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Fast Facts | Acrobatics Show | Jade Buddha Temple | Maglev Train | Nanjing Road | Qibao Village | Renmin Square | Shanghai Museum | The Bund | Tongli Village | Shanghai's stylish Xin Tian Di | Yu Garden | Zhouzhuang | Zhujiajiao |

Fast Facts

Full Name
Shanghai
Area
6,340 sq km
2,448 sq miles
Population
17,000,000
Time Zone
GMT/UTC +8 ()
Daylight Saving Start
not in use
Daylight Saving End
not in use
Electricity
220V 50HzHz

Acrobatics Show

Acrobatics is an interactive art form. Everyone, young or old, educated or not, can easily appreciate it while watching or seeing the acrobats perform. There is no language barrier and borders of culture do not limit it.

Chinese Acrobatics is one of the oldest performing arts. Its history can be traced  to Neolithic times. It is believed that acrobatics grew out of labor and self-defense skills, which people practiced and demonstrated during their leisure time. The early performance is "walking on three-meter-high stilts while juggling seven gaggers". Then it developed into an entire art form.

Together with the developing economy, acrobatics is also evolving into a kind of performing art. It became well known worldwide while performances are presented along the Silk Road. In Europe and North America, Chinese acrobatic performances always attract large audiences.
The acrobatic performers were trained strictly the basic skills starting from the early age of six or seven years old. Because the required techniques are extremely difficult and risky, the training is long, hard and intense. Examples of basic skills are handsprings, somersaults, waist and leg flexibility, and headstands. The performers must endure great deal of unexpected pains in order to become excellent.

As what the pictures show, performers illustrate the harmonious beauty of human body when performing to the public.

Acrobatic art has its own peculiarity. As the performance itself is very depictive, it has high requirements and interdependent to light effects, costumes or clothing and music. The theme music perfectly coincided with the performance, which could make the atmosphere even livelier. A successful acrobatic show also requires appropriate clothing. Costumes further enhance the beauty of the performance and increase its visual effects.

In Portman Acrobatic Show, you will enjoy juggling (one of the traditional elements of Chinese acrobatics, as well as of western circus arts), diabolo or Chinese yo-yo, feast of equilibrium (the frequently part of circus and acrobatic performances during which the performer grips one straight apparatus (for example: stick) in his teeth and balances a second one (with a glass and flower balanced precariously atop it) on its tip. And the performer gradually shifts position so that the sticks meet end-to-end in a full vertical, then slowly returns them to a perpendicular arrangement.), body contortionism (sometimes called "barrel squeeze play") and the "unique bowl flip". In contortionism performance, the performer maneuvers his doubled-over body into and out of a narrow hoop and a tight barrel. The "unique bowl flip" demands the mastery of several skills all at the same time: riding a unicycle with one foot, balance an ever-taller, increasingly-wobbly stack of bowl on his/her head, kicking and catching on his/her head several bowls at one time. Each successive flip is done with a greater number of bowls, and the bowls already caught are stacked high upon her head. As the stack of bowls on her head grows taller (and thus less stable), the performer should exercise with great care to keep them from falling. At a certain point, the performer must catch the flipped bowls behind, since she/he cannot look up without dropping those already perched on her/his head.
Besides these wonderful performances, you can also enjoy the plates spinning, leg and foot juggle, rolling cups & contortion, poles climb, bungee jump, rolling hoops dives, trapeze, bicycle feasts, and so many more.

Watching a Chinese Acrobatics Show, strongly impacts you both mentally and physically. You will truly have an unforgettable experience of your life.

The core member of the Portman Acrobatic troop has been professionally trained in China from as young as six years old and each had a minimum of twenty-year experience. They have performed for many foreigners from all over the world, and gained good reputation and travelers popularity.


Jade Buddha Temple

In the western part of Shanghai, a very modern and flourishing city, there is a venerable and famous Buddhist temple, Jade Buddha Temple. In 1882, an old temple was built to keep two jade Buddha statues which had been brought from Burma by a monk named Huigen. The temple was destroyed during the revolution that overthrew the Qing Dynasty. Fortunately the jade Buddha statues were saved and a new temple was built on the present site in 1928. It was named the Jade Buddha Temple.

