Zhujiajiao Water Town
Brief Introduction of Zhujiajiao
Zhujiajiao is one of the most welcomed water towns around Shanghai, a famous historical town located south of the Yangyze River. Zhujiajiao has a long history which date back to 1700 years ago, known as the Venice of Shanghai and Shanghai suburb Hollywood. It takes one hour from Shanghai city center, it is a good place to do a day trip if you have spare time in Shanghai. From a visitor’s perspective, Zhujiajiao can be roughly split into three zones. The north, the central street and bridge, and the west. If you tried of morden place and fast-speed life of Shanghai, highly recommend to take a visit Zhujiajiao Water Town.
History of Zhujiajiao Water Town
According to historical records, the history of Zhujiajiao can be traced back to 7000 years ago.There are signs of human activities in Neolithic age, spring and Autumn period and Warring States period at the bottom of Dianshan Lake nearby. During the Song and Yuan Dynasties, the rudiment of Zhujiajiao Town gradually formed, also known as Zhujiacun Village. In 1612 AD, due to the convenience of water transportation and more frequent commercial exchanges, Zhujiajiao gradually became a big town. Zhujiacun village was renamed Zhuli and also known as Pearl Stream, commonly known as "Jiao Li". In 1991, Zhujiajiao Town was completed and officially became a subsidiary town of Shanghai.
Top Things to Do in Zhujiajiao
Kezhi Garden is located on the Xinjing Street, the name Kezhi is made up of the characters 课 (kè) which means "to learn" and 植 (zhí) which means "to plant". It is a classic Chinese garden in Zhujiajiao water Town and It consists of three parts - the main hall, the garden and an artificial hill area. The most iconic landmark of the gardens is a five story building with a pavilion on its roof - the tallest structure in old Zhujiajiao. The history of this garden dates back to 1912, when Ma Wenqing built it, drawing inspiration from a mixture of Chinese and European influences.
Qing Dynasty Post Office
It is the well-preserved Qing post office in China, where you can feel the history of Chins post and deblivery industry. When you visit here, you'll find antique post cards of old Shanghai and letters written on bamboo.
The Town God Temple
It is a Daoist temple dedicated to Guanyin, the goddess of mercy. Authentic worship still goes on, but like most temples in tourist destinations, it's pretty exploited. It's located on the middle of Caohe Street, in front of the Qijin bridge.
The most iconic bridge is the 70-meter long Fangsheng bridge. Resting on 5 symmetric arches, the height of the bridge peaks at 5.8 meters. It was originally built by the monk Xingchao of Cimen Temple in 1571, and then rebuilt in 1812. The central arch is decorated with a stone relief of eight dragons surrounding a pearl, and the pillars at the ends are sculpted into lions. It's the largest stone arch bridge in Zhujiajiao and populated by merchants who want to sell you everything from live fish to batteries for your camera. And have some small change ready for the beggars.
Tourist Boat Route & Price
There are seven docks where you can take the traditional boat in Zhujiajiao Water Town, Town God Temple Dock, Yuanjin Temple Dock, Kezhi Garden Dock, Fengsheng Bridge Dock, Handalong Sauce and Pickles Dock, Zhongguanyin Bridge Dock, Qing Imperial Post Dock. The price for the boat ride are Short Route:CNY80 & Long Route:CNY150, Maximum:6 people.
What to Eat in Zhujiajiao Water Town
Sweet Lotus Root
Sweet lotus root is a famous food in Zhujiajiao, it is a unique Chinese dessert in Jiangnan traditional dishes. It enjoys a reputation for its sweet, crisp and osmanthus aroma.
The pork wrapped in bamboo leaves and braised in dark sauce. It cost CNY5 for each. The pork belly serves hot and tastes pretty good as it has the fragrance from the dumpling leaves. Highly recommended as it is the “signature snacks” in Zhujiajiao.
Apo Zongzi, one of the popular food in Zhujiajiao Water Town, you will see a long line in front of the shop to buy the Zongzi. Actually, Zongzi is a traditional food of the Dragon Boat Festival. Sticky rice bundles are made from sticky or glutinous rice and a filling, which is kneaded in. They are then wrapped in bamboo leaves in pillow or triangular-based pyramid shapes, and tied with plant stems.
Location: Zhujiajiao Town, Qingpu District, Shanghai
Entrance fee: No need the ticket to enter the town; The museum & small scenic spots are needed, the details as below:
RMB30 for four scenic spots (including Tongtianhe Medicine Shop, Qing Dynasty Post Office, Y-Art Gallery, and Kezhi Garden); RMB60 for eight scenic spots (including Y-Art Gallery, Tongtianhe Medicine Shop, Qing Dynasty Post Office, City God Temple, Yuanjin Meditation Room, Handwork Exhibition Hall, Quanhua Art Hall and Kezhi Garden);
Opening hours: All day, 08:30am-16:30am for the scenic spots
Time for visiting: 3-4 hours
How to get to Zhujiajiao from Shanghai
1) Take tourism bus at Shanghai Stadium (Gate 5) or Hongkou Soccer Stadium to Zhujiajiao in the morning.
2) Take Huzhu (Shanghai-Zhujiajiao) Special Line at Laochengdu Road Yan'an Road and get off at Zhujiajiao Station. The bus runs between 7:00 and 17:45 to Zhujiajiao every 10 minutes, and returns from 5:50 to 17:15.
3) Take Huzhu Express Line at People's Square Pu'an Road Jinling Road and arrive in Zhujiajiao one hour later. There is a bus every half an hour.
4) You can take metro Line17 from Shanghai city center to reach Zhujiajiao Water Town, the station is 1.5km away from ancient city.
Tour Zhujiajiao Water Town with Shanghai Private Tour
We will provide a private & spacious car and a local professional tour guide with over 5 years guiding experience only work for you or your group. You will be escorted during your tour. Transport, ticket, and dining (At some local restaurants popular with locals) all we will arrange for you according your requirements. Please check our most popular Shanghai Tours including Zhujiajiao as below:
Are the above sample tour programs not suitable for you? We have more Shanghai tours. Our tours can be tailor-made based on your requirements and budget to create unique Shanghai experiences that allow you to interact with the local people and culture. Our enthusiastic tour expert will promptly reply you in details within 24 hours.
Zhouzhuang Water Town
Brief Introduction of Zhouzhuang
Zhouzhuang is one of the six famous water towns around Shanghai city, it's very easy to reach Zhouzhuang from Shanghai. If you have the chance to visit Zhouzhuang water town, you should simply walking the town’s pretty streets and the charming stone bridges that cross its rivers and waterways is a pleasure in itself. But the 900-year-old town is also home to plenty of sights bound to please history buffs. The medieval town has a history of more than 900 years and the first accommodations were built during the 14th century. Today the town is home to over 1000 households in old dwellings and most of the houses are well preserved until date and are excellent examples of traditional Chinese architecture.
History of Zhouzhuang
The history of Zhouzhuang can date back to Spring & Autumn Period, the town was built that time. In Northern Song Dynasty, Zhou Digonglang settled down here, and he was a devout believer in Buddhism. Later he and his wife donated all their properties to Quanfu Temple. Then the local people renamed the town to Zhouzhuang to show the appreciation and respect to this generous contributor. The town benefits from the beauty of rivers and lakes. The 14 ancient bridges on the river were built during the Yuan (1271 - 1368), Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644 -1911) dynasties. Double Bridge is one tourist clamor to visit, where two bridges positioned to form a right angle over the stream. Another noteworthy bridge is Fu'an Bridge, which is the oldest bridge in Zhouzhuang, was built in 1355. And over 60% of the local dwellings date back to either the Ming (1368-1644) or Qing (1368-1644) dynasties.
Top Thinsgs to Visit in Zhouzhuang
The most outstanding feature of Zhouzhuang Water Village is its distinctive water lanes which are the main roads of the town. Here are some breathtaking sights that you will encounter when you travel to Zhouzhuang Water Town.
They are known as the key bridge and the symbol of Zhouzhuang Water Town, which composed with Shide Bridge and Yongan Bridge. The reason why it called Double Bridge is the Shide Bridge is east-west and has a round arch, and Yongan Bridge is north-south and the bridge arch is square. It looks like the key that used in the ancient times. These two stone bridge, built in the Ming Wanli before AD 1573 - 1619,Shide Bridge was funded by Xu Songquan and Xu Zhuxi, and Yongan Bridge was funded by Xu Zhengwu. The double bridges attract many tourists come here for photography.
Fu’an Bridge is a unique construction bridge that linked to the old houses in Zhouzhuang Town, and this kind of architecture is the only one left in water town of eastern China. This bridge was built in 1935 during the Yuan dynasty. The meaning of the name given to this bridge is that Zhouzhuang residents wished for prosperous and peaceful lives. It is recommended for tourist to try to chill in one of the teahouse and enjoy the beautiful scenery
of the renown bridges. It would be a very overwhelming experience.
Shen's Residence Hall
It was built in 1742 and it was the private property of the descendant of Shen Wansan, who was the first millionaire of the south of Yantze River in the early Qing Dynasty. His property was envied by the king and he personally funded to repair one-third of the Nanjing Ming city wall. He has many industries in various places, but he always made Zhouzhuang as his foundation. The whole building is Qing-style. The whole hall with an area of over 2,000 square meters and over 100 rooms. The residence divided into three parts, each part has it own function and unique design.
Zhang's Residence Hall
It was Built by Xu’s family in the Zhengtong era (1436 – 1449) of the Ming Dynasty and bought by Zhang’s family in the early Qing Dynasty. Located to the south of the Twin Bridges, Zhang House has more than 70 rooms and takes up about 1,800 square meters. With Ruojing River flowing through, Zhang House is a dapper and graceful residential house; has a tranquil courtyard and pond. Deep halls all represent the life of the quondam owner.
It was a set of ornamental and practical antique-shaped water tower which was built in 1987. The temple has 5 layers and 33 meters high. There is stairs up to the tower roof. Visitors can see the whole landscape of Zhouzhuang. It is a landmark in Zhouzhuang.
It is one of the landmarks of Zhouzuang water town, it was called De's Tavern in the old times. It is famous for being a rallying place of literary scholars in old times.
What to Eat in Zhouzhuang
There are many special snacks in Zhouzhuang and the most famous one is Wansan's pig shank, locally called “Wansan's elbows” or “Wansan's hoof”, which originated in Wansan Shen’s family in the Ming Dynasty. It is commonly eaten when entertaining guests. The other local snacks are Wansan cake, Sesame cakes, peanut cakes, walnut cakes, salt and pepper cake, green cake, tiny cucumber, shrimp and a water vegetable called “Chuncai” commonly used in soup.
“Wansan's Family Feast” restaurant is one of the best restaurants in Zhouzhuang Water Town, featured with the classical style food and still retains the Ming-style. Specialties include Wansan's pig shank, glutinous rice balls, steamed mandarin fish, steamed eel stew, bass soup with Shuncai, ginger snail, Cypriot meat oil wrap, Venetian meat package, stewed dried tofu, steamed lotus root and more.
There are also lots of river fresh and lake fresh can be founded in Zhouzhuang, Fish and shellfish are available all the year round and the best of them are perch, white clams and freshwater whitebait.
Best Time to Visit Zhouzhuang Water Town
Actually, Zhouzhuang Water Town can be visited all year around, but the best time to visit is spring and fall. Summer is hot and humid with lots of domestic tourists, winter is cold and wet in souteastern part of China.
Do not recommend to visit Zhouzhuang during Chinese holidays since there are many local tourists from other parts of China go to Zhouzhuang, such as Labor Day (the first weeek of May); National Holiday (first week of October) and Chinese New Year in February, the streets are jammed with tourists. Try to visit ZhouZhuang during weekdays instead of weekends.
Location: No. 43, Quanfu Road, Kunshan, Suzhou City, Jiangsu Province; About 85KM from Shanghai.
Entrance Fee: CNY100/p.p (Day Ticket) & CNY80/p.p (Night Ticket); Half price for child 1.1m--1.4m; Free for kid under 1 meter and senior people above 70 years old.
