“Escaping the city” is a phrase that many are familiar with. The words “escape” and “Shanghai” placed in the same sentence, however, seems hard to imagine. Nevertheless, if you do wish to stray from the ‘Paris of the East’ and explore further afield, here is a place that will tug on your heartstrings as you slip into a slower pace of life.
Transport yourself back in time with a trip to the ancient water village of Zhujiajiao located in the Qingpu District of Shanghai. Cobbled streets interwoven with canals and age-old stone bridges delight the eye and provide an invigorating change from Shanghai’s towering, neon-lit high rises. Upon entering the old part of what used to be, 1700 years ago, a village, your ears will be greeted by the murmur of the local Zhujiajiao dialect and the lapping of water as boats glide along the main canal. The bridges, carrying you across the cool waters, date from the Ming and Qing dynasty and provide snapshot views of the water town. It seems that wherever you cast your glance, your finger subconsciously grapples for the camera button and you find yourself helplessly capturing the beauty of what stands before you.
Zhujiajiao does not only provide a feast for the eyes as the food here is simply delectable. Zongzi leaves bundle up mouth-sized chunks of pork painted with a sweet, sticky glaze setting off nectarous fireworks in your mouth. When autumn rolls around, one can readily find succulent fresh water crabs from Dianshan Lake. For those with a sweet tooth, traditional confections such as ‘Beef Skin Sugar’–a snack much more appetizing than its name suggests– are a treat, as well as a range of other delicacies covered in sesame seeds and drizzled with sweet syrup.
So, why go to Zhujiajiao? Well, Zhujiajiao is an easy one-hour car ride from Shanghai making the ancient water village the perfect day trip for both families and those looking for a more relaxed environment. Your eyes, ears and taste buds will be re-awakened in this time capsule, and you will leave feeling revitalized after enjoying a day at a slower pace of life.
If you are interested in traveling to Zhujiajiao, or have any other questions about travel in China, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org