Zhujiajiao is a typical water village and boating is a good way to experience how people used to move around in the old days. This is also the nearest water village boating option to downtown Shanghai.
There're a number of ferry docks in the water village. If you enter through the south gate (like we did), and have bought the 80 RMB admission ticket that includes the boat ride, then the ticket-seller will most probably recommend the route from outside Kezhi Garden to just outside the Handalong preserved vegetables shop, on Bei Dajie. This is a short route that takes about 15 mins. There're longer routes but I don't know where they actually go.
If your ticket doesn't include a boat ride, it's 60 RMB to charter a boat (which can fit at least 4 passengers) for a short route.
The City God's Temple is located at the northwest end of the Chenghuang (City God's) Bridge. There's a white wall in front of it in order to prevent evil spirits from rushing into the temple, as traditions go.
Inside the compound, facing the main hall is a traditional opera stage where local opera performances would've been put on during religious festivals and other celebrations.
The yard has trees which are tied full of red ribbons on which are written Chinese characters in yellow, wishing for good health, prosperity, happiness and other such auspicious blessings. I think it costs 5 RMB each.
On the altar just inside the main hall of the temple are some brilliantly carved religious items.
Men inside the temple persistently try to coax visitors to offer incense and then make a donation of sorts. Personally I don't like this hard-sell tactic.
First built in the early 20th century by a salt merchant from Jiangxi, this garden, the largest in Zhujiajiao, took 15 years to complete. As the salt merchant's surname was Ma, this garden was also called the "Ma Family Garden". The name "Kezhi" means "not to forget to till the land while learning knowledge from books" -- a well-rounded education.
Apart from aspects of traditional Chinese classical gardens, some Western design elements were incorporated into the building of the garden and buildings. Part of the buildings were destroyed during the Japanese Occupation in World War Two. Later in the 50s the garden was used as a local school and part of the buildings were also demolished.
At the entrance to the garden is a Tai Lake rock which's in the shape of a horse's head.
The garden has been originally divided into two -- Ke Garden and Zhi Garden, linked by Kezhi Bridge. There's a small rockery where you could play hide-and-seek and also climb up for a bird's-eye view of the garden, though it was nothing spectacular IMHO.
Maybe because I came in winter, the garden wasn't particularly interesting or pretty. Almost no flowers in sight -- though I noticed a couple of trees labelled as cherry trees in the garden, so perhaps during the right season you could see some sakura here.
If you've been to gardens in Suzhou, Yangzhou, Nanjing, or even the Yu Garden (aka Yuyuan, or Yuyuan Garden) in Shanghai, don't bother wasting your time here. Of course, since the garden is one of the sights that's included in any of the admission tickets (be in 30, 60 or 80 RMB), you might as well come in for a quick look if only to fully utilise the worth of the ticket!
If you arrive from the south entrance of Zhujiajiao (the one closer to where the public buses from Shanghai stop), this will probably be the 1st ticketed attraction that you come to.
There're 2 separate sections (one to each side of the road that this gallery is on) but we could only take a quick spin around the display section as we arrived too late. In fact, I must really thank the kindness of the staff to let us in as they were actually already packing up and leaving when we came! I happened to ask one of the young girls working there if she knew where one of our dinner restaurant choices was situated and she kindly offered to wait for us to finish seeing the displays then walk us to the restaurant as it was only a stone's throw away. A small gesture perhaps, but it was one that warmed my heart. :)
The most memorable displays were the tree root carvings. In various sizes, the subjects included animals (peacock, eagle, elephant etc), idols (a huge, jolly Maitreya Buddha) and Chinese deities etc. No problem with taking photos if you fancy.
Other exhibits included bamboo root carvings, stone carvings and so on.
The gallery is included in the 80 RMB and 60 RMB Zhujiajiao admission tickets, but not in the 30 RMB one.
This post office has been around since the Qing dynasty. At the main entrance, have a close look at the post box -- there's a dragon coiled around it! (Not a real, live one, of course!) The main entrance is in the shikumen style, a blend of East and West, now most easily seen at Xintiandi in downtown Shanghai.
On the canal behind the main reception are 2 boats which were used in olden times to transport mail to residents.
Starting on the 2nd floor are exhibits about the history of the postal system in China. Captions are in Chinese characters as well as rather acceptable English. I was quite interested in looking at the old stamps and postcards. A number of the postcards show scenery of the Bund and other places in Shanghai during the turn of the century.
If I'm not wrong, you can get a commemorative chop on the admission ticket (if it's a postcard) for free, and also post it from here. That would make a good souvenir. :) Do remember to top-up the postage if you're posting to an address out of China though.
This is included in any of the Zhujiajiao admission tickets, and personally I think this is one of the better sights in Zhujiajiao, so do come and have a look if you're in the area.
Guyi Garden in Nanxiang is a classical Chinese garden that dates from the Ming dynasty. It used to be renowned in its time, but is now rather neglected as Nanxiang no longer occupies a position of importance in bustling, cosmopolitan Shanghai. Good thing about it is that it is very much less crowded than the famous classical Chinese gardens in Suzhou, or even the Yuyuan Garden in Shanghai's Old City area.
Admission is 12 RMB, no student price. The easiest way to get there might be sightseeing bus 6A from Shanghai Stadium.
The Shanghai Chinese Imperial Examinations Museum is housed in the side halls of Jiading's Confucius Temple. The displays are interesting, tastefully presented and the English captions are surprisingly well-written. I'd say this is an off-the-beaten-path gem well worth visiting if you have extra time in Shanghai.
