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On January 26, 2012, my family and I traveled to Zhujiajiao, an ancient village in Qingpu District about 45 minutes west of Shanghai. Zhujiajiao bills itself as the “Venice of Shanghai.” Why not the “Venice of China”? Well, perhaps because China has hundreds, if not thousands, of traditional villages like Zhujiajiao scattered throughout the country.

2012_01_26 Zhujiajiao (12)

2012_01_26 Zhujiajiao (43)

2012_01_26 Zhujiajiao (1)

Founded over 1,700 years ago, Zhujiajiao has canals, wooden oar-driven tour boats, stone arch bridges, and plenty of traditional Chinese architecture. However, it bears little resemblance to Venice, Italy.

2012_01_26 Zhujiajiao (36)

2012_01_26 Zhujiajiao (24)

2012_01_26 Zhujiajiao (18)

Some of the village’s attractions include a Buddhist temple that rises above town, a small Temple of the Town God dedicated to the spirits that protect the village, and a theater that offers performances of the Chinese classic play The Peony Pavilion during the summer months and on Saturdays.

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2012_01_26 Zhujiajiao (33)

The traditional Qing Dynasty-era architecture that lines a picturesque network of canals is a main attraction, as are the Chinese foods, beverages, and souvenirs for sale from many vendors. Lotus root, soy beans, pork, toad, and seafood are local specialties.

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2012_01_26 Zhujiajiao (23)

The toad was delectable.

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The snails aren’t your garden variety escargot.

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Dried, not fried, chicken is also a local favorite. Not recommended for tourists.

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The crowds during Chinese New Year were horrific. We thought we were going to be crushed in an alleyway! Fortunately, body heat kept us warm on a cold winter day.

2012_01_26 Zhujiajiao (26)

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In spite of the crowds, the atmosphere was festive during our visit. Dragon boats with drums beating sailed in the canals, and well-groomed dogs sported bright red Chinese New Year coats. Red lanterns with gold tassels festooned the streets.

2012_01_26 Zhujiajiao (44)

2012_01_26 Zhujiajiao

Zhujiajiao is a nice daytrip from Shanghai along with Da Guan Yuan, a park on the shore of Dian Shan Hu (lake) that replicates the garden featured in the classic Chinese novel The Dream of the Red Chamber.

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Just don’t go when it’s busy!

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Here are some short video clips from our visit.

Zhujiajiao, China–January 26, 2012
Zhujiajiao, China–January 26, 2012
Zhujiajiao, China–January 26, 2012
Zhujiajiao, China–January 26, 2012
Dragon boats in Zhujiajiao, China–January 26, 2012

 
This has been a busy week in China with family and Chinese New Year’s festivities. Last night we could barely sleep as the locals blew off rounds of fireworks to welcome the god of wealth on the 5th day of New Year’s. I have to say that I’m looking forward to some peace and quiet – not to mention warmer weather – back in Thailand. We return home to Bangkok tomorrow.

Map picture

 

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Books by MG EdwardsMG Edwards is a writer of books and stories in the thriller and science fiction-fantasy genres. He also writes travel adventures and children’s books. A former U.S. diplomat, he served in South Korea, Paraguay, and Zambia before leaving the Foreign Service to write full time.

Edwards is author of six books. His memoir, Kilimanjaro: One Man’s Quest to Go Over the Hill, was finalist for the Book of the Year Award and the Global eBook Award. He has published four children’s picture books in the World Adventurers for Kids Series: Alexander the Salamander; Ellie the Elephant; Zoe the Zebra; and a collection featuring all three stories. His book Real Dreams: Thirty Years of Short Stories is an anthology of 15 short stories.

Edwards lives in Taipei, Taiwan with his wife Jing and son Alex. He has also lived in Austria, Singapore and Thailand. For more books or stories by M.G. Edwards, visit his web site at www.mgedwards.com or contact him by e-mail at me@mgedwards.com or on Twitter @m_g_edwards.

© 2017 Brilliance Press. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted without the written consent of the author.

5 Comments

  1. EL's Gravatar EL
    January 29, 2012    

    Great post and photos! Thank you for sharing this.. makes me want to visit those places even more!

    love & light

    EL

    ps- love the main shot of you at the peak of Kili — will be doing that next time I’m in Tanzania! : )

  2. January 29, 2012    

    Cool post, Michael! The shots are just awesome! Looking forward to more stories from China and Asia! Tweeted and FB’d this post, so others could enjoy it, as well! 🙂

    P.S. Currently working on my next Jade Snow International Adventure, to take place in Asia, so this is all especially relevant.
    Talk soon.

    Cheers,

    Lada

  3. Shauna's Gravatar Shauna
    January 29, 2012    

    I like your commentaries by each photo. Having never been to China, I find it helpful and entertaining. I can’t wait to show Caleb the photos of the dried chickens.

  4. Michelle's Gravatar Michelle
    April 25, 2012    

    Nice pictures! I’m planning a trip there in May. Do you still remember how to get to Zhujiajiao by bus? Or did you take a taxi there?

    Thanks in advance!

    • mgedwards's Gravatar mgedwards
      April 25, 2012    

      Hi Michelle, thanks for writing. I actually went by car. Taxi may be your best option to go there. If there is a bus line, you will probably have to change busses 2-3 times. It’s worth the effort, though! Have a great trip.

  1. Guest post M G Edwards « Lada Ray Blog on February 8, 2012 at 12:16 am
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