The two precious jade Buddhist statues are not only rare cultural relics but also porcelain artworks. Both the Sitting Buddha and the Recumbent Buddha are carved with whole white jade. The sparkling and crystal-clear white jade gives the Buddhas the beauty of sanctity and make them more vivid. The Sitting Buddha is 190 centimeters high and encrusted by the agate and the emerald, portraying the Buddha at the moment of his meditation and enlightenment. The Recumbent Buddha is 96 centimeters long, lying on the right side with the right hand supporting the head and the left hand placing on the left leg, this shape is called the "lucky repose". The sedate face shows the peaceful mood of Sakyamuni when he left this world. In the temple there is also another

Recumbent Buddha which is four meters long and was brought from Singapore by the tenth abbot of the temple in 1989. Furthermore there are many other ancient paintings and Buddhist scriptures distributed in the different halls of the temple.

Although the history of the Jade Buddha Temple is not very long, the old-time and classical architectural style makes the temple unique and inimitable in this modern city. Devajara Hall, Mahavira Hall and the Jade Buddha Tower make up the main structure of the temple and at sides are the Kwan-yin Dian Hall, the Amitabha Dian Hall, the Zen Tang Hall, the Dining-Room and the Recumbent Buddha Hall. The Sitting Buddha is in the Jade Buddha Tower and the Recumbent Buddhas are in the Recumbent Buddha Hall. More than 7,000 Dazang sutras are kept in the Jade Buddha Tower; these are all the inestimable culture relics.

The Jade Buddha Temple is a good place to go whether you are a Buddhist or not, the peaceful and transcendent atmosphere adds a kind of richness to our busy modern society.


Maglev Train

In January 2003, the world first commercial Maglev train was inaugurated in Shanghai, China. Built from German technology at a cost of 1.2 billion dollars, it links the new Shanghai Pudong International airport to the center of Pudong, on the eastern part of Shanghai. The system has a length of about 30 kilometers with maximum speeds of about 440 kilometers per hour. It takes about 8 minutes to go from one end to the other, making it the fastest urban transit system in the world. The principles of magnetic levitation technology are quite apparent on the above picture, where the train is virtually floating 10 millimeters above the guide way.

Nanjing Road

China's premier shopping street, 3.4-mile-long Nanjing Road, starts at the Bund in the east and ends in the west at the junction of Jingan Temple and Yan'an West Street. Today Nanjing Road is a must-see metropolitan destination attracting thousands of fashion-seeking shoppers from all over the world.

After the Opium War (1839-1842), Shanghai became a treaty port. Nanjing Road was first the British Concession, then the International Settlement. Importing large quantities of foreign goods, it became the earliest shopping street in Shanghai.

Over time, Nanjing Road has been restructured, undergoing significant change. For shopping convenience, its eastern end has an all-weather pedestrian arcade. Big traditional stores no longer dominate the market since modern shopping malls, specialty stores, theatres, and international hotels have mushroomed on both sides of the street.

Today over 600 businesses on Nanjing road offer countless famous brands, superior quality, and new fashions. KFC, McDonald's, Pizza Hut, and other world-famous food vendors line both sides of the street. Upscale stores include Tiffany, Mont Blanc, and Dunhill. In addition, approximately a hundred traditional stores and specialty shops still provide choice silk goods, jade, embroidery, wool, and clocks.

Open-air bars, abstract sculptures, and lingering sounds from street musicians enhance evening strolls. A trackless sightseeing train provides a comfortable tour of the night-transformed pedestrian street. Flashing neon signs illuminate the magnificent buildings and spangle the night skyline of this lively city.


Qibao Village

An ancient town in Shanghai municipality about 15km south of Shanghai city.

Qibao is a small town about two square kilometers in size which is crossed by two canals. Around the canals, a large number of traditional houses, shops and restaurants are found. Recently tourism has been actively encouraged and it makes a good daytrip from Shanghai city. Although Qibao can be touristy, prices are comparatively cheap.

The city is a closed area and you have to buy a ticket (10,- Yuan). The ticket includes ten special copper coins which you could either keep as memory or spend at special shops inside the city.

The city is very small and you can conveniently walk everywhere.