Opening hours: 08:00am-21:00pm (please kindly note the night ticket start from 15:00pm)
Time for Visiting: Half day or whole day
How to get to Zhouzhuang Water Town
From Shanghai: 1) You can take the buses from the Shanghai South Long Distance Bus Station, the buses are available for morning and afternoon departure. For more frequent service, head to the long-distance general bus station; 2) You can take the 30 mins high speed train from Shanghai to Suzhou, then transfer to the Suzhou public transportation to Zhouzhuang; 3) Book a priavte car service from your Shanghai hotel to Zhouzhuang.
From Suzhou: 1) Take buses from Suzhou city to Zhouzhuang, the buses depart from Suzhou North Bus Station, Suzhou Wuzhong Bus Station and Suzhou North Square Bus Station. The most frequent bus service is available from Suzhou, which is the nearest major city. Buses run every 30 to 40 minutes from morning to evening. 2) Rent a private vehicle in Suzhou downtown.
Tour Zhouzhuang Water Town with Shanghai Private Tour
We will provide a private & spacious car and a local professional tour guide with over 5 years guiding experience only work for you or your group. You will be escorted during the tour from picking up service at your hotel in Shanghai to the ends droping you off at your hotel. Transport, ticket, and dining (At some local restaurants popular with locals) all we will arrange for you according your requirements. Please check our most popular Shanghai Tours including Zhujiajiao as below:
Are the above sample tour programs not suitable for you? We have more Shanghai tours. Our tours can be tailor-made based on your requirements and budget to create unique Shanghai experiences that allow you to interact with the local people and culture. Our enthusiastic tour expert will promptly reply you in details within 24 hours.
Tongli Water Town
Brief Introduction of Tongli Water Town
One of the six water towns in Jiangnan, with a history of over 1000 years. Tongli is an aged town located a short drive from Suzhou, which is about a hour drive outside of Shanghai. It's a popular water towns in Suzhou, the town is characterized by stone bridges and well preserved ancient architecture including private gardens, temples and houses. True to its reputation, Tongli is a really wonderful travel destination where you can spend a marvelous holiday or experience traditional Chinese culture.
History of Tongli Water Town
The history of Tongli Water Town can be dated back to thousand years ago, it was built during the Song Dynasty. There are hundreds of gardens, temples, mansions and the former residences of celebrities built from 1271 to 1911 during the Ming and Qing dynasties. Amongst the famous gardens are Tuisiyuan, constructed between 1885 and 1887 by an imperial scholar, Chongbentang, and Jiayin Tang garden. Located on the bank of Taihu Lake and east of the ancient Canal, Tongli Water Town is 18 kilometers from Suzhou and 80 kilometers from Shanghai. As one of the six famous water towns, it occupies an area of 33 hectares and surrounded by 5 lakes.
Top Things to Visit in Tongli Water Town
Tongli is town with many bridges, water alley, boat and lanes. There are more than 49 bridges connecting the ancient town, the Three Bridges are the most speacial among them. Three Bridges refers to Lucky Bridge, Peace & Tranquility Bridge and Lasting Celebration Bridge. Residents believe they are lucky which is why it’s tradition to walk over them on birthdays and weddings. Do not miss the opportunity to shoot these three bridges.
It also known as the Retreat & Reflection Garden, was built in the late Qing Dynasty by a retired official named Ren Lansheng when he retired from political life. It's not a very big garden but it contains all the essence of classical gardens. It is one of the world cultural heritage site outside of Suzhou. It's one of the famous attractions in Tongli since there are many TV dramas are filmed here. It is a good place to relax yourself when you in Tongli Water Town.
The masion was built in 1912 by a Suzhou wealthy merchant, this mansion features four courtyards and an interior of wood carvings. Art lines the walls, and many of the scenes depicted are from ancient, Chinese literature. It’s made up of rows of buildings that are each higher than the next to signify hope. It's a ideal place to learn the culture and history.
Actually, the Pearl Tower is not a tower but a Garden. It is the largest garden in Tongli Water Town, it mainly describes the romantic story between Fang Qing and Chen Cui'e. Pearl Tower is originated from Tongli in which the main character - Fang Qing seeks financial aid from his aunt, while Cui'e gives him a pearl tower as a gift. The historical fact that Chen Wangdao married his daughter off has been carried on from generation to generation in Tongli. Tourist spots in connection with the Pearl Tower include Chen's Memorial Archway and Former Residence of Chen Wangdao within which there are Chen's Ancestral Hall, Chen's Residence and Chen Cui'e Library.
It was built in 1922, the Republic of China. It has four advances, and the doors and windows are gracefully carved. Liu Bingnan, the owner of the house, set up an oil mill in Lushui, and then moved to Tongli to build a homestead. The total consumption of silver was 22,000. The same case as Mr. Liu Yazi, a famous patriotic poet.
What to eat in Tongli
Never miss the chance to taste fresh aquatic plants and fish. Most of the food is sweet, the famous snacks include smoked fish, dried bean curd, cakes made of glutinous rice and spring rolls. The famous dish in the Tongli Water Town is called "Sanbai" -- steamed white fish, boiled white shrimp, and whitebait running eggs. Point steamed white fish, whitebait run eggs, leeks soup. It is a famous shop, the time for meals, or a lot of people, people do not stand on the door shouting, there are people looking along the way.
Location: No.229 Xinxian Street, Tongli Town, Wujiang District, Suzhou City
Entrance Fee: CNY100; CNY50 for night ticket (18:30--21:00)
Opening Hours: 07:30am--17:30pm
Best Season to Visit: Tongli Water Town can be visited all year around, but the best season is Spring (from March to May).
How to get to Tongli Water Town
As Tongli is very close to Suzhou & Shanghai, it about 80KM from Shanghai and 10KM from Suzhou downtown, the transportation is very convenient as the tourism industry develop rapidly. There are several options to visit Tongli Water Town from Suzhou or Shanghai as below:
Suzhou--Tongli: 1) The direct buses are available from Suzhou Railway Station Bus Terminal, Suzhou South Bus Station and Suzhou Wuxian Bus Station, it cost CNY8 and takes around 40 mins; 2) You can take taxi or book a private transfer service, which are more flexible.
Shanghai --Tongli: 1) There are many direct tourist buses from different bus stations in Shanghai, the buses depart from Tourist Center at Shanghai Stadium is highly recommended; 2) Take train to from Shanghai to Suzhou, then transfer to Suzhou public transportation to get to Tongli; 3) Book a private transfer to Tongli water town from your Shanghai downtown hotel directly.
