Jiangnan(江南) literally is defined as the place on the side of River. However, as a typical historical and geographic conception, Jiangnan originally means the area of southern Yangtze River. In ancient China, Jiangnan used to represent the charming and beautiful water towns with the better and advanced cultural education, roughly including the middle-section and lower-section region of Yangtze River. Jiangnan in China has been the symbol of elegant culture and lifestyle and the place where people pin their much affections and yearning on. Nonetheless, the definition and spread of Jiangnan have never been consolidated. In other words, Jiangnan can be regarded as an invisible but vitally important area that is closely connected with Chinese people's dream as well as the spiritual aspect of Chinese culture, Chinese art and Chinese philosophy. In sum, Jiangnan in China serves as the classic dream with traditionally graceful lifestyle, classic academic center with classic literary education as well as the heavenly area with multi-oriented residents, splendid landscape and unlimited romantic stories. Jiangnan to a most degree is on behalf of traditional Chinese Elite Culture and High-Quality Lifestyle.
In this way, Jiangnan Attractions are deeply imprinted with culture. So we also call it Jiangnan Cultural Attractions. Jiangnan Cultural Attractions are mainly featured with humanity. Centered on Suzhou, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Wuxi, Shaoxing, Huzhou and Jiaxing(traditionally, Shanghai and Ningbo exactly do not belong to the centers of Jiangnan Area), Jiangnan Attractions are filled with fairy stories, famous people's legends, historical events and folklores. A multitude of historical relics, cultural landscapes and the humanistic destinations always have today's people touch the pulse of history and the soul of ancient people. Nanjing's innumerous temples and nunneries as well as the old sites and architecture of imperial palaces and battlefields always make the comers be confused about where they are now and even have the sense of dislocation of time and space. Suzhou's Classic Gardens as one of the World Heritage Sites largely show the ancient life condition and culture as well as the traditional aesthetic standards. Taihu Lake plays not only the role of irrigating the farmlands but also the important image of culture. There used to be many cultural institutes surrounding the Taihu Lake and massive poets and writers created plenty of great literary works themed with Taihu Lake. Hangzhou's West Lake always a permanent beauty standing in the southeast China. As the old capitals of China, Nanjing and Hangzhou collected too many relics of the history.