist brochure proclaimed to be China's #1 Water Country--I am sure that there are a lot of towns in China claiming the same title :-). Who said that Venice can be the only town on water? This was one of Theresa's favorite places. The downside was that it's extremely touristy because there were just a great collection of shops, restaurants, and inns lining the streets from one corner to the other.

Zhou Zhang is located 37 miles west of Shanghai in Jiangsu Province. This town is more than 700 years old. The highlight of the visit was a boat tour along the canals. We even tipped the person who was rowing our boat for two songs. Along the ride we enjoyed the many stone bridges. There were also a number of students painting. Zhou Zhang gained its fame when the American businessman Armand Hammer presented then Prime Minister Deng Xiaoping with a painting of the Double Bridge done by Chinese American Artist Chen Yifei.

One of the most popular tourist products in this town seem to be the stewed picnic pork (pork thigh slowly cooked in soy sauce and Chinese spices.) This is one of Theresa's favorite Chinese dishes. However, being on the tour it was impossible for us to buy it and bring it home. Besides at the time I was still suffering from a very serious case of indigestion from eating a 2-pounds pear for breakfast that morning. It was so sad for Theresa that she could not bring one home. Unfortunately they did not sell the secret spices to Theresa.

You know Zhou Zhuang is a commercial enterprise when you discover that it has a very advanced website ( http://www.zhouzhuang.com )! The website is artfully executed and possesses some advanced web display features. I'm envious :-) 

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