Wuzhen Water Town
Brief Introduction of Wuzhen
Wuzhen Water Town is located in Tongxiang City, Jiaxing. Wuzhen is one of the Historical and Cultural towns, Top-10 Charming Towns and Towns with Beautiful Environment. It is known as “The Last Riverine Town in China”. In 2003, it was given the Asia-Pacific Heritage Award for Cultural Heritage Conservation by UNESCO. In 2006, it was shortlisted as a World Heritage Site by the UN and the Chinese government. In 2010, Wuzhen was rated National AAAAA Tourist Attraction, the first one in Jiaxing City.
History of Wuzhen
Wuzhou is a town with a long history which over 6000 years, it was established in the late 9th century. According to historical records, Xinchun Village in the East Village district of Wuzhen has relics from the Neolithic Period, belonging to the Majiabin civilization. Over more than 1,000 years, Wuzhen still keep it's name, water system and local lifestyle. For hundreds of years, its residents have been building houses along the rivers and trading near the bridges, the ancient docks and waterside pavilions. One of the main attractions for the visitors is the “Bridge within a Bridge”, created by two ancient bridges, the Tongji Bridge which crosses the river from east to west and the Renji Bridge running from south to north that joins the former at one end. In 1991, Wuzhen was authorized as the Provincial Ancient Town of History and Culture. And Wuzhen has become the permanent venue for the World Internet Conference after 2014.
Wuzhen Scenic Area
Wuzhen Scenic Area is divided into two scenic area, Dongzha scenic area and Xizha scenic area. Each part has it's own unique style, Dongzha Scenic Area still maintains the original water town lifestyle. Workshops display many traditional crafts. You can enjoy the beautiful scenery while shopping and tasting delicious local food. Compared with Wuzhen West Scenic Zone, Wuzhen East Scenic Zone is for you to experience the water town style in a day or two.
Xizha Scenic Area is bigger than Dongzha, it is composed of twelve islands that represent original Chinese water town. In this part, still keep many buildings and streets in Ming and Qing dynasties. These buildings have ancient outer appearances but modern facilities inside. That improves local people’s lives while providing good facilities for tourists. Wuzhen West Scenic Zone is an oasis away from the hustle and bustle of the city, offering you a perfect vacation resort.
Top Things to Visit in Wuzhen Water Town
Indigo Fabric Workshops
The Indigo Fabric workshops can be founded in both Dongzha and Xizha, since the local blue-dyed fabric is a specialty product made throughout Wuzhen. The workshop features exhibits where you can read about the original methods of fabric dyeing used as far back as the Tang dynasty (618-907). The products made by Indigo Fabric is one of Wuzhen local specialty, you can buy fabrics, bags, scarves, hats, table clothes etc.
Jiangnan Hundred Bed Museum
It is the first and only museum in China to collect and display beds from the Jiangnan region. In addition to beds from the Ming and early Qing periods, the exhibition also includes more modern beds from the late Qing dynasty, which, however, are based on the old style. The Yangtze River Delta region in which Wuzhen is located was famous for its large beds. Despite this fame, the artisans did not strive to build such a bed, it is said that the creation of such a bed took a craftsman several years of his life. The old, wonderfully carved beds delight visitors with superbly executed craftsmanship, their great decoration and their impressive size.
Sanbai Wine Workshop
You can visit Sanbai Wine Workshop in Dongzh Scenic Area, here produces about 200 liters a day of San Baijiu or literally (“three white wines” including bai jiu (55% alc/vol), sticky rice wine (12% alc/vol). and sweet rice wine (4% alc/vol). Wuzhen has a long history to make traditional wine, you can learn how to make, how to taste the local Wuzhen wine here.
Chinese Wedding Museum
When you enter the Wedding Museum in the Xizha Scenic Area through the red entrance door, the first thing you notice is the colorful, elaborately crafted silk wedding dresses. These can be borrowed by visitors so that you can have your picture taken as a bride in a chair or as a bride and groom in the bridal chamber in front of the bridal bed. Many visitors are already turning around and leaving the museum. In this case, only a small part of the exhibition was seen. There is much more to see.
Chinese Footbinding Culture Museum
The museum shows the culture of Chinese foot binding and displays some samples inside. For a thousand years, between periodic bans and until it was entirely abolished in the 20th century, millions of Chinese women had to bind their feet with cloth or silk to make them small, pointed and tiny, sometimes as tiny as three inches: Yes, a pair of three-inches feet was considered the hallmark of sophistication and beauty for the woman in China a few hundred years ago.
Wuzhen Tranditional Performances
Bamboo Acrobatic Show
As Wuzhen is one of places to produce the silk in Jiangnan area, it is performing on a boat used for praying for the harvest of "silkworm cocoon" in the area of mulberry and silkworm breeding in Wuzhen. Artists can perform on the pole top, which is a traditional folk cultural activity. It was begun in the Qing Dynasty. You can find this performance near the entrance to the Wuzhen East side, a bamboo pole acrobatic performance happens twice a day. It’s 10 minutes of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon-esque stunts–pretty cool if you are wandering by!
Boat Boxing or Kungfu Performance
The history of Boat Boxing in Wuzhen can date back to the Southern Song Dynasty, and is very popular in the Taihu Lake Basin. In the old days, the water system in Wuzhen was well-developed, and bandits in Taihu Lake were prevalent. Government officials were often helpless and unable to guarantee local security. Therefore, the boat people and fishermen prepared their own blades, hired martial artists, and practiced martial arts in public, both to strengthen the body and resist the lake bandits. Gradually developed into a fist boat. The current fist boat no longer has the effect of training martial arts and banditry, but practicing martial arts on board has become a traditional activity that has spread to the present day.
Location: Wuzhen Town, Tongxiang City, Jiaxing.
Entrance fee: CNY110 for east part; CNY150 for west part; CNY190 for combation ticket; Half price for child above 1.2m under 1.5m; Free for child under 1.2m.
