One of a number of ancient water towns south of the Yangzte River in Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces, Nanxun (Nánxún, 南浔) was once home to a number of prominent officials and merchants who constructed beautiful gardens and grand homes, some of which fuse traditional Chinese and Western architecture. Today, Nanxun is a quiet corner of Huzhou (Húzhōu, 湖州), a sprawling prefecture-level city of 2.5 million on the southern shore of China's third-largest freshwater lake Tai Hu (Tai Lake) near Zhejiang's border with Jiangsu.
Historic buildings like Baijian Lou still line the pristine green canals cutting through Nanxun, and the tourist hordes that have descended upon other more prominent water towns like Suzhou haven't made it to Nanxun yet, even though it's just a half hour drive from Suzhou and an hour and a half from Shanghai.
Along with five other Yangtze River watertowns, including Tongli and Wuzhen, Nanxun received a UNESCO Asian-Pacific Heritage Award, recognizing its preservation of historic architecture and adding it to a growing number of listed UNESCO sites in China.
While entry to Nanxun is free, entry to many of the tourist attractions are not. An RMB 60 ticket covers most of Nanxun's major attractions.