On this full-day excursion, venture beyond the modern city of Shanghai to discover one of East China’s traditional waterside towns. Situated beside the Dianshanhu Lake, Zhujiajiao illustrates the customs and culture of old-world China. Commencing your journey at the pier, you’ll travel by air-conditioned motor coach for approximately 1½ hours, past rustic farms and rippling fields of rice. On arrival in this small town, leisurely make your way along meandering streets and narrow alleyways. Admire Zhujiajiao’s numerous stone bridges and centuries-old buildings of white wall or black brick. Reminiscent of Venice’s canal commerce, the wares made by local women are on display from wooden boats bobbing in the water. Although this community boasts 36 moss-covered bridges, the most famous is the five-arched Fangsheng Bridge—a remnant of the Ming dynasty. Further exploration reveals the Daqing Youju Post Office, which dates back to the Qing dynasty. Next you will visit the Tongtianhe Chinese Pharmacy—the largest one in Zhujiajiao dating from the late Qing dynasty. For centuries this pharmacy has established its fame among the locals as it has adhered to the principle of "Healing the Pain and Saving the Life," based on traditional Chinese ethics and medical culture. Following a delicious lunch of Chinese cuisine at a local restaurant, you will visit a silk factory (or silk shop) where you’ll have an opportunity to learn how Chinese traditional silk products are made. You can discover the mysterious and dramatic lifespan of the silkworm by exploring the whole breeding process, and then you’ll get an even better understanding of Chinese silk through the silk spinning and silk quilt making demonstrations. Finally you’ll have some free time at the factory store where you can find numerous delicate silk products. Return to the port of Shanghai and re-board your ship.
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I liked this excursion. The water town is a tourist attraction for the Chinese people and worth the ride to get there. We had a short boat ride on the river and then explored on our own for a while, choosing not to visit the post office or pharmacy with the guide. Most of the buildings are shops, but if you look beyond, you'll see interesting historical architecture and a place where you can imagine village life many many years ago.. Good souvenir shopping, unidentifiable food sold from shop windows, small streets and bridges and smiling faces everywhere. Some shop keepers were creating their wares in front of us...wood-carving, knitting, and marquetry. The small pedestrian streets were filled with interesting and unusual things to see. The visit to the silk factory was a good opportunity to see how silk is made...from the cocoon to finished product.