Forget the Bund, the shopping madness, the city lights…..get out of Shanghai and see something different.
ZhuJiaJiao is an ancient water township about an hour by rail out of Shanghai – and another 15 mins by taxi. We caught the train from DaXiJIe station where we were staying, and headed to the end of the line (last stop)…from there the taxi was pretty easy to catch. However, for more info on ways to get there, click here.
An ancient township, it was recommended by a Chinese friend who lives in Shanghai. She suggested it because it's the least touristy of all the other water townships in her opinion. With nothing else in comparison, I do have to say that it still did have local tourists, but not busloads (with the loud shouty tour guide at the front), and it also had Western style bars, cafes and shops. We were approached at the entrance and asked whether we wanted a guide, but we politely refused and we weren't pestered despite the obvious white guy in the group. Despite the obvious intent to make money from tourist, which is par for the course ANYWHERE, there definitely was a local hum to the place. Locals buying & selling, local Chinese restaurants to cater for the local toursists, a dad and kid fishing. So don't be put off by the touristy aspect of these places. It has a charm which you need to take in – just sit on one of the local benches which dot the side of the canals, breathe, enjoy the pace and watch.
The local boatride was pleasant – it set the pace for a lazy day in meandering the streets and taking in the views. Old wooden buildings adorned the sides of the canals, historical bridges dotted the areas. In some parts, it reminded me some old Kyoto scenes, but with water instead of streets. We started off at large open swathes of water, and followed it as it trickled into smaller tighter canals. Weeping willows leaned in and we stopped at one of the smaller canals, opting to walk back to the entrance/ main road.
It was high summer when we travelled there, but I think it would be lovely in the cooler months, where you can really enjoy wandering outside without dying of heat exhaustion. In any case, I really enjoyed the day – it was such a pretty town. Definitely worth the trip out of Shanghai city.
So here we are starting the train trip at DaShiJie – the trains are efficient, clean and very easy to use. Highly recommend using them when in Shanghai.
The end of the line….
Near the entrance…..Mum with her umbrella. Of couse, an absolute necessity when travelling.
Closer look below – I love the little old lady at the front who's wearing layers like it isn't 40 degrees celcius and 99% humidity. Oh old people.
Below are snaps taken whilst we walked or whilst on the boat ride.
Let's end with my favourite shot, near where we ended the boat ride….this is just a perfect reminder of why I want to go back here one day, preferably in the cooler months. Simply picturesque! 🙂
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