Opening Hours: 07:00am-17:30pm(east part); 09:00am-22:00pm(west part, please kindly note the museums will close on 17:30pm)
How to get to Wuzhen from Nearby Cities
Shanghai--Wuzhen: 1) If you travel on your own, the direct bus is the best way travel from Shanghai to Wuzhen, you can take bus from Shanghai South Bus Station; 2) The Tongxiang Railway Station is the closest one near Wuzhen water town, the trains from Shanghai to Tongxiang station are available, but it still takes around 40 mins from railway station to Wuzhen scenic area once you arrive at Tongxiang railway station; 3) If you want to make your Wuzhen tour easier, you'd better book a tour package or priavte transfer with Shanghai local tour company.
Hangzhou--Wuzhen: Travel from Hangzhou to Wuzhen is very easy, it take around 1 hour from Hangzhou downtown by car. 1)By Bus: You can take scenic bus from Hangzhou East Railway Station, Hangzhou Railway Station Bus Terminal, Hangzhou Jiubao Long-distance Bus Station, Hangzhou Xiaoshan Bus Station and Huanglong Tourist Center; 2) By Train: High-speed train is also available between Wuzhen & Hangzhou, but not as convenient as direct bus. It takes around 20 mins from Hangzhou East Railway Station to Tongxiang Railway Station, another 40 mins to get to Wuzhen scenic area. 3) By Private Vehicle: It is the most popular way for tourists do Wuzhen day tour from Hangzhou, picked up from Hangzhou downtown hotel or train station directly.
Suzhou--Wuzhen: 1)Taking direct bus is the most recommended transportation for travelling from Suzhou to Wuzhen, it is the cost-effective way if you travel in a budget. It takes around 1.5 hours and costs CNY35, many buses are leaving from Suzhou South Bus Terminal, Suzhou North Square Bus Terminal; 2) There is no train station in the Wuzhen town, you can take high speed train from Suzhou train station or Suzhou North train station to Tongxiang train station, then take public city bus No.282 to reach the Wuzhen Scenic Area. 3) Use the private vehicle transfer from Suzhou to Wuzhen is also highly recommended.
Xitang Ancient Town
Xitang Ancient Town, located in Jiashan County, Jiaxing City, Zhejiang Province. It has a long history and is one of the birthplaces of ancient Wuyue culture. It is located at the junction of Jiangsu province, Zhejiang province and Shanghai with convenient transportation, 90km from Shanghai, 110km from Hangzhou and 85km from Suzhou. Xitang ancient town is one of the first batch of famous historical and cultural towns in China and a national AAAAA level tourist attraction.
What to see
Xitang is level, densely distributed with rivers and has a very quiet natural environment. 9 rivers converge in this town, dividing it into 8 sections, but many bridges link this water town together (anciently called as “nine dragon old pearl”and“wind from 8 sides”). Inside the town, there are many well-preserved architectural groups constructed during the Ming and Qing dynasties, which boast a higher artistry and study value, thus being highlighted by the experts at home and abroad studying antique buildings.
The Covered Corridor
Most of the corridors in Xitang are concentrated in the North Gate Street, South Gate Street, and other commercial areas. The Covered corridor in fact is a street with a roof. Some of the sides along the river are also equipped with backrests and benches, most of which are of brick and wood structure, generally 2-2.5m wide, which can not only shade from the sun but also shelter from the rain.
Bridges are as important as alleys. Ancient towns are usually connected by numerous small bridges. The most representative bridge is Wufu bridge, which is a single hole slate bridge with a length of 14 meters and a span of 7.5 meters. It is one of the oldest existing bridges in Xitang.
Xitang Ancient Town retains 250000 square meters of ancient buildings of Ming and Qing Dynasties.
Alleyways snaking around residential complexes are another distinctive of this ancient town. There are 122 alleys in Xitang, which form the overall framework of the ancient town. The most famous alley is called "Stone-Paved Lane." It is 68 meters long and only a meter wide, paved with 216 slabs of stone.
Enjoy the simple lifestyle
It is a beautiful town that seems like a completely different world from the hustle and bustle of Shanghai. The quiet water, handsome bridges, and the reflections in the early morning and the rosy sunset, fishing boats and the glistening lights in the evening, form an amazing picture full of a sense of poetry which can only be seen in the south lower reaches of the Yangtze River. People in Xitang, whether local residents or travelers, feel that this is fairyland. They even have no idea as to whether people are wandering in the picture or the picture is moving in their hearts. This is Xitang, a charming, ancient water town.
From Shanghai to Xitang: Special Travel Bus Line: In Shanghai, you can wait in the Travel Collecting and Distributing Center of Shanghai (address: under the No. 5 escalator of Shanghai Stadium (waiting hall of traveling route)). Here the bus will deliver at 08:35 am (every day, including the guide service) and return at 16:30 pm or it will deliver at 09:00 am (only weekend, excluding the guide service) and return at 16:00 pm.
Hangzhou to Xitang: a) At Hangzhou Jiubao Distance Bus Station, bus departs at 6:50 am, 09:25am, 11:20am, 1:50 pm. Price: 37RMB/ per person.
The price of scenic spots
CNY 100 (tickets include both the scenic region and 11 sightseeing spots);
CNY 50 (tickets for the scenic region only)
Opening Time: Whole day
Jinze Ancient Town
Jinze town is subordinate to Qingpu District of Shanghai, with a total area of 108.42 square kilometers. Jinze ancient town is an important transportation hub in Jiangsu, Zhejiang province and Shanghai with convenient water and land transportation. It is rich in resources. It has the largest freshwater lake in Shanghai-Dianshan Lake, and is an important aquatic product supply base in Shanghai.
Jinze Ancient Town is a paradise, because it is far away from the Shanghai downtown areas, has not been developed, and few tourists. It's very lively and suitable for a quiet walk. Many houses in Jinze ancient town have been renovated, so it is not famous for its ancient buildings. On the contrary, Jinze ancient town is famous for its bridges.
Jinze ancient town has become the last "Land of idyllic beauty" in Shanghai. Different from other ancient towns in or around Shanghai, there is no business boats in Jinze river. There are only fishing boats, which makes people feel comfortable.
The history of Jinze Ancient Town dates back to the Northern Song Dynasty (978 AD). At that time, Jinze town did not belong to Shanghai, but Zhejiang province.
In the Yuan Dynasty (1279 A.D.), after the establishment of Songjiang District in Shanghai, Jinze town was planned to Shanghai. Jinze town was split up and reorganized several times in history.
