Monday, April 16, 2012

Zhujiajiao Ancient Town and Zhujiajiao Water Town

Zhujiajiao Ancient Town located in a suburb of Shanghai city, Zhujiajiao is an ancient water town well-known throughout the country, with a history of more than 1700 years. Covering an area of 47 square kilometers, the little fan-shaped town glimmers like a bright pearl in the landscape of lakes and mountains. Zhujiajiao is a lovely town. It is about 1 hour West from Shanghai; the cheapest way is to get the bus from the Southern side of People's square, costs 12RMB, although buses are quite local and if you don't know Chinese, can be a pain to find.

Zhujiajiao Ancient Town is a water village on the outskirts of Shanghai, and was formed about 1,700 years ago. Archaeological findings dating back 5,000 years have also been found. 36 stone bridges and numerous rivers line Zhujiajiao, and thousands of ancient buildings still line the riverbanks today. Many centuries-old stone buildings are home to residents today, as they were for many dynasties in the past. From the Zhujiajiao bus station, it is a 10 min walk to Zhujiajiao itself. There is a tourist information centre, where you can buy tickets, a 80RMB ticket gets you admission to all the attractions, plus a short boat trip (recommended), although most of the town is easily walkable. There is no traffic in the town, which is a blessing.

The five-arch Fangsheng Bridge built in 1571 in the Ming Dynasty is still standing there. Inscriptions on the weather-beaten steles by the side of the river tell people to do good things and accumulate merits for the after life. There are altogether 36 bridges in the town and each has a name and possibly a story, which will speak itself when the tourist sits on the bridge, staring at the mosses growing out of the gaps in the stones or the river on which boats pass by. After visits of participants in the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation meetings held in Shanghai in 2001, the town became more famous and frequented.


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