“Holding an oil-paper umbrella, alone in a long, long and lonely alley in a rainy day, I hope to meet a girl, who has a little bit worry like a clove”
I like the poem “Alley in a rainy day” from Dai Wangshu. Reading here, many people will have the image of the old town in south China emerge in their mind: fresh, smart with a little bit sadness. In fact, the old town in North China gives people an impression of toughness, there is not much attention to details. However, it reveals a sense of tradition, simple and atmospheric. If you use the poem from the Song Dynasty as metaphor, then the old towns in South China is absolutely the graceful genre, but the old towns in North China is the bold genre. Such as the Gushang Town in Zhoucun.
Most of the old towns in North are close to the mountain, the majority of the old towns in the South are close to the water. Even though, this comparison is relative. However, people tend to have such “stereotype”, when they talk about old towns. Maybe, it because the thousand years of history gives people here with such impression. Such as Zhoucun, Gushang Town, it is not close to the mountain, but it has the characteristics of the classic old town in North China.
However, no matter it is the old town in South or in North, for the modern citizen, they bring the “sadness” that people want to talk about but afraid to. The past stories in the town, the town girls, the allies in the town… all the images trigger strong imaginations, making you soft immediately.
For tourists, the things to see in the old towns in North is the history. But the old towns in South, is about the elegant way of living. Old towns in North emphasize the feelings, in the contrary, the old towns in South are more about experience.
After thousand years, when you walk in Zhoucun in North, tourists will sign for the rise and the fall of the business over a century, the success and failure of a family, and also the complete preservation of such old but living business street and the museum of the architecture.