Renmin Square

An unmissable central landmark of Shanghai, Renmin Square was the site of massed Red Guard demonstrations in the 1960s and Shanghais own 1989 protests. Now it is the peaceful setting for some of Shanghais chief modern civic buildings. The Shanghai Grand Theatre and Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall flank the Shanghai Government on the north side, while the Shanghai Museum (see Key Attractions) stands in the centre.

Shanghai Museum

As a museum of ancient Chinese art, Shanghai Museum possesses a collection of 120,000 precious works of art. Its rich and high-quality collection of ancient Chinese bronze, ceramics, painting and calligraphy is specially celebrated in the world. Founded and first open to the public in the building previously of the horseracing club at 325 W. Nanjing Road in 1952 and then moved into the former Zhonghui Building at 16 S. Henan Road in 1959, the museum developed very quickly in aspects of acquisition, conservation, research, exhibition, education and cultural exchanges with other institutes. In 1992, the Shanghai municipal government allocated to the Museum a piece of land at the very center of the city, the People's Square, as its new site. The whole construction took three years, from August 1993 to its inauguration on October 12th, 1996. The 29.5 meters high new building has a construction space of 39,200 square meters. Its unique architectural form of a round top with a square base, symbolizing the ancient Chinese philosophy that the square earth is under the round sky, is a distinguished architectural combination of traditional feature and modern spirit. The present Shanghai Museum has eleven galleries and three special temporary exhibition halls. It extends warm welcome to the visitors from all over the world.

The Bund

The Bund, also called the Zhongshan Road, is a famous waterfront and regarded as the symbol of Shanghai for hundreds of years. It starts from the Baidu Bridge, which is at the connecting point of the Huangpu River and the Suzhou Creek, to the East Jinling Road and winds a 1500 meters (less than one mile) length. Walking along the Bund, which is at the west shore of the Huangpu River, the Oriental Pearl TV Tower can be seen on the opposite side and also the Jin Mao Tower.Being one of the Top Ten Shanghai Attractions, the Bund is a really beautiful and special place which is worth visiting. The newly-built Flood Control Bank takes the function of preventing the oversize flood; the square with the statue of Marshal Chen Yi is an open air podium which gives new views of the Shanghai Plaza Culture; the Cenotaph which stands on the man-made island is a monument of people's heroes; the riverside greenbelt, the Electronic Waterfall Bell, and the Great Mural Carving are all representatives of the Bund. The most famous and attractive sight which is at the west side of the Bund are the 52 various buildings of different architectural styles including Gothic, Baroque, Romanesque, Classicism and the Renaissance. The Bund was the centre of Shanghai's politics, economy and culture hundreds of years ago, consulates of most countries and many banks, businesses and newspaper offices were settled there, and that's why we have these art-like buildings. Although they were not designed by the same person or built in the same period, the architectural pattern is similar.

Tongli Village

Tongli----An Ancient Town in Southern China.
Apart from being endowed with a unique charming vista peculiar to the water township in Southern China,Tongli is rich in both cultural relics and traditional architectures.
Tongli, a pictoresque and elegant town, has become world-known for its having wonderful scenery, classic building and precious relics.

Located on the bank of Taihu Lake and the shore of Great Canal, about 18 kilometres to Suzhou, Tongli is a small town with 33,500 population, covers a total area of 62.54 square kilometres. Surrounded by water on four sides, the place looks as if it were inlaid in the centre of five lakes including Jiuli, Yeze, Nanxing and Pangshan. The proper of this town is divided into seven blocks by fifteen streams. However, they have been combined into a complete whole by 49 bridges in different shape. With their dwellings built beside the stream, the locals all enjoy the convenience to travel by boat. In such a case, Tongli is acclaimed as one of the well-preserved ancient towns with water scenery in Jiangsu province.

Originally named Futu(rich land), the place was renamed as Tongli(copper village) in the first years of the Tang Dynasty. At that time, Tongli was none other than a small village. Later on, the name of this place was changed once again into Tongli(fellow villager) during the Song Dynasty and, what's more, it was administered as a town.


Shanghai's stylish Xin Tian Di

neighborhood of old Shikumen (a type of tenement found only in Shanghai) has been saved by a restoration that turned the old stone buildings into boutiques, clubs and restaurants. Xin Tian Di is not only China's finest historical redevelopment project, but also a model for Asia. Ironically, this historic district's rebirth as a hotspot of bourgeoisie splendors is all because of Chairman Mao.
 
