Jiang is great river, Nan is south. Jiangnan means south of the great river and refers to south of ChangJiang River AKA the Yangtze River. Jiangnan consists of Shanghai and 2 others provinces namely Jiangsu and Zhejiang.
This fertile Yangtze Delta is a treasure chest of China's historical heritage and rich ancient cultural relics; human inhabitants were discovered here 10,000 year ago. Many of its cities are over thousands of years old with Wuxi at 3000 years, Suzhou 2500 years, Nanjing 2400 years and Hangzhou 2200 years.
Water, lakes, ponds and canals are common components of river delta thus creating some of the most notable landscapes in Jiangnan such as Zhouzhuang which is a tranquil picturesque water village of 900 years old in Suzhou. Suzhou and Hangzhou have the most beautiful, charming and elegant lakes and gardens in the area and that led to an old Chinese saying "True paradise is in heaven, Suzhou and Hangzhou are heaven on earth." Even Marco Polo praised Hangzhou as "a heavenly city". Beautiful lakes and gardens harmonized with scenic mountains as backdrop just like a Chinese painting is a common scene here.
Jiangnan's long historical past with its many past emperors, scholars and hero mausoleums has become a tourist attraction. There are also many ancient Buddhist temples in the area over a thousand years old and Jiangnan is reputed for Chinese Buddhism.
Bordering Jiangsu and Zhejiang is the largest city of China, Shanghai AKA the "Pearl of the Orient". A gorgeous and prosperous harbour city with rich cultural resources of old versus new and east meets west. Shanghai is an icon of modern China and the symbol of China's bustling economy.