Until 2004, the new Jinze Town was established and has absolute autonomy, which has continued to this day.
Bridges in Jinze Town
It renowned for its crisscross waterways, but mostly for its bridges, not on the number but for time-honored bridges with different shapes and varied usage, thus it is entitled the "No.1 Bridge Town" of the southern Yangtze area.
Wan'an bridge is to the north of Jinze Ancient Town, which is the largest stone bridge in Jinze. Wan'an bridge across the city river was built in the Song Dynasty and rebuilt many times in the Ming and Qing Dynasties. The bridge is a single hole stone arch bridge, 29 meters long and 5.5 meters high. The original bridge has Pavilion house, so it is also called pavilion bridge.
More than 300 meters to the south of Wan'an bridge is Puji bridge. Its structure, shape and stone use are very similar to Wan'an bridge. The two bridges cross the same river and face each other from north to south, so they are called “sister bridges”.
Yingxiang bridge is located in the south of Jinze Town. It was built in the Yuan Dynasty. It is a stone bridge with six columns and five holes. Yingxiang bridge has a special shape. The bridge is made of brick, wood and stone. The bridge is 34 meters long and more than 2 meters wide.
Fangsheng Bridge, built in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), is beside a monastery and once served as a site for Buddhist disciples to set fish free into the waters.
Puqing Bridge, built in 1999, is a reproduction of a famous wooden bridge from the well-known Song Dynasty painting Along the River During the Qingming Festival. The construction, which features interlocking wooden poles to form its arch and elegant body lines, was profiled in a PBS film, China Bridge, in 2000.
Special Local Food
In addition to a variety of fish, aquatic products. The special snacks of Jinze are also worth mentioning.
Brasenia schrenkiana is a single perennial aquatic plant with oval leaves floating on the surface of the water. There is gelatinous transparent mucus on the back of the young stems and leaves. The flowers are dark red, and the leaves can be boiled for soup
Zhuangyuan cake, one of the traditional Chinese cake snacks, is a famous specialty of Jiaxing, Zhejiang Province. You can find more local Zhuangyuan cake in Jinze ancient town. Although there are differences in production methods and flavors in different regions of China, they all contain the meaning of blessing.
Transport: bus or self-driving (Bus: The Shanghai Tourist Bus No. 4 goes there)
Admission Fee: Free
Address: 318 State Highway, Jinze Town, Qingpu District.
Nanxiang Ancient Town
Brief Introduction of Nanxiang Town
Nanxiang Ancient Town is located in the Jiading District, Shanghai. It's a small town but with a great fame since it is the birthplace of famous Shanghai local snack - Xiao Long Bao. Being one of the four most well-known historical and cultural ancient towns in the city of Shanghai, Nanxiang Ancient Town dates back to approximately 1,500 years ago. It is a smaller water town as compared to Wuzhen Water Town. There are boutiques, souvenir shops and eateries lining the narrow streets of Nanxiang Ancient Town. It’s hard to escape the overwhelming scent of oily and spicy Chinese cuisine lingering in the air.
History of Nanxiang Town
In the early Ming Dynasty, Nanxiang Town is the richest town near Shanghai. This town is famous for its weave industry. So, many silk businessmen who were from all over China came here for doing their business. After hundreds years development, the town becomes rich and strong. There are two main markets, the North and the South, in this small and ancient town. The northern one was famous for silk and cloth, while the southern one was famous for rice, horsebean and bamboo.
The lush greenery and the sleepy willows may provide a respite for escaping from the hustle and bustle of the noisy narrow lanes of Nanxiang. Nevertheless, despite the garden’s external and internal features not making it appear it to be as outstanding as one would hope for, it’s the garden’s historical connection to the city that is more to be cherished. There are plenty of relics on display that have stayed untouched since the Ming Dynasty days, and that’s the part that really makes this place sell like hot cakes.
Top Things to Visit in Nanxiang Anicent Town
Nanxiang Twin Pagodas
They are the landmark of Nanxiang Ancient Town, were built in the Five Dynasties period (907-960), are the only pair of Buddhist twin pagodas and the only existing brick pagodas in the country. They used belong to a temple. But in 1766 the temple was burned down and all treasures and were gone, except the bricks still left there. In 1990s, based on historical information and documents scientists and skillful workers repaired them.
Nanxiang Old Streets
It is also a great experience to walk around the old street in Nanxiang Ancient Town. This part is somewhat similar to what you may have traveled in other water towns like Zhujiajiao, Wuzhen, Zhouzhuang, etc. and the streets here are full of the rich smell from Chinese cuisine. There are also souvenir shops selling some small things.
its construction started in the fourth year of Tianjian reign of the Liang of the Southern Dynasty (505). During the Kaicheng reign of the Tang Dynasty, the land area of the temple was expanded to 12 hectares and it had more than 700 monks. A poem by an ancient sings praises of the temple: Nanxiang has a time-honored ritual place, its architecture and pagodas are the best of all. In the 39th year of Emperor Kangxi of the Qing Dynasty (1700), it was renamed Yunxiang Temple because of a horizontal plate inscribed by Emperor Kangxi and became known far and wide. But the time-honored temple was destroyed in a fire later, and the twin pagodas, the stone pillars inscribed with Buddhist scriptures and stone tower, now relocated to the Guyi Garden, were the only remnants.
It is one of the oldest gardens in Shanghai and also a well-known Chinese classic garden in the southeast of China. The five main features of Guyi Garden are stretches of bamboo forest, winding brooks, ancient buildings, couplets written on scrolls and artistic pavements.Guyi Garden has all the components of classic Chinese gardens such as the pavilions, the ponds, the twisted brooks and the artistic shaded paths. The garden has all the attributes of gardens of the Ming Dynasty, pretty, delicate, elegant and simple. Some valuable cultural relics such as the stone pillar inscribed with Buddhist scriptures from the Tang Dynasty and the pagoda built in the Song Dynasty are well preserved in the garden
Steamed Soup Buns in Nanxiang Town
This ancient town is the birthplace of the famous steamed soup buns. Its pastry is paper-thin and gets gathered up. Then the perfectly seasoned fillings is placed into the pastry and closed it with a tiny knot at the top. The typical fillings is minced meat and pork skin. Pork skin needs to be processed before cook. It is first broiled in chicken soup. Then chill the broth until the broth turns into jelly state. The jelly is then mixed with the minced meat. This process is called Guan Tang. After steaming, the jelly inside the buns melts out and the rich flavored filling soup is formed. If you just give a big bite then most likely you get messed up or your mouth burned. The proper way to start the eat is to bite a little on the top and suck the soup out gently.
