Tuesday, May 21, 2013


When my friend K was visiting in March, we decided to leave the hustle of modern Shanghai for an afternoon and headed to the once sleepy water town of Zhujiajiao. Unfortunately, we weren't the only ones with this idea and were greeted with throngs of people upon our arrival. Sigh.


Located in a suburb of Shanghai, the town of Zhujiajiao is an ancient water town that is roughly 1,700 years old and served as an important trading post for the surrounding countryside. Traditionally, goods and people were ferried on the small canals from house to house, passing under the stone bridges that are still in use today.


We opted to buy the 100 rmb entrance tickets which provided us with a boat cruise and entry into nine scenic spots such as the Y-Art Gallery, a traditional medicine shop, the City God Temple, and Kezhi Garden. While I enjoyed Kezhi Garden and the City God Temple, the majority of the other attractions weren't overly interesting.






After watching our boat man row for awhile, I figured I would give it a try. Harder than it looks, trust me.



We wandering around for the better part of an hour until the intense shoving of the crowd wore down both my nerves and civility. Thankfully, Matthew and K were happy to break off from the main streets as we made our way back to the entrance. We meandered down small alleys, past walls filled with children's drawings and adorable puppies.




Zhujiajiao is certainly touristy but in a starkly different way than the city of Shanghai. Here, life seems a little more simple and a little more, well, ancient. You cannot yet see skyscrapers peaking above the roofs of temples. Though with the rapid pace at which China is growing, I imagine it's only a matter of time.

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