Zhujiajiao Water Town

Ultimate Travel Guide to Zhujiajiao Water Town in 2024

At the age of 18, my family brought me to Zhujiajiao once, and while my memory of many attractions in Shanghai from that trip is hazy, I vividly recall the unforgettable 4-hour journey through Zhujiajiao ancient town.

Fast forward to this April, I returned to Zhujiajiao, and to my surprise, not much had changed. It remained the same picturesque Jiangnan landscape etched in my memory from a decade ago. This time, I spent three full days immersing myself in the town, exploring nearly every nook and cranny.

In this guide, I’ll share insights into the most noteworthy attractions, delectable cuisine, the recommended route, and the charming inn I lodged at during my stay in this ancient town. If you’re planning a visit to Zhujiajiao in the near future, I hope you’ll discover valuable information in this guide to enhance your enjoyment of this historical gem.

P.S. I strongly advise avoiding the scorching days of July and August when many places forego air conditioning, making it uncomfortably hot.

You might also be interested in:
🔍 53 Best Things to Do in Shanghai, China in 2023
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🏰 The Ultimate Guide for Shanghai Disneyland Travel Guide 2023

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🌟Shanghai Travel Planning Guide

Considering a last-minute trip to Zhujiajiao Water Town?

Private Tour to Zhujiajiao Water Town with Boat Ride: Experience tranquility in Zhujiajiao Water Town, immersing in its traditional architecture and serene boat rides, away from urban chaos.

🇨🇳 Top Activities and Tours in Shanghai:

1. Shanghai Private Full-Day Tour: Explore both the old and modern sides of Shanghai with a private tour.
2. Authentic Local Food Tour in Central Shanghai: Indulge in authentic Chinese cuisine on a culinary tour in Shanghai.

🏨Where to Stay:

Zhujiajiao Jingting Inn (⭐️ 4.9)
Shiyuan Inn (⭐️ 4.8)
Yayunju Inn (⭐️ 4.6)

🌐Make sure to install ExpressVPN in advance for unrestricted internet access during your stay in China!

🌏Where is Zhujiajiao Water Town Located

Zhuajiajiao is located in the Qingpu District of Shanghai, China. Qingpu District is a suburban area in the western part of Shanghai, and Zhuajiajiao is one of the well-known water towns within this district. It’s approximately 47 kilometers (about 29 miles) west of the city center of Shanghai, making it a popular day-trip destination for tourists looking to experience traditional Chinese culture and architecture in a scenic water town setting.

📕The History of Zhujiajiao Water Town

Zhujiajiao, a historic water town in Shanghai, boasts a history spanning 1,700 years. Originating during the Song Dynasty, its prominence grew during the Ming and Qing Dynasties, driven by its strategic location along canals and trade routes. This charming town, often called the “Venice of Shanghai,” is renowned for its intricate canal system, stone bridges, and well-preserved Ming and Qing Dynasty architecture.

Silk and rice were key industries, and the town’s numerous temples and shrines reflect its rich cultural heritage. Today, Zhujiajiao has evolved into a popular tourist destination, offering a captivating glimpse into ancient Chinese life while preserving its unique historical character.

🚗How to Get to Zhuijiajiao from Shanghai

  • By Metro: Catch the Metro Line 17 to Zhujiajiao Station. Once there, head north on foot for approximately 15 minutes to reach the town.
  • By Bus: Board either the Huzhu Express Line or Huzhu Special Line to reach Zhujiajiao Bus Station initially. Afterward, a short 15-minute walk west will bring you to the scenic area. (P.S. The earliest bus leaves from Pu’an Road in Shanghai at 06:00, while the final bus departs at 22:00.)

🎫Tickets for Zhujiajiao Water Town

There is no entry fee to wander around Zhujiajiao Water Town; however, access to various buildings and attractions within the town requires a ticket.

There are three ticket packages available, each with distinct prices and access to different stops:

  • CNY 40: This package covers four classic scenic spots, including Kezhi Garden, City God Temple, Yuanjin Temple, and Shanghai Handicraft Zhujiajiao Exhibition Hall.
  • CNY 60: For this option, you can explore four artistic scenic spots, which encompass Kezhi Garden, Shanghai Helong Art Museum, Zhaxidawa Experience Museum of Tibetan Culture, and Shanghai Quanhua Art Gallery.
  • CNY 80: The third option includes a cruise boat ride and access to all seven scenic spots mentioned above.