Location: No. 48, Renmin Street, Nanxiang Town, Jiading District, Shanghai
Opening hours: 8:00am - 17:00am
Admission Fee: CNY40
Time for visiting: Half day
How to get to Nanxiang Town from Shanghai
1) Take Shanghai Metro Line 11 from Jiangsu Road Metro Station to Nanxiang Metro Station, it takes 10 stops about half hour. Then transfer to Bus No.119 to reach Nanxiang Ancient Town.
2) Take Shanghai city taxi to get to Nanxiang Ancient Town directly, it takes around 30 mins from Shanghai city center and it costs around CNY60.
Qibao Ancient Town
Brief Introduction of Qibao
Qibao is a very small ancient water town features with Hui style architecture in Shanghai. It’s over 30 minutes away from downtown Shanghai, but is definitely worth the trip. As a water town, it’s views aren’t nearly as scenic as those in the famous water towns like Wuzhen or Zhouzhuang, and lacks the many attractions of Suzhou, but it has plenty of excitement for a half-day visit and can be a fun place to shop and try unusual foods. It’s a great escape from the modernity of Shanghai. It is a comfortable way to see some of the old traditions, skills, wares, and snacks that you won’t see elsewhere today and preserved only by the tourism model.
Top Things to Visit in Qibao Anicent Town
Qibao cricket museum
There have a long history about cricket fighting in Qibao old town. Qibao in a period of great prosperity during the Ming and Qing Dynasty. By the prosperity Qibao also become a town popular for gambling, cricket fighting become one regular method of gambling. Before every Autumn there have many people catching, feeding, dealing and fighting cricket, this activity become more and more popular, also more and more famous.
Cotton Textile Hall
During the Ming and Qing Dynasties, Qibao was subordinated to Songjiang Prefecture and was the main distribution center for “ clothing by the world ”. The museum exhibition focuses on planting, harvesting, spinning, weaving and dyeing, and introduces the brilliant cotton textile industry of Qibao.
The Memorial Hall of Zhang Chongren
It is located on the North Street of Qibao town. The building is the style of the Qingjiang South Wharf Wall, which opened on March 17, 2003. Covers an area of 800 square meters. There are 6 exhibition treasures, and more than 20 sculptures by Zhang Chongren are exhibited.
Zhou’s Micro-carving Museum
Zhou’s father and daughter used stone carvings and micro-carvings as talents to create works of art, and micro-carved “Huaxia Treasures” series, red building stone carving series, stone pot stone carving series, Jinwen Han monument series and so on. There are thousands of pieces in the exhibition, each with different forms and unique ingenuity.
What to Eat in Qibao Ancient Town
You can find Tang Yuan in Old Street Tang Tuan shops. Locals call the Tang Yuan without soup “tuan zi.” Our top recommendation here is the tuan zi (RMB 2 each), a steamed dumpling of hand-mashed glutinous rice stuffed with minced pork -- the filling is a classic Shanghainese combination.
Hai Tang Cake
These baked rice cakes have a generous red bean filling, a slight crackle from molten caramel on the crust and a soft, pancake-like texture. The humble Hai Tang Cake is plain looking, resembling a rustic pot pie, but it is the most iconic and the most delicious of all the qi bao rice cakes
Wine Marinated Meat
There are many kinds of bad vegetables in Shanghai, but the most distinctive one is the seven treasures. It changes the traditional method of distilling the brine, using glutinous rice and sweet wine to marinate and keep the tenderness of the pork and the sweetness of the rice wine.
The traditional Chinese dish, Qibao Braised Lamb, was first distributed by the court of the Qing Dynasty. It is said to be the favorite of the Empress Dowager Cixi. Combine lamb, rock sugar, American ginseng, red dates, fine soy sauce, etc., on a small fire for 4-6 hours, and the texture is soft and tender, sweet like honey.
Location: Qibao, Minhang District, Shanghai
Entrance Fee: Free for enter the Qibao Town, but you need to pay if you want to go to visit the musuems. Combation tickets for 8 museums is CNY30.
Opening Hours: whole day, the museums and attractions will closed after 17:30pm
Time for visiting: 2-3 hours
How to get to Qibao Ancient Town from Shanghai
1) Take Shanghai metro line 9 from any station in Shanghai downtown, get off at Qibao metro station exit 2, walk about 10 mins can reach Qibao Ancient Town;
2) By Shanghai city taxi from your hotel directly.
3) Take city bus No. 803,513,87,91,92,92B to get off at Qibao Station
Xinchang Ancient Town
Introdution of Xinchang Town
Located in Shanghai's Pudong District, Xinchang Ancient Town is a small water town with more than 800 years history. In ancient times, it was a prosperous salt market. Today, there are still a large number of Ming and Qing dynasty structures. Set roughly 40 kilometers from central Shanghai, Xinchang Ancient Town is quieter and less sophisticated than other ancient towns in Shanghai. Fans of the film "Lust Caution" will recognize the town as the setting for many of the film's outdoor scenes. Lots of visitors come to Xinchang Ancient Town to feel the plain and leisurely life of the local residents, and to taste the heavy sense of history. It is not a commercial town, you can calm down yourself and enjoy a good time when you walk around the town.
History of Xinchang Ancient Town
More than 55 percent of the architecture from the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties and the era of the Republic of China (1912-1949) have been preserved, making Xinchang the only comparatively complete historical town in Pudong, Shanghai. Rivers run through the town, and there are finely carved stone-arch bridges and houses built near streams, as well as a highly-built stone revetment, saddle-shaped water bridge and monumental "stalagmite lane" archway built back in 1986.
What to see in Xinchang Ancient Town
Ming and Qing Dynasty houses
There are more than 100 different sizes of ancient Ming and Qing Dynasty houses, white walls, Daiwa, carved doors and windows have been saved. Existing stone revetments are more than 6000 meters, of which about 1500 meters was built before the Republic, its oldest can be dating back to the Yuan Dynasty, has 800 years of history. The saddle-shaped waters bridge (more than 20), which Called as the "home of the heritage" by heritage experts, has the classical architectural style, for example, the Hidden Eight Imortals carving, the Wishful Graphics carving and so on, very beautiful and delicated, rich of typical Jiangnan water town flavor.