COFFEE ISN'T THE ONLY THING BREWING in the chic cafes of Xin Tian Di, the hottest new entertainment district in Shanghai. A revolutionary spirit reverberates through the two-square block development that saved scores of historic brick buildings from the wrecking ball, by transforming them into some of the city's finest clubs, restaurants and boutiques.
  Revolution is practically a tradition in this charming neighborhood of old Shikumen, a type of early 1900s tenement unique to Shanghai.
  Eighty-two years ago, meetings held inside one of the old Shikumen at Xin Tian Di (pronounced Shin tea-en dee) were chaired by the original Chairman, Mao Zedong. Attending were the first comrades. Together, they formed the Communist Party, which transformed all of China.
  Despite its lofty name, Xin Tian Di - literally, New, Heaven, Earth - has more modest hopes, merely intending to revolutionize entertainment, shopping and dining in Shanghai.
  Already, it's set a new benchmark for style that is fast being replicated around China. And the success of the project could have even greater impact as a role model for historical redevelopment not just in China, but across Asia.
  Credit goes to Benjamin Wood, an American architect who oversaw the $170 million restoration of the neighborhood of old apartment blocks with traditional courtyard-style of construction.
  His relationship with Xin Tian Di was a case of love at first sight. "I flew into Shanghai," he recalls, "and was given 24 hours to decide whether I wanted to do it. I was blown away.
  "I saw the magic of the place. It was amazing. There was laundry hanging everywhere, all these people, parents with kids, flying kites, the whole litany of human experience."
  Yet Wood - a protg of famed architect Benjamin Thompson, who turned Boston's 150-year-old Faneuil Hall market into a world-renowned tourist attraction - is more realist than romantic when it comes to restoration.
  "I disdain preservation," he explains. "I don't believe you should proclaim things dead and turn them into museums. I believe you should breath life into places. That's my goal. I want to make living areas, where people can eat, drink and enjoy themselves."
  A stroll through Xin Tian Di shows he has achieved his aim. The place has been packed day and night since a second phase added more outlets along with cinemas, ice cream parlors and craft booths last year.
   "Xin Tian Di has transformed nightlife and entertainment in Shanghai," says Bob Boyce, owner of several restaurants and pubs in town, including KABB, one of Xin Tian Di's first openings.
  "Sometimes I just sit here and watch all the people go by. That's the real beauty of Xin Tian Di. You see people, all kinds of people, from all over the world, all enjoying themselves."
  The project has proven a critical as well as commercial hit. Local historian Tess Johnston, author of "A Last Look: Western Architecture in Old Shanghai" concedes concerns at the outset that the gentrification of the old district would ruin its charm.
  "But I've come around. I've seen the alternative and realize the future of Shanghai is more Xin Tian Di's."
   Johnston bemoans the wholesale destruction of so much of Shanghai's architectural heritage. Around the city's evocative old French Quarter, the old brick blocks are being razed, replaced by modern high-rises and shopping malls.
  That, too, seemed the fate awaiting Xin Tian Di's stone-gate Shikumen. But, in an ironic turn of events, Mao helped save the district, which has now become a celebration of fine food, nightlife and flashy consumer goods - practically everything he and his party opposed.
  When Hong Kong developers Shui On Group were given the rights to a massive 128 acres of prime downtown land, one stipulation was that the old party hall had to be preserved.
  First Communist Party Hall is now a museum, but cloistered around it on a delightful maze of cobbled streets are scores of trendy outlets reminiscent of San Francisco's Ghirardelli Square or Faneuil Hall.
  The outlets range from a Vidal Sassoon salon to the requisite Starbucks. There are flashy French and Italian restaurants, La Maison and Va Bene, plus nightclubs like Star East, a sort of Planet Hong Kong theme club launched by Jacky Chan and other Cantonese stars.
  Design is what makes Xin Tian Di so attractive, inside and out. Each of the two to three-story Shikumen looks unique, reflecting the exquisitely-preserved twists and turns of an evolving neighborhood, over the decades.
  Interiors are equally eye-catching; some of Shanghai's best artists and designers worked overtime on each shop and restaurant, determined to dazzle each other.  Take TMSK, which has been turning heads with a bar handspun of exotic glass, from the walls to bar-top and stools.
  Xin Tian Di is bolstered by the competitive spirit of one-upmanship: zesty tapas are served along with spicy salsa music at Cuban club and restaurant Che; big wall murals set a funky mood at La Bene (peak inside the playful bathrooms with stone basins and walls filled with butterfly displays); Ye Shanghai uses red lanterns and classy antique settings to evoke the spirit of Shanghai's swinging 1930s heyday.
 The result is a magical cornucopia recalling this city's former reputation for fusion, of East and West, old and new. And it satisfies at every level with surprises at every turn: an old door hinge or stunning balcony view of surrounding skyscrapers soaring over rounded doorways and century-old roof tiles.
  As a result, Shui On has been besieged by offers to replicate Xin Tian Di around China. Already, work has started on a similar project in Hangzhou, a lakeside city southwest of Shanghai.
  Nor are locals any less enthusiastic. "It's beautiful," says one old man in his late 70s on a visit to Xin Tian Di. "It's not like Shanghai was; nothing can be like that again. This is new, but it keeps the flavor of old Shanghai."
  Ironically, everybody's favorite restoration almost never happened, at least not quite this way. The original development plan, according to Wood, involved knocking down most Shikumen, then rebuilding a new version of Old Shanghai in a tiny area around the Party Hall.
  Wood, a latecomer to the project, appealed to Shui On Chairman Vincent Lo to take a different tact. "I cannot say this strongly enough," he wrote Lo. "Look past the obvious, the dirt, the decay, the crowded, unsanitary conditions and see (the area) as what it is...a cultural artifact that could for generations to come symbolize the meeting of East and West.
  "Every one who visits Shanghai is looking to find a trace, a piece of the history of one of the most famous cities of the early Twentieth Century."
  The crowds at Xin Tian Di provide vindication; likewise the flood of offers from other Chinese cities to do similar projects. Not that Wood intends to replicate Xin Tian Di.
  "The danger, I guess is that it becomes a clich, like some sort of Disney," he says. "Over time, though, I believe Xin Tian Di will be recognized as a classic. It will age very well."
  Wood isn't merely paying lip service to his creation that has quickly become Shanghai's favorite leisure zone. He's also enthusiastically involved, and has opened his own bar in Xin Tian Di, the ultra-minimalist DR.
  The name means Design Resource, and it's become a favored hang-out for local architects and designers. Almost entirely black, DR sports huge slabs of polished inkstone and a bar topped with woven strands of silver so tight liquids reportedly cannot penetrate. Hence, despite a peaking career in America, the architect has all but relocated to Shanghai.
"It's the only place in the world I know where you can watch pop culture created in front of you. There is so much energy. It's like Paris in the 1930s," he says. "There is so much artistic freedom. That might sound funny, but it's amazing. Things happen fast here."
  Of course, it took decades for the rebirth of Xin Tian Di, an old classic that has clearly come of age. In the process, China has finally had a chance to taste the kind of style and diversity of entertainment unknown until now.
  And it's all thanks to Mao.