The museum is divided into a few different sections. It starts with an introduction about the history of the imperial examinations in China, which lasted for more than 1/3 of China's 5000-year history. The candidates also included foreigners, from where is now modern-day Korea (then the Koguryo, Shilla and Baekje kingdoms), India, Japan and even as far as Europe. On show are various reproductions of artefacts related to the subject, as well as information about renowned scholars in history.
Another side hall explains the various stages of the Chinese imperial examinations. These started with the preiiminary examinations (at county, prefecture and academy level), then the provincial, metropolitan and palace examinations. That's a long way to climb to the top! In the same display hall are reproductions of cheating devices such as inner garments covered with miniscule writing.
Admission is combined with Fahua Pagoda and Confucius Temple, a total of 20 RMB. No student price.
Jiading's Confucius Temple was established in the southern Song dynasty. There're some old Chinese juniper trees in the compound which look rather artistic, and some ancient steles near the entrance.
The main hall houses a big statue of Confucius, and on the roof there're mini statues of Confucius -- my American friend said they were baby Confucius! :)
On the left side of the hall are photos of various Confucius Temples in China (eg Nanjing) and also the Confucius Temple, Confucius Mansions and Confucius Forest in Qufu of Shandong province, the birthplace of Confucius. On display are also various instruments used in the rituals honouring Confucius.
On the right side of the hall are small statues of Confucius and his students.
On either side of the big statue of Confucius are small red stands on which are pinned or tied slips of paper (we also saw tissue or napkins substituted for want of better material) on which were written wishes for better results, or entrance into educational institutions of their fancy. We even found slips written by foreigners, at least one from Australia!
Admission is combined with Fahua Pagoda and the Shanghai Imperial Examinations Museum (inside Confucius Temple), a total of 20 RMB. No student price.
With a history going all the way back to the southern Song dynasty, the 7-storey Fahua Pagoda (also known as Jinsha Pagoda, or Golden Sand Pagoda) is the traditional centre and highest point of Jiading town. It offers a fine view of Jiading: on a weekend I could see plenty of lively family activity in the town square, and to the left were a patch of old-looking houses in traditional Chinese style.
As with most Chinese pagodas, this was a pain (literally) to climb. I'm only about 165 cm tall but the doorways were lower than my height, plus the stairways were winding, steep and very narrow.
In an adjacent building is the small Jiading Museum, which has some information about notable personalities of Jiading.
Admission is combined with Confucius Temple and the Shanghai Imperial Examinations Museum (inside Confucius Temple), a total of 20 RMB. No student price.
Huilongtan Park is located opposite Jiading's Confucius Temple. Dating from the Ming dynasty, the pool (Huilongtan) takes its name from the confluence of 5 rivers at this spot, likened to the congregating of 5 dragons. The park itself sprang up around the pool in the early 20th century. Today the park seems to be a popular spot for taking wedding photos on a budget, as well as a congregating point for the elderlies in the vicinity, rather than dragons.
We found 3 particular points of interest in the park.
One was a traditional opera stage which had a magnificent geometric design on the ceiling.
Another was a pagoda of a thousand Buddhas, though I hardly counted so many! Also known as the Stone Buddha Pagoda, this dated from the Song dynasty. It used to be outside Jiading town's south gate, but later moved to its present location after undergoing restoration.
The last is a memorial to 2 local martyrs who were born in the late Ming dynasty, surnamed Hou and Huang. During the early years of the Qing dynasty, the new Qing regime decreed that all men shall shave the front of their heads and wear their hair in a long queue, in the style of the Manchus. Anyone who resisted faced death. Hair was traditionally sacred as it was part of the legacy from parents at birth, meant never to be cut. There was a saying at that time, "leave the head but not the hair, or leave the hair but not the head". Hou and Huang were elected as leaders of the local resistance. They chose to commit suicide and die as martyrs, rather than surrender to the Qing forces who were sent to quell the uprising, in history the infamous "3 Massacres of Jiading".
Admission is 5 RMB, no student price. The park is located opposite Jiading's Confucius Temple.
The European-style temple, constructed in 1927, was the centerpiece of what was once a ghetto inhabited by nearly 25,000 European Jews who landed here seeking safety, first from Russian pogroms, then from Hitler's Holocaust. The Shanghai Jews have long gone, but they left behind an eccentric little neighborhood in the middle of Shanghai with European-inspired row houses, a theater, the synagogue and several grand buildings
The Monument is in Huoshan Park, located at Huoshan Road, Hongkou District, next to the Ohel Moishe Synagogue
How to get there?H
Take the Bus 746, 870, 871 get off at Changyang Rd. and take a walk to the park
If Shanghai give you the impression of modern, you should visit here to know the other side of Shanghai, crowded, tattered, old street, the local citizen now still lives in the area. From the following picture, you even cannot believe, it's in the downtown of Shanghai, just near the Yuyuan Garden and Cheng Huang Miao area.
If you really want to see the ancient part of this region, head West out of Shanghai to the water town of Zhouzhuang, which is about 60 kms away. Zhouzhuang is just like Venice, but with a different type of charm and is recommended "off the beaten path" destination. However, there are also several other of such towns nearby which are less well-known (and therefore less commercialised), such as Zhujiajiao. Please visit my VT Zhouzhuang page for more information.
If you are at the Pudong ferry terminal and walk along the street to the Oriental Pearl Tower, there will be lots of street vendors selling food, including food from the Western Xinjiang region of China.
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