Zhujiajiao Ancient Water Village
We had friends come visit us and thought their visit was an opportune time to take a day trip to one of the many water villages that are in China and more so close to Shanghai (1-3 hours’ drive).
From what I was able to gather, Zhujiajiao was formed as a village 1,700 years ago, and became a town in the Wanli Period of Ming Dynasty. There have been many ancient relics and tools people used 5000 years ago found in Zhujiajiao.
(Nb: wikitravel advises)…”The settlement of Zhujiajiao dates back to the Yuan dynasty, when it was an important marketplace for the surrounding countryside. It was finally granted township status during the reign of the Emperor Wanli of the Ming dynasty. Conveniently placed at the intersection of a number of local rivers, the town prospered through trade in rice and cloth, transported on boats from the surrounding countryside right to the houses of the Zhujiajiao merchants, Zhujiajiao means “Zhu Family Settlement”. The ancient district of Zhujiajiao occupies about 3 sq. km….”
There are a lot of artists and school students who frequent the village to capture some of the simplicity of the village in their water paintings, drawings and photography. The town is still inhabited by the locals, predominantly more so the older generation, however, every now and then you can see young families. The shops are typical of touristy haunts and there are plenty of places you can sit down and relax with a good meal at a decent price.
Entry is free but you can pay 80RMB for the full access to all historical sites there and a trip on a long boat from one side of the town through to the other side via many of the canals it has. Because of its large number of waterways, much of Zhujiajiao transport is by boat and it makes for a very scenic stroll or boat ride especially when it’s not so hot here.
As with most places around these smaller towns modern development is fast encroaching the surrounding land, this is unfortunate as it’s a really pretty space and would lose its charm if it develops too rapidly.
(Please note some of this information has been sourced from Wikipedia and Wiki travel.)