Zhujiajiao: “Venice of the East” Near Shanghai

Zhujiajiao is often dubbed the ‘Venice of the East,’ this water town is laced with crisscrossing canals and historical bridges. But don’t believe that; you’ll be somewhat disappointed.

Upon arrival, the Kezhi Garden is a must-visit. This Ming Dynasty garden blends classic architecture with lush greenery, offering a serene spot for reflection. Don’t miss the Yuanjin Buddhist Temple, a beacon of tranquility, showcasing intricate carvings and religious artifacts.

Strolling along the cobbled streets, one can’t help but be captivated by the old residences, some dating back to the Qing Dynasty. These houses, with their traditional whitewashed walls and black tiles, tell tales of a bygone era.

The town’s lifeblood is its canals. You can opt for a gondola ride to see Zhujiajiao from a different perspective. Glide under the Fangsheng Bridge, the longest, largest, and tallest stone bridge in town, adorned with dragon and phoenix motifs. I personally gave this a miss as it’s really super hot on this day.

Foodies rejoice in local street food, including sticky rice dumplings and crispy fried pork. For a sit-down meal, riverside restaurants offer fresh catches of the day.

As the sun sets, the lantern-lit paths create a magical ambiance, perfect for an evening stroll. This picturesque setting is a photographer’s dream, capturing the essence of ancient China just a stone’s throw from modern Shanghai.