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“Charming, but Could've Been Better”

Zhujiajiao Ancient Town
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Zhujiajiao Water Village Half Day Tour from...
Ranked #33 of 1,342 things to do in Shanghai
Certificate of Excellence
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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.
Reviewed March 2, 2014 via mobile

From our hotel in the Bund area, we hired a taxi for the afternoon for RMB 500. Takes about 45 min to 1 hour to get there.

As we get close, we get stopped by someone who looks like a local authority but turns out he's hustling to get customers for his restaurant. We drive straight past others who are trying to stop us.

As we enter the town, we were struck by how charming it was. Shops, houses, streets and the canal looked as if straight out of a movie set. Street vendors selling eats that I haven't seen before and the smell of roasted pork was very pleasant.

About 10 minutes into the stroll, I began to realize that every eatery served the same things and every other shop was selling touristy souvenirs. Streets were narrow and they were crowded. People shoving their way past each other was starting to get annoying. Then it hit me. Stinky tofu! Every street corner was selling this stuff. The smell after a while was overwhelming. We cut our trip short and decided to head back to town for lunch at Xintiandi.

Overall, Zhujiajiao was interesting and there are lots of great photo ops but don't expect any genuine cultural experience.

3  Thank kimasf
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
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"boat ride"
in 112 reviews
"day trip"
in 75 reviews
"express bus"
in 21 reviews
"old post office"
in 13 reviews
"concert hall"
in 9 reviews
"narrow streets"
in 26 reviews
"the river"
in 62 reviews
"stone bridges"
in 9 reviews
"beautiful water"
in 9 reviews
"stinky tofu"
in 11 reviews
"people's square"
in 29 reviews
"shanghai city"
in 25 reviews
"cost rmb"
in 10 reviews
"worth the trip"
in 17 reviews
"water villages"
in 10 reviews
"food stalls"
in 15 reviews
"qing dynasty"
in 8 reviews

604 - 608 of 1,370 reviews

Reviewed March 1, 2014 via mobile

Went away for the weekend with my girlfriend.
We wanted to get away from the city. We found zhujiajiao was the perfect place to relax and have a bit of time to ourselves. The walks around the Watertown are very good and they have interesting different stalls selling various gifts and souvenirs. We went to 3 restaurants and all of them served very fresh food. The vegetables were delicious.

We stayed in a loft which was really nice but a little overpriced.

I recommend zhujiajiao for a day trip and weekend trip.

Thank kingmac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 15, 2014

A trip back into old China. The water town dates back 1700 years and, apart from encouraging tourists to release their cash, seems not to have changed from that time. Washing is still done on a stone by the water's edge, although sometimes soap is actually used, overnight pots are emptied into the water (don't put your hand over the side when travelling on sightseeing boats), You are encouraged to buy a goldfish to toss into the water (instant good luck?), ducks are gutted by the side of the water. Narrow lanes reveal much street food, a Buddhist Temple, and wood carvings and other souvenirs. Quite an experience and a welcome break from modern Shanghai. Journey time by coach approx 75 minutes.

3  Thank John V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 1, 2014

Went there during the Chinese New Year which meant the place was flooded with Chinese tourists. Pretty tiresome but nonetheless, the town is worth visiting, especially since it s just one hour from Shanghai. Most likely due to the time of the year I visited, I had to queue for almost 1.5 hrs to get on the bus going there. There are at least two buses going, one is 12 RMB, the other 9 and the difference is not in the time it takes to get you there and back but rather in the comfort.
Plenty of restaurants which offer sea food. For me, since I was vegetarian it was a bit difficult to find a place. As with many touristic objectives in China, you have to pay for various things but i am think its not always worth it.
Overall, a perfect way to spend a day or half a day, especially if it's late spring/ summer time.

Thank RalucaL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 27, 2014

We ventured out to Zhujiajiao while I studied abroad in China. This is only about an hour from Shanghai and definitely worth the trip out of the city. It's wonderful to see how different the cultural aspects can be when you take just a short trip from the city. This area is calm, beautiful with great architecture and ancient trademarks. The town was busy, but not crowded or full of tourists. Taking a boat ride around the city was the highlight of our day.

Thank Katherine P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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