How to Visit Zhujiajiao Water Town

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Dear Travelers

We’d like to have the following travel guide to be always updated for the benefit of new visitors coming to Zhujiajiao Water Town. If anybody having used the piece finds necessary updates, please leave a message or feedback. Thanks!
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Plan your Shanghai tour? While fascinated by Shanghai’s  futuristic buildings and fast developments, but if you are keenly looking for something old Shanghai, a kind of the old world charming, a half day trip can bring you to the old water town of Zhujiajiao. It is located on Yangtze River, about 30km in the west of Shanghai.

It belongs to Qingpu District under the Shanghai Municipality.The villages and towns on Yangtze River Delta have long used the water and canals for irrigation and transportation.

So there are many villages and towns constructed on canal systems.  Modern transportation and infrastructure have mostly taken place of old canals, but these villages and old towns have still kept using the water system for hundreds of years.  The most famous water towns around Shanghai include Zhouzhuang Water Town and Tongli Water Town.

If you don’t have enough time to visit Zhouzhuang Water Town and Tongli Water Town that are a bit far from Shanghai, Zhujiajiao Water Town is a good substitute to immerse yourself in an old town with a history of over 1700 years. Zhujiajiao Town was once a trading hub for the surrounding countryside.

Its buildings can date back to the Ming and Qing dynasties ( 1368-1911).  In the past, goods and people were carried by small boats on the narrow canals from house to house, passing under numerous ancient stone bridges. Some of the canals and stone bridges are still used by the local people and now tourists as well.

Zhujiajiao Water Town boasts many old historical buildings and sites of historic interest, such as banks, rice shops,  spice stores and even a Qing Dynasty Post Office, Fangsheng Bridge, Kezhi Garden and the Yuanjin Buddhist Temple. The alleys in Zhujiajiao are teemed with numerous vendors selling souvenirs, snacks, and locals cuisine.

Latest Update from Phil:
One major update on the directions on how to get to Zhujiajiao. Since December 30, 2017, there is a new metro line, 17 (an extension of line 2), that has a station at Zhujiajiao. It cost me 8 RMB for the metro from Puxi to Zhujiajiao and it took about 80 minutes; only a little longer than it would by taxi, but much cheaper.

Once you get to the Zhujiajiao station, go out the exit that is the bridge over the road and take the stairs down to your right. From here you can either walk (about 1 km – 15 minutes), take a bus, or take a taxi to get to the tourist areas of town (I walked). To walk turn left at the road in front of you (Zhuxi road), then take the first major right turn (Xiangningbang Road) and then take the second MAJOR left (Xinfeng Rd).

The tourist information office is a couple hundred meters down Xinfeng road on the right. On the return to the train station, we took one of the pedicabs from Xinfeng road which was 15RMB.

This place is definitely worth a visit. It is a mini Venice with an Asian flair. The boat ride is now 80RMB for up to 6 people for a 10 – 15 minute trip. Also, there are MANY bars, restaurants, and tea shops along the river. Don’t eat before you get here.

This place is good fun!

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If you only want to spend about 1-2 hours to stroll along the old streets, see the old houses and bridges, you don’t have to pay. If you are interested in the sites of interests and historical sites, you are kindly requested to buy a thorough tickets to cover the 8 inside sites in Zhujiaojiao Water Town.

The ticketing  office ( served as Tourist Information Center as well ) just north of the KFC. Ask for an English map of Zhujiajiao from the informtion center. Many people would visit Zhujiajiao free of charge by just walking around the old town.

At the northern tip of Xinfeng Road (新风路) is a T-junction where you will see a direction sign, confused? You just turn right and start your Zhujiaojiao exploration. You may come back on the same route or have a loop tour and return on the other side.

a T-junction where you will see a diretion sign, you just turn right.

You will first come across Fangsheng Bridge, the largest 5-arch stone bridge in the Yangte River Delta. It is one of the over-30 stone bridges in Zhujiajiao. Standing on the bridge, you have a beautiful view of the surrounding waterfront houses and rowing boats.

Fangsheng Bridge, the largest 5-arch stone bridge in the Yangte River Delta

Fangsheng Bridge, the largest 5-arch stone bridge in the Yangte River Delta

Standing on the bridge, you have a beautiful view of the surrounding waterfront houses and rowing boats.

Standing on the bridge

Standing on the bridge

Walking down the Fangsheng Bridge, you turn left side to explore one of the old alleys in Zhujiajiao.

Walking down the Fangsheng Bridge

Walking down the Fangsheng Bridge

The narrow lane is rife with snack stalls and souvenirs stores.

The narrow lane is rife with snack stalls and souvernir stores.

The narrow lane is rife with snack stalls and souvenirs stores.

At the end of the narrow alley, you will see a canal flanked by two waterfront streets named the same name of  Xijing Street (西井街). Three bridges span the canal with the first bridge named, Dragon Head Bridge, Dragon Body Bridge and Dragon Tail Bridge. You walk through the Dragon Head Bridge, then walk along the other side of the street, continue to come cross the third Dragon Bridge, return on the same Xijing Bridge.

Here is the typical water town views – boats, waterfront houses, and trees, constituting an impressive scroll of Chinese traditional painting. You may take a break drinking coffee or tea in the waterfront bars.  The narrow canal is connected to the bigger canal.

The first bridge – Dragon Head Bridge ( Yong’an Bridge ) on Xijing Street.

Walk across the first bridge and stroll on the other side of Xijing Street. You will see the old water town life – rowing boats, local residents chatting,water front house and wharfs.

