Yangzhou, China is full of hidden gems. We’ve been to the Old Town here a few times now, but no matter how many times we venture to that part of the city, we’re always pleasantly surprised at what we see! Last weekend we wandered around with some of our friends from America, England and Colombia. We all had a great time being tourists in our own city.

A friendly vendor selling homemade candy in different animal shapes. Yangzhou, China.
Colleen, Nick, Rosemary, Jhonny and Simon in the Old Town, Yangzhou, China.

The architecture in the more touristy area is beautiful (even if it is restored), but when we veered off of the beaten path and found some alleyways, that’s where the real China was found.

Locals gathering at the well to do their laundry. Yangzhou, China.

We walked past old, crumbling homes with smiling faces inside. We spoke to an old woman sitting in the sun who told us she was 89 years old. The character in her face and her personality was remarkable. We saw a group of neighbours congregating around the local well to do their laundry and marveled at the freshly caught rabbits, pigeons, frogs and a pheasant for sale! Unfortunately for the road-kill vendor, we were full from our fabulous lunch and weren’t interested in buying his products.

A friendly 89-year-old woman in the Old Town, Yangzhou, China.
The group of us having a delicious Yangzhou lunch in the old town. 
A game of cards near the canal. Yangzhou, China.

We all made our way down to one of the many stunning canals and walked along enjoying the peacefulness of the area. We passed by some local guys playing a game of cards and headed to the bird & flower market. This market sold everything. It had communist propaganda, full-grown dogs, flowers, fish, vases and birds. It was definitely an interesting mix of products!

Beautiful reflections off the water. Yangzhou, China.

We always enjoy exploring the side-alleys and less trodden paths while we’re backpacking the world and discovering the sights in our own backyard is no exception. There is so much to see in Yangzhou and the Old Town is just one of the many reasons why we love living here!

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