I highly recommend choosing the third option, as it allows you to fully enjoy your day by visiting various museums, shops, and historical buildings throughout Zhujiajiao Water Town.

🔮How to Explore Zhujiajiao Water Town

Based on my personal experience, Zhujiajiao Water Town can be divided into the following main areas:

Zhujiajiao map
(Photo Credit: Zhujiajiao.com)

Area A: Situated along Xijing Street and flanked by three bridges—Yongquan Bridge, Zhonglong Bridge, and Yong’an Bridge—this area offers a scenic view of the river. The road runs alongside the river, allowing visitors to appreciate the river’s beauty and explore the shops along the way. It’s an ideal spot to blend river views with street ambiance. The area is also characterized by small shops and a few restaurants, although prices may be relatively higher.

Area B: This zone primarily consists of restaurants, especially those near the Caogang River, offering waterfront dining platforms for a delightful dining experience accompanied by scenic views.

Area C: This area is characterized by numerous small, unique teahouses and homestays, each thoughtfully decorated by their owners. The atmosphere is tranquil and perfect for engaging in conversations with friends while enjoying a cup of tea.

🚶🏻‍♂️Recommended Route Tour

As I wasn’t pressed for time during my visit, I dedicated an entire day to thoroughly exploring the most renowned attractions in the ancient town. I also conducted some research before my trip, ensuring a seamless journey. Now, I’d like to share the itinerary I followed during that memorable visit.

Shanghai Quanhua Art Gallery → Kezhi Garden → take the cruise at the Kezhi Garden dock → North Street → Fangsheng Bridge → Jiangnan First Tea House → Handalong Pickles Shop → Shanghai Handicraft Zhujiajiao Exhibition Hall Culture and Art Museum → Yuanjin Temple → Lang Bridge → City God Temple → Qing Post office

👑Top Must-See Places in Zhujiajiao Worth Exploring

1. Kezhi Garden

Kezhi Garden

The garden, situated in the northwest of Zhujiajiao Town, stands as the largest garden complex, spanning across 96.7 acres. It is composed of three primary sections: the main hall, the garden area, and an artificial hill.

One notable feature of this garden is the fusion of Chinese and Western design elements evident in many structural and architectural details.

For instance, the Welcome Hall boasts floor tiles imported from West Germany during its construction, showcasing lavish interior decorations and opulent furnishings.

Heading eastward, you’ll find the Book Hall, with a stela corridor extending about 20 meters on its south side, adorned with 15 inscriptions by renowned calligraphers and painters from the Ming and Qing dynasties.

South of the rockery, a prominent structure within the estate is a square five-story building, crowned by a quadrangular pavilion known as the “Moon View Pavilion.” This pavilion stands as the tallest structure in the town, exuding grandeur.

The garden also features numerous distinctive scenic spots, including the Yin and Yang Corridor, the Shuangbo Pavilion, and the Baifu Pavilion, each offering its own unique charm and ambiance.

🔴Chinese: 课植园, Ke Zhi Yuan
🎫Admission ticket: CNY 20
⏰Opening hours: 08:30-16:30

2. Shanghai Quanhua Art Museum

Shanghai Quanhua Art Museum

This museum in China is like the ultimate spot to check out classic watercolor art from all over the globe, with pieces from both homegrown and international artists. It’s run by the super-talented watercolor artist Chen Xidan. A big chunk of the collection is actually Mr. Chen’s own work, mainly featuring those cool European cityscape paintings.

The museum is set up in the Shu house and has a unique layout in the shape of “目,” running from east to west. It’s the second-largest, just after the Kezhi garden. And when you step inside, you’ll feel like you’ve time-traveled because it’s got that antique vibe going on, with traditional red lanterns hanging high and modern paintings fitting right in with the whole building design.

🔴Chinese: 上海全华水彩艺术馆, Shanghai Quanhua Shuicai Yishu Guan
🎫Admission ticket: CNY 30
⏰Opening hours: 08:30-16:30

3. Fangsheng Bridge

Fangsheng Bridge

Fangsheng Bridge, dating back to 1571, holds the title of being both the longest and tallest stone bridge in Zhujiajiao. It’s renowned as Shanghai’s largest stone arch bridge, gracefully spanning five arches.

