Throughout our travels in China, Beau and I were surprised to see so many new modern cities with flashing neon lights and tall skyscrapers in the middle of nowhere. So after our Yangtzee river tour we were on a search for some history. Our guide, Chris, took us to a 1700 year old water town called Zhujiajiao, a suburb of Shanghai, to give us a taste of old China. Zhujiajiao is affectionately referred to as the “Venice of Shanghai” because residences, stores, and temples are directly connected to a network of canals with bridges crisscrossing back and forth.
During our visit to Zhujiajiao, we visited an old post office that has been made into a museum to tell people the history of mail transport in China. They have a wonderful collection of paintings depicting the old methods and of course old post cards and mail. Just down the street from the post office museum, we took a detour into a temple with beautiful trees covered with red prayer ribbons. The best part about the temple was a little statue at the entrance that people were places things inside to get blessed, even their little doggies. Our dog wouldn’t fit.
You can also visit a traditional medicine shop that use herbs, roots, shark fin, and other exotic items to heal. I guess we looked too healthy because they were not into giving us any crazy weird items.
Zhujiajiao does sometimes feel like a living museum for tourist but if you can get past the polished feeling it is a really good way to go back in time and see a bit of China’s history. Also take time to explore the back streets to meet the local people that live there.
- In 2008 we (Meggan and Beau) set out to see the world and start a business. Since then we have visited 48 countries and we’re just getting started. Travel and design go hand in hand. Whether we’re on the other side of the planet, or down the street we always find things to inspire us.