Shaoxing Travel Guide

  • An off-the-beaten-path glimpse of old Shaoxing
    An off-the-beaten-path glimpse of old...
    by ellyse
  • Pagoda and engraved map of old Shaoxing
    Pagoda and engraved map of old Shaoxing
    by ellyse
  • So much wine!
    So much wine!
    by ellyse

Shaoxing Things to Do

  • Lu Xun: the Father of Modern Chinese...

    If Shaoxing can be described as a book floating on water, then the buildings along the "Lu Xun street" would undoubtedly be the quintessence of said tome.Without question, Lu Xun is significant as the father of modern Chinese literature. Firmly rooted in the place and era that he lived in, many of his short stories (and anthologies) such as "The...

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  • Shaoxing Museum

    Shaoxing Museum has a wonderful display of the city's history and other stuff, with English captions! Admission is now free, which's yet another plus.Photographing the artifacts on display isn't allowed, but they don't really mind if you photograph yourselves with the plaster sculptures/models.The security guard we met was a really great tour...

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  • Cangqiao Old Street

    Walking north from the northeast corner of Shaoxing city square will lead you to Cangqiao old street, where you can find shops selling local craft and foodstuffs, as well as small restaurants. This is a good place to pick up some souvenirs to bring home.

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  • East Lake

    Along with Hangzhou's West Lake and Jiaxing's South Lake, East Lake is known as one of the 3 famed lakes of Zhejiang province. On the east outskirts of downtown Shaoxing, East Lake actually used to be a mountain of stone, but which had been quarried since the Han dynasty for building purposes.Now fantastically "holey", the rocky outcrop and the...

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  • Row, Row, Row Your Boat, Gently Down the...

    Wupeng boats were an integral part of traditional Shaoxing life. "Wu1" means black and "peng2" means canopy -- a simple but accurate description of these vessels that ply on the canals around Shaoxing. About 4 metres long and 1 metre wide, each boat can comfortably hold 3 people, and perhaps an extra baby. If you're far bigger than the typical...

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  • Bottoms Up!

    During the Spring and Autumn period, the production of yellow wine was already commonplace in Shaoxing. As the birthplace of yellow wine, it was fitting that the China Yellow Wine Museum find its home in Shaoxing. Formerly the site of the Gu Yue Long Shan wine factory, this is now a pretty comprehensive place to learn more about yellow wine. The...

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  • The Bane of Floods

    This is the tomb of the legendary Yu the Great, who was instrumental in stopping countless floods in ancient China. He was also the founder of the earliest dynasty in Chinese history, the Xia dynasty. Murals on the walls of the temple halls illustrate the legends associated with him.A Chinese saying commends him on his diligence and perseverance in...

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  • Calligraphy and Orchids

    During the 3 Kingdoms era, Shaoxing was the capital of the Kingdom of Yue. One of its rulers, King Gou Jian, first planted orchids here, giving this place its name.Located some distance southwest from downtown Shaoxing, Orchid Pavilion (Lan2 Ting2) is best-known to Chinese people for the great calligrapher Wang Xizhi. His main claim to fame is the...

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  • Shen Garden

    This small garden, nestled in the alleys near Lu Xun's residence, owes its fame to a Romeo-and-Juliet-ish love story between poet Lu You (of the southern Song dynasty) and his cousin Tang Wan. Due to the objections of Tang Wan's family, they were forced to marry other suitors of their families' choice. 7 years after their parting, they met again in...

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Shaoxing Hotels

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Shaoxing Restaurants

  • Quirky Mao-Style

    Located at the mouth of the small alley that our hostel (Shaoxing New Hostel) is located on, this is a very affordable place to eat at. The restaurant serves Hunan-style dishes, so make sure you're prepared for the spiciness!The most striking point about the restaurant is probably the decor and the uniform of the servers. The staff are clad in Red...

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  • In The House

    This is a small restaurant offering local cuisine, on Cangqiao old street. The portions are a tad small and thus not very good value-for-money, but if you're dining alone or in a very small group, don't mind the expense and prefer to taste a wider variety of dishes, then this place will do. The usual mainstays of Shaoxing cuisine, stinky tofu...

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  • Tasty Local Cuisine at Reasonable Prices

    Don't be put off by the fact that this is in Shaoxing's best 5-star hotel. The dishes are tasty and authentic, and the environment is certainly very hygienic especially in comparison with the multitude of Xianheng Restaurants around the Lu Xun street. Outside the restaurant entrance there's a small pond with a couple of wupeng boats. Stinky tofu...

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Shaoxing Transportation

  • Long-distance buses

    Considering that the downtown area isn't very big compared to other cities in the area such as Hangzhou and Shanghai, Shaoxing's long-distance bus station is located a tad far from town.Still, if you're unable to get a seat on the D trains, you might want to consider taking a long-distance bus instead. Prices are perhaps similar or a little higher...

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  • Train

    Shaoxing's train station seems unusually quiet for a city in this area of China. I can only guess that Shaoxing's train links aren't as popular or convenient as long-distance bus.Almost all trains between Shanghai and Shaoxing are now D trains and take about 2 hours for the journey. The same D trains take about 30-40 mins from Hangzhou, and about 1...