This bridge isn’t just a Zhujiajiao Ancient Town icon; it’s a vital transportation hub for the entire town. On the bridge, you’ll find the Dragon Gate Stone, a stone tablet adorned with eight coiling dragons circling a radiant pearl. Guarding the bridge are four impressively lifelike stone lions.

The bridge is a bustling spot, often crowded with visitors. To the east of the bridge, there’s a pavilion where pedestrians can take a break and savor the cool surroundings.

🔴Chinese: 放生桥, Fang Sheng Qiao
🎫Admission ticket: Free

4. North Street

North Street

Just a stroll across Fangsheng Bridge, and you’ll find yourself on North Street, a street that’s been buzzing with life in Zhujiajiao for over 400 years. It retains its Ming and Qing Dynasty charm along its two-mile stretch, with the most iconic section spanning over 300 meters from Fangsheng Bridge in the east to Meizhou Lane in the west.

This street is quite narrow, measuring only three to four meters wide, with the narrowest point at just two meters. Its winding stone path is lined with rows of whitewashed walls and gray-tiled Ming and Qing era buildings.

Today, you’ll still come across a century-old gem, the “Handalong Pickles Shop,” as well as various traditional handmade workshops and a dizzying array of specialty snack stalls.

It’s a food lover’s paradise with a wide selection of Jiangnan delicacies like steaming candied lotus root, slow-braised pork in sweet sauce, braised pig knuckle in brown sauce, scholar cake, and more!

🔴Chinese: 北大街, Bei Da Jie
🎫Admission ticket: Free

5. Jiangnan First Tea House

Jiangnan First Tea House

Over on North Street, you’ll find the “Jiangnan First Tea House,” a spot steeped in history with a century under its belt.

When you swing by for some tea, you can kick back by the river, sipping on green tea, and soaking up the stunning view of Fangsheng Bridge and the Caogang River. Trust me, it’s a real treat for the eyes, especially when the night rolls in.

Besides being famous for their morning tea, this place does noodles that are something special. Think soft, delicate noodles swimming in a broth loaded with tea tree mushrooms, white beech mushrooms, and crab mushrooms.

Every now and then, you can catch some old-school Chinese storytelling and Suzhou dialect ballad singing right in the middle of the tea house on a big ol’ stage.

🔴Chinese: 江南第一茶楼, Jiangnan Di Yi Cha Lou
💰 Price: From CNY 100
⏰Opening hours: 08:30 – 18:30

6. Handalong Pickles Shop

Handalong Pickles Shop

The Handalong Pickles Shop, sporting that Shikumen style, has a history dating all the way back to 1886 AD. As soon as you step inside, you’re greeted by a well, and the doors are decked out with some seriously intricate carvings.

Venture further in, and you’ll stumble upon wooden counters and shelves showcasing a diverse collection of pickle-filled bottles in this roughly 80-square-meter space. The array of bottles is bound to pique your curiosity and make you want to stop for a taste.

Handalong’s pickle-making technique, passed down for over 120 years, is almost on the brink of vanishing. There’s just one true-blue heir left, who’s pushing 80 years old, keeping that tradition alive.

🔴Chinese: 涵大隆酱园, Handalong Jiangyuan
⏰Opening hours: 08:00 – 17:00

7. Shanghai Handicraft Zhujiajiao Exhibition Hall

Shanghai Handicraft Zhujiajiao Exhibition Hall

The Shanghai Handicraft Zhujiajiao Exhibition Hall has been open since 2006, and it’s all about showcasing Song porcelain and Song embroidery art.

Up on the second floor of the exhibition hall, you’ve got a pretty spacious area. And every now and then, they spice things up with some hands-on embroidery activities for visitors.

Plus, you can’t miss those antique embroidered pieces decked out in classic Chinese good luck patterns – they’re real treasures.

🔴Chinese: 上海手工艺朱家角展示馆, Shanghai Shougongyi Zhujiajiao Zhanshi Guan
🎫Admission ticket: CNY 10
⏰Opening hours: 08:30-16:30

8. Zhujiajiao Culture and Art Museum

Zhujiajiao Culture and Art Museum

You’ll spot this museum near the entrance of an ancient town, and right out front, there are these two ancient ginkgo trees that have been standing tall for more than 470 years.

The art gallery itself is pretty impressive, covering over 1800 square meters and spread across two floors. Inside, you’ve got ten indoor exhibition halls and five outdoor courtyards to explore.

On the first floor, they usually have exhibitions featuring paintings related to Zhujiajiao’s cultural history. You’ll see oil paintings hanging on the walls, giving you the lowdown on the local customs and historical culture of Zhujiajiao.

Up on the second floor, there are some smaller galleries, plus a pretty cool café with a generous helping of floor-to-ceiling glass windows facing south, it’s definitely a hotspot within the museum.

🔴Chinese: 朱家角人文艺术馆, Zhujiajiao Renwen Yishuguan
🎫Admission ticket: CNY 25
⏰Opening hours: 08:30-16:30

9. Yuanjin Temple

Yuanjin Temple

Yuanjin Temple, also known as the Temple of Goddess (Chinese: 娘娘庙), is a renowned Buddhist temple with a rich history dating back to 1341 AD. The temple we see today is actually a rebuild, and it’s not all that big. Inside, it’s all about the peaceful and no-frills vibes.

Just like many other Buddhist temples, the entrance to Yuanjin Temple welcomes you with a smiling Maitreya Buddha. As you move further inside, you’ll come across three temples dedicated to the three main figures in Buddhism: Amitabha Buddha, Guanyin Bodhisattva, and Mahasthamaprapta.

Towards the rear of the courtyard, Qinghua Pavilion stands tall and is widely celebrated. It’s the highest point in the entire temple, not only housing a notable collection of calligraphy and paintings but also offering a picturesque environment. Standing on the pavilion, you can take in some stunning views of Zhujiajiao.

🔴Chinese: 圆津禅院, Yuanjin Chanyuan
🎫Admission ticket: CNY 10
⏰Opening hours: 08:30-16:30

10. Zhujiajiao City God Temple

Zhujiajiao City God Temple

Zhujiajiao City God Temple, constructed in 1763, sits on a 3600-square-meter plot. The temple’s structures are lined up along a central axis, including an opera stage, the main hall, living quarters, and a back garden. The main hall faces a roomy square, flanked by symmetrical verandas on both sides.

Inside this temple, there are three remarkable treasures to check out. First up, you’ve got this ancient opera stage, and at the very top, it’s got this wild spiral dome made up of 160 brackets. It’s a real unique masterpiece.

Next, right by the main hall’s entrance hangs a big ol’ abacus – that’s treasure number two. Lastly, out back in the hall’s garden, there’s this massive, robust ginkgo tree that’s been around for over 400 years. What’s really odd and fascinating about this tree is that it’s both male and female, and every autumn, it produces fruit. Nature’s got its quirks!

🔴Chinese: 朱家角城隍庙, Zhujiajiao Chenghuang Miao
🎫Admission ticket: CNY 10
⏰Opening hours: 08:30-16:30

11. Qing Post Office

Qing Post Office

The Qing Post Office, established back in 1903, covered an area of 156 square meters. It’s this cool red brick and gray tile building, kind of like a European style, with two floors.

The front door faces the street and right in front of it, there’s this old Qing copper dragon post box where you can still drop off and send postcards. On the back side, there’s a door that leads to a postal dock by the river, and they used to swap mail on ships there every day.

But the post office actually got going in 1896, and after a few years, they started postal services in Zhujiajiao. Downstairs in the building, you’ll find the layout they used to have for the post office – post cabinets, post closets, and all. And upstairs on the second floor, there’s an exhibition hall that’s all about the history of the old postal routes and how postal culture has changed over the years.

When there are big festivals or events showing off local traditions, they sometimes have activities like letter-writing, and you can even put on Qing Dynasty postman outfits to see what it was like back then.

🔴Chinese: 大清邮局, Daqing Youju
🎫Admission ticket: CNY 5
⏰Opening hours: 08:30-16:30

🍖What to Eat in Zhujiajiao Water Town

Zongzi (粽子)

When it comes to the must-try food in Zhujiajiao water town, you can’t miss Zongzi—those tightly packed sticky rice dumplings wrapped in leaves. Zongzi shops are all around the town, and you can easily spot them with the lively shouts and the bustling vibe.

At the entrance, you’ll see these cool ‘grandmas’ working their magic, rapidly stuffing egg yolk, meat, and rice into bamboo leaves, skillfully wrapping them into these neat triangular packages.

These grandmas have got the traditional skills and secret recipes for making the perfect Zongzi, earning them the title ‘Grandma Zongzi’ of Zhujiajiao. They’re as popular as some of the long-standing snack joints in Shanghai!

Zongzi comes in sweet or savory varieties, packed with anything from mung beans and mushrooms to tasty pork belly. My top pick? Definitely go for the Zongzi with salted duck egg yolks.

Slow-braised Pork in Sweet Sauce (扎肉)

Zhujiajiao offers a unique local treat known as Slow-braised Pork in Sweet Sauce. It’s reasonably priced and quite distinctive. This snack features small pieces of pork, a mix of lean and fatty cuts, wrapped in reed leaves and straw strings, and simmered in a secret magenta sauce. When cooked slowly, the sauce takes on a thick, reddish appearance.

Despite not being a big meat enthusiast and generally avoiding fatty cuts, I couldn’t resist trying something special when in town. Taking a small bite, I found the combination of lean and fatty meat surprisingly enjoyable, with a slightly sweet aftertaste. The scent of reed leaves balances out the richness of the meat and adds a unique reed leaf aroma to the experience.

Candied Lotus Root (糯米糖藕)

In Zhujiajiao, you’ll spot stalls selling the famous slow-braised sweet pork, often accompanied by a large pot filled with deep, rich, sugary water and cooked candied lotus root—an equally popular local snack.

Visitors keen on trying it can personally choose a candied lotus root from the pot. The shopkeeper will then carefully retrieve the whole candied lotus root from the sugary water and slice it on a cutting board. The sweet scent of glutinous rice becomes instantly noticeable. If you’ve had your fill of pork and want to refresh your palate, I’d suggest trying a piece of sweet and chewy candied lotus root.

Pickled Vegetables (酱菜)

The Handalong Pickles Shop is a renowned establishment with a pickle-making tradition spanning over 120 years. It is a symbol of the art of pickle-making in the Jiangnan region. Many visitors find it an ideal spot to purchase a unique souvenir before departing.

The store offers a variety of signature pickles, including pickled radishes, pickled ginger, and pickled cucumbers, with over ten different pickle varieties to choose from. Don’t miss out on their popular rose-fermented bean curd, another standout dish available at the shop.

Dried Soy Beans (熏青豆)

Dried green beans are another distinctive and widely enjoyed snack in the ancient town. As you wander through the streets, it’s common to spot people carrying a pack of smoked green beans, nibbling on them as they walk.

Making dried green beans is a straightforward process. Green beans, along with an array of spices, are cooked in a soup pot, then removed and left to dry over a stove.

This snack comes in a range of flavors, including savory and spiced, spicy with chilies, and sweet with candied orange peel, among others. The more you chew, the more their delightful aromas are released. Additionally, many locals enjoy dried green beans as a breakfast accompaniment with congee.

Stinky Tofu (臭豆腐)

Wu Zi Fang‘s stinky tofu at Zhujiajiao, near Fangsheng Bridge, is always bustling with people. Their stinky tofu has a delightful contrast – a crispy, brown exterior and a soft, tender inside, brimming with a subtle bean taste. You have the option to personalize your sauce, usually limited to sweet or spicy. Opting for spicy enhances the taste if you enjoy a bit of heat.

Green Bean Cake (绿豆糕)

As you wander around Fangsheng Bridge and pop into a local pastry shop, you can’t miss their star attraction: the stove-baked green bean cake. This little treat is a classic snack in this old town.

This green bean cake doesn’t win any beauty contests, but when it comes to taste, it’s a real winner. It’s not your run-of-the-mill mung bean cake made from powdered beans. Here in town, they do things a bit differently. They cook it over a hot stove, giving the cake a brown, fragrant crust that’s both soft and crispy. Inside, you’ll find tiny green bean bits, leaving a gentle green bean aroma in your mouth.

🌉 Ancient Bridges in Zhujiajiao Water Town

  • Yongfeng Bridge (永丰桥): This bridge embodies the ancient local people’s hopes for a life filled with abundance in terms of food and clothing. Dating back to the Ming Dynasty, it may look weathered with its stone-paved deck, but it stands as a witness to the town’s rich history.
  • Taian Bridge (泰安桥): Also constructed during the Ming Dynasty, this bridge boasts the title of being the steepest single-arch stone bridge in town. It still retains two flagstaff stones, originally used for hanging street lamps and serving as navigational beacons for ships on the Caogang River.
  • Lang Bridge (廊桥): Situated near the City God Temple and Yuanjin Buddhist Temple, this bridge is a unique gem in the town, featuring a small wooden structure that makes it perfect for photo opportunities.
  • Pingan Bridge (平安桥): Located south of the City God Temple, this bridge was a common passage for riverbank residents in ancient times. Its uneven stone surface produces a distinctive clattering sound as pedestrians cross, yet it remains sturdy and well-preserved despite the years.

🏨 Where to Stay in Zhujiajiao Water Town

During my Zhujiajiao trip this year, I stayed at Jingting Inn for two nights. It’s got that real traditional Chinese homey feel. Sure, it doesn’t have all the five-star hotel glitz, but honestly, that’s a plus. That’s why I suggest fellow travelers in the ancient town go for a serene night’s stay to fully embrace the local traditions.

Zhujiajiao Jingting Inn

Jingting Inn
⭐️ Rating: 4.9/5 | 🤑 Cost: approx. $195-227 USD | 🏩 View on Trip

This old house is your classic Chinese courtyard setup, and it’s been given a makeover from a famous Ming and Qing dynasty residence. Inside the yard, you’ll spot those faded gray floor tiles, those old-school hollow-carved windows, and a cute little lotus pond where tiny fish do their thing.

The courtyard is a real green oasis with tons of flowers and trees, including some peonies and fragrant osmanthus begonias that have been around for ages.

It’s got a total of nine rooms, split over two floors, and they’ve gone all-in on that classical Chinese vibe. The guest rooms are decked out with a collection of antiques the owner has hunted down from all corners of the country.

And here’s a fun fact: back in the day, the big families had a bedtime ritual that’s kind of like today’s turndown service. Well, I got to see it in action this time. Come five o’clock every evening, the inn’s crew hangs bamboo curtains on more than 300 windows all around the place, all to make sure you get a solid night’s sleep.

Yayunju Inn

Yayunju Inn
⭐️ Rating: 4.6/5 | 🤑 Cost: approx. $56-68 USD | 🏩 View on Trip

Yayunju Inn is like this really cool Hui-style private mansion. The owner brought over materials from Anhui to Zhujiajiao to give the courtyard that super authentic ancient look. You’ll see it in the tiles, doors and windows, plaques, and columns – they’ve all got that classic Hui-style architectural vibe going on.

The courtyard has a total of 13 rooms spread over three floors, and it’s split into three areas: A, B, and C. You’ve got options here – you can stay in a single room or grab the whole building for yourself. Most of the rooms rock that Chinese style, and some are even tatami-style with these awesome floor-to-ceiling windows that let you soak in the garden view.

The inn also throws in a free breakfast, featuring light and delightful Chinese fare like congee, eggs, steamed buns, and dumplings.

Shiyuan Inn

Shiyuan Inn
⭐️ Rating: 4.8/5 | 🤑 Cost: approx. $43-50 USD | 🏩 View on Trip

The Shiyuan Inn is another cool Hui-style place, and it’s conveniently close to the Caogang River and Yuanjin Temple. You can even catch the soothing chimes of the temple from the other side of the river.

The inn’s courtyard is decked out with stone bridges, rock formations, fountains, a teahouse, and even a fish pond. Inside, you’ll find a collection cabinet with some precious jade, along with ancient celebrity calligraphy and paintings.

You’ll be happy to know that the owner and his wife personally designed all of this, and they’re super friendly and hospitable.

When it comes to the rooms, they’re simple yet elegant, and you get to pick between street, river, or garden views. Inside, you’ll spot some beautiful wood carvings and comfy brocade pillows that each bring their own touch of old-town romance.

🌸Final Tips on Traveling to Zhujiajiao Water Town

Certainly, here are some final tips for traveling to Zhujiajiao Water Town:

Weekday Visit: If possible, plan your visit on a weekday to further reduce the crowds compared to weekends.

Photography: Zhujiajiao is a picturesque place, so bring your camera or smartphone to capture the beautiful scenery. Just be respectful of people’s privacy when taking photos.

Time Management: Many shops and attractions in the town will close before 5 p.m., so be sure to plan your schedule carefully.

Local Guide: Consider hiring a local guide who can provide insights into the town’s history and culture. They can also help with translation if needed.

Visit Temples: Zhujiajiao has several ancient temples. Take the time to explore these historical sites and learn about their significance.

Be Respectful: Show respect to the local residents and their property. Remember that Zhujiajiao is a living town, not just a tourist attraction.

Transport Back: Ensure you know the last bus or boat back to Shanghai if you’re not staying overnight in Zhujiajiao.

Nighttime Magic: Embrace Zhujiajiao’s enchantment at night with the glow of traditional lanterns illuminating beautifully lit, picturesque buildings.

Relax and Unwind: Zhujiajiao offers a peaceful escape from the bustling city of Shanghai. Take the opportunity to relax, unwind, and enjoy the slower pace of life.

By following these final tips, you’ll have a memorable and enriching experience exploring Zhujiajiao Water Town and its rich cultural heritage. Enjoy your journey!

China Travel Planning Guide&FAQ

🎫Do I need a visa for China?

Yes. Most visitors to China will need a visa to enter the country. The type of visa you need will depend on the purpose and duration of your trip, as well as your nationality. If you are a resident of the US, you must apply for a Chinese visa at the Consular Office in the country. On the other hand, inhabitants of countries like Japan, Canada, and the UK can request a visa through the Chinese Visa Application Service Center.

🤔Why is it necessary to install a VPN in China?

In China, the government has strict regulations on internet access, leading to the blocking of popular websites and social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, and YouTube. To access these sites, a VPN is suggested as a means of bypassing the restrictions. It is important to choose a reputable VPN provider and use caution while doing so. ExpressVPN has been historically deemed the most reliable VPN for this purpose, despite being heavily targeted by China’s censors. Nevertheless, it is still a widely preferred option owing to its ease of installation and user-friendliness.

📲Is it necessary to have a Chinese SIM card while in China?

Yes. It is crucial to acknowledge that accessing the internet in China may pose limitations due to certain websites being prohibited or filtered. To ensure uninterrupted connectivity while staying in China, purchasing a local SIM card is advisable. For optimum results, acquiring SIM cards from either China Unicom or China Mobile is recommended. While China Mobile has the most comprehensive coverage in China and is a market leader, China Unicom is more compatible with foreign phones, enabling 3G and 4G services. Or you can purchase a SIM card online.

🔮Should I buy China travel insurance?

Yes. Although China is generally a safe country for travel, it is still possible to encounter accidents or other unexpected occurrences. Therefore, obtaining travel insurance can provide a sense of security and financial protection. In my research, I have found that World Nomads is a reputable travel insurance provider that covers a wide range of activities and is recommended for the average traveler. Nevertheless, I advise you to compare insurance quotes from various providers before making a decision.

🚙Can you rent a car in China?

Unfeasible. Obtaining a Chinese driver’s license to rent a car and self-drive may seem like an option, but it is not a practical choice for most foreigners. Therefore, many prefer to opt for a driver or public transportation when navigating China, as it proves to be more convenient.

✈️What’s the best site to purchase flight tickets for China?

I suggest using Trip for affordable flights to China. As a China-based company, they often offer lower prices compared to foreign companies. Additionally, they offer English-speaking phone support in case of any issues.

🏡What is the best way to book hotels in China?

Not only does Trip offer a wider range of flight options, but it also provides a greater selection of hotels to choose from. Moreover, Agoda is a reliable resource for hotels throughout Asia.

🎒What do I pack for China?

Travel adapter and converter: China uses a different electrical system than many other countries, so it’s important to bring a travel adapter and converter if you plan to use electronic devices such as phones, cameras, and laptops.  
Sunscreen: The UV index in China can be high, particularly during the summer months, and prolonged exposure to the sun without protection can cause skin damage and increase the risk of skin cancer.
Deodorant: It should be noted that finding deodorant in China may not be a simple task.

📚Can a guidebook for traveling to China be useful?

Yes. If you’re planning to travel to China for the first time, a travel guidebook can be a valuable resource, and Lonely Planet is one of the most reputable guides available globally. Its comprehensive itineraries and recommendations take into account your personal preferences and can save you both time and money. The insider tips are also extremely helpful in navigating China’s unique cultural landscape like a local.

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