Silversea Cruises: The water town of Zhujiajiao Tour

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.


Shanghai traffic jam.

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.

Wide open spaces.


We began our excursion with a canal ride

Water town: Unique old bridges across canals.

Reminiscent of canals found in Venice, Zhujiajiao is a cute town that serves the community and it provides a link to the past.

Equal rights. Men can now “man” the boat, in the past this was a woman’s job.

From the Ming dynasty

Fangsheng Bridge, a relic of 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

Oldest Post Office around: Daqing Youju

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?

Tongtianhe, a traditional Chinese pharmacy.

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

Sustainable living, from farm to table.

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.

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