Zhujiajiao – an ancient Chinese water town

Zhujiajiao – an ancient Chinese water town

The ancient water town

This weekend we took a trip to an ancient water town just outside of Shanghai. It’s called 朱家角 [Zhūjiājiǎo] and is 1,700 years old. We went there together with our friend Pearl from Taiwan and her friend, who is a Shanghai local. Although it is a rather touristy place, it was not too crowded.

Zhūjiājiǎo is famous for its many rivers and bridges, and there are historical buildings like a post office from the Qing Dynasty, the last imperial dynasty before the foundation of the Republic of China.

Some people call it Shanghai’s Venice and indeed, there are many boats you can take around town. We spent the whole day walking in one direction, and then took the boat to get back to the car.

We also visited a Daoist temple. The wooden structures of the temple have been built without using any nails or screws – just wooden connectors. It must have been one big puzzle!

Local food and another tea ceremony

When we had lunch, Marina and I didn’t even try to order after one glance at the menu – no pictures or translations. Instead, our local friends ordered specialties and their favorites. We had green pepper beef, eels, chicken, fried pork, sweet lotus, and some vegetable dishes on the side.  It was all very tasty and spicy. We had to get used to the looks of it, but we were happy to get a real taste of the local food.

In the afternoon, we went to a tea place in an ancient building, and had delicious tea. This time it was less ‘ceremonial’, since everyone had their own tea, but we still followed the basic rules: clean and flush, very short brews, repeat.

This time I had Taiwanese Oolong Tea, tea that is a little more fermented than green tea.

Even more food

The week before, we had dinner at a Kantonese restaurant. For the first time, we ate a dish that tasted like something you would get in a Chinese restaurant outside of China as well: It was a fried pork with sweet and sour sauce, usually not a very common combination in Shanghai. We also had milk tea and tried different dim sums that the friend who took us there recommended.

On Saturday, after we got back from Zhūjiājiǎo we also tried what can be best described as fried dumplings. It was the most delicious street food I’ve ever had! It was a recommendation by our Shanghainese friend. The place was small, packed and in a street far off any metro station, so we would have never found it on our own.

[Edit by Marina: And as a Swabian, I just have to mention that 4 big dumplings were only 7 RMB, around 1€! Even more reason to go back! 🙂]

One Reply to “Zhujiajiao – an ancient Chinese water town”

  1. Yay! Feeling so proud to be in your blog. I am glad you enjoyed the food we ordered for you, let’s try more things together in the future!

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