Hongqiao Old Street
It is a folk art street in Xinchang Ancient Town, with folk art gallery, painting workshops, cloth workshops, pottery art shops on both sides. In addition, the “Colorful China, Happy Experience” event is held all year round, when you can enjoy and experience the charm of Chinese folk culture and art, and bring home the folk art works you personally create.
Location: Xinchang Town, Pudong New District
Entrance Fee: Free
Opening hours: whole day
How to get there from Shanghai downtwon: 1) You can take Shanghai city metro Line 16 to Xinchang Metro Station, then take a taxi or city bus that goes to Xinchang Ancient Town for 1RMB. 2) Take a taxi from your hotel directly
Nanxun Water Town
Brief Introduction of Nanxun Water Town
Nanxun is one of the most beautiful water towns around Shanghai, is very similar to Zhouzhuang, Tongli, but much less commercial. It is located in Huzhou city which convenient for travelling from nearby cities, it takes 1 hour from Hangzhou and Suzhou, 1.5-2 hours from Shanghai. It has the most distinctive and definitive scenic spots in south China, with a large number of well-preserved ancient houses, gardens and picturesque water town scenery. It has been listed as one of the Top Ten Most Charming Towns in China and one of the Historic Towns of China. It is one of the newly-development national 5A tourist sites. It is an ancient town with abundant human resources and a combination of Chinese and Western architecture.
Top Things to Visit in Nanxun Water Town
Little Lotus Garden or Xiao Lian Zhuang
It is a typical classical Chinese garden in Nanxun, the Small Lotus Garden has pavilions, stone gateways, rockeries, and bamboo forests. Old camphor trees line the paths on the west of the garden, adding a unique touch to this garden. The garden is divided into 2 parts, the Outer Garden & the Inner Garden. The Lotus Pond is one of the highlights of this garden and attracts many tourist come here to visit.
Jia Ye Tang Library
It is one of the three most important private libraries in Zhejiang province, with the largest scale and the richest collection containing 600,000 rolls of books, a total of 160,000 volumes. Jia Ye Tang Library is also a garden which features the typical style of private gardens in south China.
The Former Residence of Zhang Jingjiang
It is a typical traditional Chinese building complex, with tall walls and deep courtyards. Zhang Jingjiang was one of the founding members of the Chinese National Party who made great contribution to the Revolution of 1911.
Baijian Lou or Hundred Houses
As the famous landmark and structure in Nanxun Water Town, it is also one of the reason why the visitors come to visit the town. The Banjian Lou is refers to the best preserved traditional building group in southern China with over 400 years history, the houses were built by a minister, Dongbin. If you want to feel the authentic culture of Nanxun town and shoot some nice photos, you should definitely come to this place.
The Former Residence of Zhang Shiming
It was belong to the wealthy businessman Zhang Shiming, he was a person brought lots of western culture to Nanxun, the residence was built at the turn of the 20th Century and features numerous chambers, each with a different architectural style. Intricate wood details, glass brought in from France, stone carvings and more make it an exquisite place to visit.
Food in Nanxun Water Town
The food in Nanxun is mainly based on river fresh. The most distinctive features are Nanxun's unique embroidered broccoli and Nanxun incense kohlrabi. Nanxun's double topped noodles can also be regarded as a major feature of Nanxun pasta. Nanxun is rich in river fresh and bamboo shoots. It has a special flavor. Smoked Bean Tea in Nanxun also very famous, try a cup of tea at local tea house, eat some Dingsheng Cake or victory cake, orange cake, it will be a great way to relax yourself in Nanxun.
Best Time to Visit Nanxun Water Town
Nanxun Water Town is suitable for traveling all year around, but the best time is when the spring flowers bloom or the autumn wind blows away.
Spring (March-May), the water is warm and the sun is shining. The fresh green willow trees along the banks of the river are particularly charming.
Autumn (September-November), the cool breeze practice, walking on the slender stone road of the ancient town, feel the endless simplicity and warm beauty of the hundred buildings, let people indulge in it.
If you travel to Nanxun during Summer (June-August), it is the best time to enjoy the lotus in Xiaolianzhuang or Little Lotus Garden. You can feel the lively atmosphere of the Spring Festival in the ancient town during the winter.
Location: No.51 Renrui Road, Nanxun Town, Nanxun District, Huzhou City
Entrance Fee: CNY100 includes 9 attractions; Half price for child above 1.2m under 1.5m; Free for child under 1.2m & senior above 80 years old.
Opening Hours: 07:30qm-17:00pm(Mar-Oct.); 08:00am-16:00pm(Nov.-Feb.)
Time for visiting: One day
How to get to Nanxun Water Town
Shanghai to Nanxun
1) There are many buses to Nanxun from Shanghai Bus Terminal, Shanghai South Bus Station, Shanghai Hutai Road Coach Station, and Shanghai Coach Station North District Bus Station. The journey takes 1.5-2 hours from Shanghai to Nanxun Water Town and the fare is around CNY48. The direct bus is available from Shanghai Hongqiao Airport, the journey takes about 1 hour and you can buy ticket at the airport directly.
2) Taking high-speed train from Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station to Huzhou, then transfer to Huzhou public transportation to Nanxun. You can take bus No.101B from train station directly, it will cost CNY8.
3) If you are planning a Shanghai day tour to Nanxun, book a private transfer will be the most convenient option.
Hangzhou to Nanxun
1) There are many buses depart from Hangzhou, which run from 8:00 to 17:30 every day. The journey takes about 1.5 hours and the fare is 43 yuan. Once you arrive, you can take the local tricycle to Nanxun Water Town Scenic Area from Nanxun Bus Station.
2) Taking high-speed train from Hangzhou East Railway Station to Huzhou, then transfer to Huzhou public transportation to Nanxun. You can take bus No.101B from train station directly, it will cost CNY8.
3) As Hangzhou is close to Nanxun, which takes around 1 hour. It is also good to rent a private vehicle to visit Nanxun from Hangzhou.
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