Saturday, July 11, 2009

Shanghai: Zhujiajiao Water Village

Shanghai isn't all urban glitz: many of the outlying towns are still very traditional. The old center of Zhujiajiao, for instance, has been painstakingly preserved as an example of a Chinese "water village," or canal town.

The town was built on a river delta about 1,700 years ago, then rebuilt several times over the centuries. The natural waterways of the delta have all been channeled to serve as the town's main "roads," a la Venice.

(For the record: this being China, the population of Zhujiajiao "village" is actually about 60,000.)

Zhujiajiao is also a great place to see examples of traditional Chinese bridge-building. Most bridges in China are engineered to have that high peak in the middle, with a series of arches of variable size supporting the footpath.
Below: Zhujiajiao taxi drivers.
The bridge shot above, and the shot of the bell tower below, were both taken from one of these taxis.
Zhujiajiao is also home to the famous Ma Family Garden, built by one of the local magistrates. Both the pond and the laughing Buddha below are popular photo spots.

No comments: