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“Venice? Are you kidding!” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Zhujiajiao Ancient Town

Zhujiajiao Ancient Town
No.36 Meizhou Road, Zhujiajiao Town, Qingpu District, Shanghai 201713, China
021-59240077
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Private Tour
$115*
and up
Private Tour: Zhujiajiao, Oriental Pearl Tower...
Ranked #45 of 1,305 things to do in Shanghai
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Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Zhujiajiao is an ancient water town also known as the "pearl stream." Best known for its bridges, built during Ming and Qing Dynasties, the various spans are built of wood, marble and stone.
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Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
14 attraction reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“Venice? Are you kidding!”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2012

An "ancient water town", presumably comparable with Venice?... Well, not really! We went there because of proximity to central Shanghai - but it was a disappointment. The town has been turned into a classic tourist trap. Crowded and smelly. No one to guide you through the history presumably sorrounding the town. The shops at the back of the tiny town offer a better environment to enjoy some of the hidden beauty that may still linger around - but you must get past the entranceway fast!! Better still, look for other ancient water towns, even if they mean longer rides to get there.

Visited September 2012
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Mumbai (Bombay), India
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95 reviews 95 reviews
22 attraction reviews
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65 helpful votes 65 helpful votes
“Nice place but a word of caution”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2012

Interesting visit surely.Very unique , gives you a view to Chinese village life.

Be warned : We were conned by a local restaurant . We wanted to taste some authenthic Chinese fare in the ancient town and walked into one of the numerous restaurants .They charged us 800RMB for a smallish grilled fish.This is despite having a Chinese speaking host.We let the matter be and paid but definitely it left a bad aftertaste.

Caution :DONOT order anything by the weight and/or doesnt have a price on the menu.

Visited November 2011
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Bengaluru (Bangalore), India
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“A great side trip from Shanghai!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 2, 2012

Since we wanted to see at least one water town in China, we decided to visit Zhujiajiao. We went around 10.30 am to the Puanlu bus station and as it was a sunday, there was a very long line(enough to fill 3 buses!). Luckily for us, the bus about to leave had enough standing space (all seats were taken) and the conductor let us get in for the hour-long journey (only 12 RMB per person!). It was a smooth ride and we didn't mind the standing part!

At Zhujiajiao, we left the bus station and could locate the ticket center fairly easily. We got a ticket to see 4 attractions (30 RMB per person). The ticket center has well-illustrated and informative maps. It was a glorious day with such a blue sky that enhanced the beauty of this lovely water town. As for the town, it is very busy and tourist-oriented with its streets filled with quaint shops and cafes. By lunchtime, it gets really crowded. Life revolves around the greenish waters of the many waterways!

We walked to the Kezhi garden via the famous five-arched Fangsheng bridge (views from the bridge are great). After the standards set by the majestic gardens of Suzhou, the Kezhi garden was a bit of a disappointment. This garden definitely needs better maintenance.That said, there are a few interesting pavilions and rock sculptures too. and its quietness is an advantage. There are Kunqu performances at the theater here in the evenings.

We took a gondola (the long route from Kezhi garden to Fangsheng bridge and then to the city god temple). They normally have 5-6 people per gondola and we shared it with a group of 3 (it cost us 50 RMB for the two of us). We could appreciate the majestic beauty of the Fangsheng bridge and also get a real feel of the water town. A gondola ride is a must!

From the city god temple dock, we walked to the Great Qing post office. The road there was lined with so many lovely tea shops and other unique souvenir shops and it wasn't that crowded. The post office itself was a nicely maintained historical place and some of the artefacts on display were interesting.

The Tian he Chinese pharmacy didn't have much to offer and we were quite disappointed with it. And we skipped the Museum of Humanities and Arts due to lack of time. You may want to buy tickets at the attraction itself and save money. 2-3 hours would be enough to roam around the town. We got a bus back to shanghai (9 RMB per person) and were back by 3.30 pm!

If you are ever bored of the ultra modern Shanghai, old-fashioned water town Zhujiajiao would make for a perfect escape.

Visited September 2012
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Melbourne, Australia
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36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
“Quaint little town, a bit spoiled with trashy tourist shops.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2012 via mobile

The contrast between the new towns being built and settled nearby was extreme. The original buildings of this water town are very interesting and it is enjoyable to see it from a "gondola". However the dozens of cheap tourist shops rather spoiled it, with vendors constantly nagging for business. My guide also warned me not to eat the local restaurant food as they wash the cooking dishes in the canals!

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Los Angeles, California
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123 helpful votes 123 helpful votes
“A retreat to the past”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2012

The Hilton arranged for us to take a taxi to the tourist bus station and hop on the bus to the city of canals. It was fun meandering the streets along the water, taking a boat ride, doing some shopping. The not to miss is the temple and gardens we relaxed for an hour on the benches near the koi farm before heading back to the bus stop. The bus was prompt leaving Shanghai and returning.

Visited August 2012
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