Zhujiajiao Ancient Town, 1700 years old Chinese town

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One short day trip to a 1700-year-old Chinese town

As we had to cancel our trip to Hainan during the Chinese New Year 2020/2021, we decided to make a short trip to close the old Zhujiajiao Ancient Town. It was an “easy” choice in the surroundings of Shanghai. Take Metro Line 17 and get off at Zhujiajiao Station; after arrival, walk north for about 15 minutes to the town.

This is 1700 years old and has a long history. Archaeological findings dating back 5,000 years have also been found. 36 stone bridges and numerous rivers line Zhujiajiao, and many ancient buildings still line the riverbanks today.

Zhujiajiao Ancient Town canals with local style gondoliers
You can take one of these boats, and he will paddle you through the whole village.

Zhujiajiao (Chinese: 朱家角; pinyin: Zhūjiājiǎo; lit. ‘Zhu Family Corner’; Shanghainese: Chukakoq) is an ancient town located in the Qingpu District of Shanghai. The population of Zhujiajiao is 60,000.

Zhujiajiao is a water town on the outskirts of Shanghai and was established about 1,700 years ago. Archaeological findings dating back 5,000 years have also been found. 36 stone bridges and numerous rivers line Zhujiajiao, and many ancient buildings still line the riverbanks today.

The traffic was not as bad as usual during the Chinese New Year. The ticket line moved fast, and we were inside within half an hour. That is, fast during festivities or holidays. Safety is still very high, and everybody wearing masks and green codes from the health app must enter the town. Distancing was an issue as everybody needed to queue to get inside.

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Eating and tasting the whole day

Zhujiajiao Ancient town | Zhujiajiap Ancient town, Handmade sugar candies
Handmade sugar candy with ginger

Hand-made sugar candies. yam. Many of the foods here are made locally; tasting everything is always a new experience. I’m not so picky regarding food, and also, the girls can eat almost anything if it is not spicy. Seafood, all types of meat, local style BBQ, and there is one old flavour of ice cream which is just mouth melting, Dong Be Da Ba. We did not plan any lunch as the whole day was a tasting tour, and we picked whatever looked good. In the early phase, it was clear no lunch was needed to pick from all the small shops for different kinds of delicious foods.

My favourites are the rice triangles, Zongzi (粽子) with pork meat inside, and the old-fashioned ice cream named Dong Bei Da Ban (famous in China from 1960 to 1980s), which is yummy. Sorry for the many pictures of food, but I needed to share all the delicacies by picture.

The Zhujiajiao Ancient Town has kept its historical houses and alleys, and wandering in the narrow streets feels like going back in time. Many small shops with “antiques” and handicrafts, mostly made recently, but it is nice to have them as a memory.

CrissCrossChina review

Zhujiajiao Ancient Town, 1700 years old Chinese town

Zhujiajiao Ancient town is a water town on the outskirts of Shanghai, and was established about 1,700 years ago. Metro line 17 and easy accessible by car
  • An overall historical place with a feeling, with many small shops and narrow alleys.
  • You will not step out of this place hungry with plenty of traditional foods and snacks.
  • Easy accessible by car or metro from Shanghai
  • If you don't fancy traditional foods, McDonald's, Starbucks, and other western-style coffee/fast food are available just outside of the historical center

Sightseeing review

Overall
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  • It will be crowded when the tourist season or holidays when people are escaping Shanghai
  • Parking space as usual if driving by yourself
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