Luzhi Ancient Town

Written by Ruru Zhou Updated Aug. 30, 2021

Luzhi Water Town, one among many in the Suzhou area, featuring many well-preserved old houses and ancient bridges, alleys, and celebrities. Located 18 km east of downtown Suzhou, and about 58 km west of Shanghai, Luzhi has a wide array of rivers, bridges.

Why We Recommend Luzhi

luzhi water town

Luzhi Water Town

Famous for its charming waterways and ancient bridges, Luzhi is one of the best-preserved old towns in China, with its old canals and streets. A walk around the ancient town is said to be a walk into history frozen in time, tranquil and serene.

Explore the Highlights

There are 4 major highlights in Luzhi that we highly recommend you explore.

1. Baosheng Temple


Baosheng Temple

Baosheng Temple was built in 503 AD – as indicated earlier, during the Liang dynasty (502–556 AD) of the Southern Dynasties Period (420–588 AD) – making it over 1,500 years old. By the time of the Song dynasty it was called Baosheng Zen Temple.

The arhat statues in the temple are national treasures, which allegedly stem from the mid-Tang dynasty (618–907 AD). According to some, albeit not exactly confirmed, sources, the Tang dynasty sculptor Yang Huizhi created these exquisite arhats.

Other prominent features of Baosheng Temple include a Tang-dynasty stone pillar, a Northern-Song-dynasty (960-1279 AD) stone flagpole, a Ming-dynasty (1368–1644 AD) temple hall, an iron bell from the Qing dynasty (1644–1911 AD), and an ancient, 1500-year-old, 50-meter tall ginkgo tree.

The temple also houses the tomb of Lu Guimeng, or Mr. Puli, the town's earlier namesake. It is located on Fu Cheng Lu (Fu Cheng Road, aka Pucheng Road), a block or so north of Wansheng Rice Shop.

2. Wansheng Rice Shop


Wansheng Rice Shop

The Wansheng Rice Shop, on Fu Cheng Road/Pucheng Road not far from Baosheng Temple, is the former business establishment of a pair of the ancient town's rice merchants.

The shop serves both as a present-day rice-distribution center for Luzhi and as a museum where antique implements used in planting, cultivation and harvesting, as well as in threshing and winnowing the rice, are on display.

3. The Former Residence of Shen

The Former Residence of Shen Bohan is a well-preserved luxury residence in the ancient town of Luzhi. Covering an area of more than 3,500㎡, only the west part of the residence, which has been renovated, is open.

4. Costume


Women's Dress in Luzhi

The traditional – but updated to modern standards – costume worn by village women almost became a uniform. The multi-piece costume, of cotton fabric, is put together in contrasting colors, with blue – usually a medium to dark blue – as the dominant color.

The women in Luzhi wear a jacket buttoned smartly down the side, with a pair of dark trousers in a contrasting blue.

An apron is worn over the trousers, tied back with ribbon-like straps which, like a tail, hang freely, extending to the back of the knees, with red and/or green tassels customarily on their tips. As for footwear, they wear a pair of softly contoured, embroidered slippers.
In general, a Luzhi woman's dress is suitable for women in water towns to engage in productive labor and has high practical value.

How to Get to Luzhi



Please note:though departure times are given below, it is best to check locally, or with your travel agent, to gain a more precise picture of your options.

1. Shanghai–Luzhi (2.5 hours)

2. Suzhou–Luzhi (1.5 hours)

3. Tongli–Luzhi (1 hour)

There are daily long-distance buses (departure times not given) from Tongli to Luzhi, either for those wishing to overnight at Tongli and then visit Luzhi, or for those wishing to visit both towns in one day.

Best Time to Visit Luzhi

The scenery in Luzhi is suitable for a visit all year round. Beware, however, that compared with other water towns in the area such as Nanxun, Tongli, Wuzhen, Xitang and Zhouzhuang, Luzhi is a little busy at weekends.


luzhi street

Street in Luzhi

There are about 40 hotels and hostels in and around Luzhi, with different standards. The star-rated hotels include Ramada Suzhou Luzhi, Starway Hotel Luzhi Ancient Town Suzhou and Vienna Hotel. Ranking slightly lower, the Qitianyangguang Hotel, Rujia Budget Hotel and Hualong Guesthouse are popular.

In addition, there are also some private dwellings and rooms for rent in Luzhi, with prices ranging from 100 to 600 RMB. They tend to be simple, but clean, and most certainly fulfill the requirement of "a place to crash out" should you decide on the spur of the moment that you would like to spend more time in Luzhi.

Most hotels in Tongli are well-equipped with modern facilities like western style toilets, wi-fi, phone and television. Some high-end hotels cost about 600 RMB per room per night.

Food in Luzhi


Puli Trotters

Both trotters and duck are reputed to be recipes from the hand of the poet and agrarian "Mr. Puli" himself, Lu Guimeng. It is said that he was fond of serving both Puli Trotters and Puli Duck to his closest friends.

Recommended Itinerary in Luzhi

Baosheng Temple – Ye Shengtao Memorial Hall – the Former Residence of Shen – Wansheng Rice Shop – Jiangnan Culture Garden (including two museums of historical relics and women dress in water towns) – the Former Home of Xiao – Wang Tao Memorial Hall

Other Ancient Towns Nearby

See below more ancient towns close to Suzhou and Shanghai


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