Yaowan Ancient Town – Ticket, Opening Hours, Location, and Highlights

yaowan ancient town

Yaowan Ancient Town (窑湾古镇) is situated on the southwestern edge of Xinyi City. With a history dating back to the Spring and Autumn period, the town was officially established in the first year of the Tang Wude era (618 AD), making it over 1400 years old.

Historical records indicate that in the Qin and Han dynasties, Yaowan Ancient town served as a kiln for producing military supplies. In the Tang dynasty, it earned its name “Yaowan” (Yao means klins, while wan means harbors in Chinese) due to the numerous kilns in the surrounding area. With the flourishing of river transportation and the salt industry during the Ming and Qing dynasties, Yaowan became a prosperous town. In the late Qing and early Republican period, there were over 360 businesses, factories, and workshops in Yaowan, including 13 banks. The town boasted the presence of three foreign companies: Mobil Oil Company, Asiatic Petroleum Company, and Wuyang Department Store.

During its heyday, Yaowan had more than 8,000 establishments, including shops, residences, churches, and temples. The town’s waterfront was bustling with foreign steamboats and domestic cargo ships shuttling to and from Yaowan’s port. The river was filled with masts, and the streets were crowded with people.

Today, Yaowan Ancient Town preserves 834 ancient residences, along with cultural and natural landmarks such as guild halls, ancient temples, memorial pavilions, ancient bridges, ancient locust trees, and ancient pines. With its rich historical heritage and architectural charm, Yaowan Ancient Town has been compared to the famous Zhouzhuang by some experts and media.


Table of Contents


Basic Information

Estimated Length of TourHalf a day
Combined Ticket for All the Attractions80 RMB
Opening Hours9.00 – 21.50
Telephone Number0086-0516-88557679

Location and Transportation

Yaowan Ancient Town is situated in the southwestern part of Xinyi City, within the jurisdiction of Xuzhou, Jiangsu Province in China. Positioned at the confluence of the Grand Canal (Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal) and Luoma Lake, the town holds a strategic location at the crossroads of three cities and counties: Pizhou, Suqian, and Suining. It is approximately 30 kilometers away from the People’s Government of Xinyi City.

For out-of-town visitors, reaching Yaowan Ancient Town is convenient. Begin by taking a high-speed train or a bus to Xinyi City. Upon arrival at the train station or bus terminal in Xinyi, you can easily transfer to a bus that will take you directly to Yaowan Ancient Town.


Highlights of Yaowan Ancient Town

Wu Family Mansion

wu family mansion in yaowan ancient town

Dating back to the Kangxi era of the Qing Dynasty (around 1671), the Wu Family Mansion is a well-preserved residence with a history of over 300 years, making it one of the oldest and most complete in Yaowan Ancient Town. Originally hailing from Fujian, the Wu family prospered through the tobacco trade, amassing over 500 houses and five industries. With assets exceeding thirty thousand taels of silver, the Wu family was renowned as the “Wu Half Street” (meaning that properties on half of the street belonged to this family).


Folk Customs and Historical Museum

folk customs and historical museum in yaowan ancient town

Spanning an area of 2300 square meters, the Folk Customs and Historical Museum is a comprehensive showcase divided into four sections. “Flowing Water and Jade Pearls” delves into the history and development of Yaowan, while “Night Owls’ Gathering” ingeniously combines audio, video, and modern technology with sculptures to vividly recreate the lively and bustling traditional morning markets of Yaowan. “Changbu Huajie” focuses on the prosperity of Yaowan’s port economy, and “Fanghua Minsheng” exhibits the local customs and folk traditions of Yaowan. The museum, employing a blend of art and modern technology, offers a comprehensive and multi-dimensional presentation of Yaowan’s millennium-long cultural heritage and the vibrant life of the ancient town.


Zhao Xinlong Soy Sauce Shop

zhao xinlong soy sauce shop in yaowan ancient town

Established in the third year of Ming Xizong (1623), Zhao Xinlong Soy Sauce Shop boasts a history spanning over 300 years. Representing the typical “shop in the front, workshop in the rear” layout of the ancient town, this shop is renowned for its soy sauce and sweet oil products, which have been used as premium condiments in the imperial kitchen since the Qing Qianlong period. The brewery within the compound follows traditional craftsmanship, and the exhibition hall provides a detailed overview of the entire brewing process. In recognition of its historical significance, the shop was declared a provincial-level cultural heritage site by the Jiangsu Provincial People’s Government in 2006.


Catholic Church

catholic church in yaowan ancient town

The Catholic Church, established in the first year of Qing Xuantong (1909), features a distinctive European Gothic architectural style, making it the largest Catholic church in northern Jiangsu. In June 2011, with an investment of 10 million yuan from the Luoma Lake Tourism Company, the church was reconstructed at its original site and officially opened to the public on the eve of Christmas in December 2012. The church covers an area of 2040 square meters, with twin towers reaching a height of 40.6 meters. The large bell, with a diameter of 1.6 meters, chimes every hour, its sound reaching up to 5 kilometers. The newly reconstructed church serves multiple functions, including showcasing Catholic architecture, culture, and art, as well as hosting wedding photography, wedding ceremonies, and film screenings.


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