You may pay RMB 65 to rent a 4-6 people boat to cruise on the canals in Zhujiajiao.

You may pay RMB 65 to rent a 4-6 people boat to cruise on the canals in Zhujiajiao.

You may pay RMB 65 to rent a 4-6 people boat to cruise on the canals in Zhujiajiao.

Zhujiajiao Water Town is still inhabited by the local residents doing routine life.

Zhujiajiao Water Town is still inhabitted by the local residents doing routine life.

Zhujiajiao Water Town is still inhabited by the local residents doing routine life.

The old stone paved streets and simple stone steps used for wharfs and washing clothes and vegetables.

The old stone paved streets and simple stone steps used for wharfs

The old stone paved streets and simple stone steps used for wharfs

The second bridge Dragon Body Bridge (Zhonglong Bridge) 中龙桥

 

Enjoy boating on the canal

Enjoy boating on the canal

 

The last bridge on the canal by Xijing Street – Dragon Tail Bridge

 

The last bridge on the canal by Xijing Street - Dragon Tail Bridge

The last bridge on the canal by Xijing Street – Dragon Tail Bridge

 

This is Ao Restaurant & Bar.

This is Ao Restaurant & Bar.

This is Ao Restaurant & Bar.

 

 

 Yuanjin Buddhist Temple

Yuanjin Buddhist Temple

 

 

More pictures taken from North Street ( Beidajie ) and its side lanes 1

More pictures taken from North Street ( Beidajie ) and its side lanes 1

More pictures taken from North Street ( Beidajie ) and its side lanes 1

 

 

More pictures taken from North Street ( Beidajie ) and its side lanes 2

More pictures taken from North Street ( Beidajie ) and its side lanes 2

 

More pictures taken from North Street ( Beidajie ) and its side lanes 4

More pictures taken from North Street ( Beidajie ) and its side lanes 4

More pictures taken from North Street ( Beidajie ) and its side lanes 5

More pictures taken from North Street ( Beidajie ) and its side lanes 4

More pictures taken from North Street ( Beidajie ) and its side lanes 5

More pictures taken from North Street ( Beidajie ) and its side lanes 6

More pictures taken from North Street ( Beidajie ) and its side lanes 6

More pictures taken from North Street ( Beidajie ) and its side lanes 6

06611Tip:  Hassle-free Shanghai Guided Tours
If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for guided tours to Shanghai:

Shanghai Highlight Day Tour from US$ 60
Afternoon Ambling & Evening Brilliant Cruise Day Tour from US$ 55
Shanghai Ancient Water Town Day Tour from US$ 65
Shanghai Suzhou Zhouzhuang Day Tour from US$ 95

Shanghai 2 Day Tour Package from US$ 145
Shanghai 3 Day Tour Pacakge from US$ 199
Shanghai 4 Day Tour Package from US$ 265 p/p

Further Readings


Top 10 Attraction in Shanghai
Top 10 Markets in Shanghai
Top 10 Shopping Malls in Shanghai
Top 10 Things to Do at night in Shanghai
Best Places for Autumn Leaves in Shanghai
Top 10 Things to Do in Winter in Shanghai
Top 10 Souvenirs in Shanghai

Any questions, just drop line.

6 Responses to “How to Visit Zhujiajiao Water Town”

  1. raj says:

    I am in a wheelchair.
    Can I go to Zhujiajaio and see the sights.
    Can I go on the metro and take the bus to
    Zhujiajaio is the bus wheelchair accessible

  2. Daniel says:

    Dear Raj,

    1) Yes, you can. As far as I know, Zhujiajaio is partially accessible for wheel-chair users.

    2) It is not easy for wheel-chair users to take bus to Zhujiajiao. Unlike in UK and Canada, most of the buses here are not wheel-chair friendly.

    You’d better off arrnaging your own transport.

    Have a nice time!

  3. Johnson says:

    I will be staying at Yu garden. Is it easy to get a taxi from Zhujiajiao back to my hotel? Whats the estimated taxi fare? Appreciate your help.

  4. Kushla says:

    Johnson, we just arrived yesterday and paid $240 Yuan from our apartment 2 stops away from Yu Garden, and it was an hour taxi ride.
    Recommend you stay overnight, as you miss all the reason to be there when you are rushing. It’s a very relaxed place.

  5. Phil says:

    One major update on the directions on how to get to Zhujiajiao. Since December 30, 2017, there is a new metro line, 17 (an extension of line 2), that has a station at Zhujiajiao so no need to take the bus as described in this article. It cost me 8 RMB for the metro from Puxi to Zhujiajiao and it took about 80 minutes; only a little longer than it would by taxi, but much cheaper.

    Once you get to the Zhujiajiao station, go out the exit that is the bridge over the road and take the stairs down to your right. From here you can either walk (about 1 km – 15 minutes), take a bus, or take a taxi to get to the tourist areas of town (I walked). To walk turn left at the road in front of you (Zhuxi road), then take the first major right turn (Xiangningbang Road) and then take the second MAJOR left (Xinfeng Rd). The tourist information office is a couple hundred meters down Xinfeng road on the right. On the return to the train station, we took one of the pedicabs from Xinfeng road which was 15RMB.

    This place is definitely worth a visit. It is a mini Venice with an Asian flair. The boat ride is now 80RMB for up to 6 people for a 10 – 15 minute trip. Also, there are MANY bars, restaurants, and tea shops along the river. Don’t eat before you get here.

    This place is good fun!

  6. Daniel says:

    Dear Phil,

    Thanks for your feedback! Much appreciated and we will have the article updated accordingly. Thanks again!

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