Step back in time to the Ming and Qing dynasties
Leaving behind the hustle and bustle of Shanghai, our small group from Silversea Cruises went on a 7-hour excursion to the water town of Zhujiajiao.
Leaving behind the traffic, we head for the countryside
Rice fields and small agricultural outposts flanked the highway offering a nice contrast to the chrome, glass, and concrete of the city. The water town is one of four ancient towns in Shanghai, which is a little confusing because it takes 1.5 hours to get there from the ship. Nonetheless, with a history of more than 1,700 years and covering an area of 18 square miles, Zhujiajiao is a large city offering a link to the past.
We began our excursion with a canal ride
Reminiscent of canals found in Venice, Zhujiajiao is a cute town that serves the community and it provides a link to the past.
From the Ming dynasty
The oldest bridge is Fangsheng Bridge, which has five arches and dates back to the Ming dynasty. There are 35 other bridges that link the narrow streets together.
From the Qing dynasty
From the Qing dynasty, our group visited the Daqing Youju (post office). A scribe was on hand to assist with helping write letters for those that are not able to write their own.
Is there a doctor in the house?
The Tongtianhe Traditional Chinese Pharmacy has been providing Chinese medicine to the local population since the late Qing dynasty. It was interesting to see an authentic apothecary. We were schooled in the principles of Chinese medicine and learned about the roles of traditional Chinese ethics and medical culture.
Beyond the tranquil alleyways
Outside the condensed narrow alleyways of old-world China found on our walking tour, we made way back to the motor coach. As the streets got wider, the buzz grew louder and I especially enjoyed watching the people from nearby farms gather to sell live chickens, steamed rice and pork wrapped in leaves, river apples, and an assortment of vegetables.