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  • Shaoxing Hotels

    70 Hotels in Shaoxing

    64 Reviews and Opinions

Shaoxing Shopping

  • ellyse's Profile Photo
    Wupeng boatman wearing the black felt hat

    by ellyse Written Jan 12, 2010

    What to buy: These hats are called wu1 zhan1 mao4 in Chinese, and used to be a signature unique to Shaoxing. Somewhat conical with a turned-up brim, these are warm and comfortable, and can be worn year-round except during the hot summer. Nowadays, these warm hats find their most faithful following in the wupeng boatmen (now usually elderly, grizzled men) and other elderly male residents during colder weather.
    A few years back, my American girl friend and I bought one of those hats and wore them around town just for laughs. We attracted a lot of curious stares as we were apparently the only female, non-elderly persons wearing it! :P
    Nevertheless, these hats are a good keepsake to bring away from Shaoxing. Light, unbreakable, inexpensive, and yet very representative of the history and traditional craftwork of Shaoxing. They can be found at the shops lining the pedestrian street outside Lu Xun's residence.

    What to pay: Up to about 20 RMB for one.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel

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Shaoxing Local Customs

  • ellyse's Profile Photo
    Wupeng boatman wearing the black felt hat

    by ellyse Written Jan 12, 2010

    These hats are called wu1 zhan1 mao4 in Chinese, and used to be a signature unique to Shaoxing. Somewhat conical with a turned-up brim, these are warm and comfortable, and can be worn year-round except during the hot summer. They used to be popular with labourers, farmers and anyone who needed to be outdoors.
    Nowadays, these warm hats find their most faithful following in the wupeng boatmen (now usually elderly, grizzled men) and other elderly male residents during colder weather. I suppose the younger generation finds them too passe for their taste.
    A few years back, my American girl friend and I bought one of those hats and wore them around town just for laughs. We attracted a lot of curious stares as we were apparently the only female, non-elderly persons wearing it! :P
    Nevertheless, these hats are a good keepsake to bring away from Shaoxing.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Arts and Culture

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Shaoxing Warnings and Dangers

  • ellyse's Profile Photo
    Phantom of the... modern Chinese literature 4 more images

    by ellyse Written Jan 13, 2010

    This tip is about the Lu Xun museum/memorial hall. I think there was airconditioning installed, but for some reason when I last visited in mid-March, it wasn't turned on! Perhaps the administration thought the weather was at a comfortable temperature so they wanted to save on the electricity bill. Unfortunately this meant that the interior of the museum was uncomfortably stuffy and perhaps a little warm for some of my friends. Hopefully they do turn on the airconditioning in summer and winter. In any case, I'd advise sightseers visiting this spot to dress in layers if possible.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Arts and Culture
    • Museum Visits

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Shaoxing Tourist Traps

  • ellyse's Profile Photo
    Busy and prosperous 3 more images

    by ellyse Updated Jan 13, 2010

    At either end of the pedestrian street (and also elsewhere, goodness knows which one is the real one) are the Xianheng Restaurants selling the snacks that're oft-mentioned in his works.
    In these restaurants as well as other small roadside stalls along the pedestrian street, you can taste these snacks such as aniseed-flavoured beans (hui2 xiang1 dou4), along with stinky tofu (a local specialty) and Shaoxing yellow wine. A word of warning though, the Shaoxing yellow wine sold here is cheap but not really tasty (it's more of an acquired taste, plus the stuff sold here won't really be of good quality) -- pay more and get a better experience elsewhere! If you really must, get a small portion and share between a few people. Same goes for those snacks which're more expensive here. Also, at some of the places we noticed flies everywhere, which wasn't hygienic.

    Unique Suggestions: If you like quaint "local flavour" then at least you could take photos of the local vendors cooking and serving their fare.

    Fun Alternatives: I found the Shaoxing yellow wine that we ordered along with dinner at the Shaoxing Hotel restaurant to taste much better. If there's ONE splurge in Shaoxing, I would strongly recommend the dinner and yellow wine there!
    Otherwise, buy your own yellow wine at the China Yellow Wine Museum, or from shops on Cangqiao old street, or even from the local supermarket! :P

    Related to:
    • Wine Tasting
    • Food and Dining
    • Backpacking

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Shaoxing Off The Beaten Path

  • A Brave Girl

    Qiu Jin was a female revolutionary who was born during the late Qing dynasty and died at the age of 32, a few years before the fall of the last dynasty of China. She was the earliest female martyr to die for the revolutionary cause. Famous writer Lu Xun's short story "Medicine" opens with the scene of Qiu Jin's execution.Right in the middle of town...

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  • Peace and Prosperity

    Anchang water village has to be one of the most untouched and authentic water villages in this part of China. That said, it's not easy to find -- it's a long bus ride from downtown Shaoxing, and on my 2nd trip there, our driver (from Shanghai) spent a long time trying to find it as there were new roads all over the area!"An" means peace, and...

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Shaoxing Favorites

  • Wandering Around

    Shaoxing used to be a water village. Today, like Suzhou, it still has quite a fair number of canals and old houses, but most of these are hidden off the main streets. If you have the time to spare, walking or bicyclng around would be a good way to explore the local areas.

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  • "Sydney" Opera House, Ziggurat, And...?

    My "favourite" in a way... for being out-of-this-world weird! Prize goes to the Shaoxing city square with its astounding hodge-podge of architectural oddities. A Ziggurat building that looks like it came straight out of WarCraft (with a huge supermarket mall in the basement, no less), a white Chinese pagoda with a map of old Shaoxing engraved on...

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Explore Deeper into Shaoxing
East lake
Things to Do
a Lu Xun mentioned restaurant
Restaurants
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