Yu Garden

Located to the south of the Bund, the old Chinese city was a walled fishing town when the British arrived in 1843. Modern Shanghai grew up around it. It used to be a maze of tiny alleys, but the streets have been widened in recent years and are crowded with tourists. At the center of the Old City are the Chenghuang Temple and the Yu Garden, in which stands the Huxining Teahouse, said to be the model for the design on the willow-pattern plates much loved by Europeans in another era. The Bridge of Nine Turns zigzags to make it difficult for evil spirits to get across (since, as is well known, evil spirits have problems with corners). The Yu Garden is a classical Chinese garden with over 30 pavilions linked by a maze of corridors and bridges over ponds.

The Yu Yuan, or "Yu the Mandarin's Garden", is characteristic of the architectural style of the Ming dynasty. It is a private garden in the southeast of Shanghai, with a history of more than 400 years. The Garden, reminiscent of those in Suzhou, features more than 30 halls and pavilions. It is divided into six parts, each separated by a white brick wall, the top of which forms and undulating gray dragon. Each part of the park, although divided, has a balance and harmony creating a unity of expression.

Yu Garden "The Garden to Please" is located in the city of Shanghai. It is a garden of good size and is composed of a lotus pond, a number of rockeries, and a miniature mountain combined with a number of fine Pavilions. The plantings are scarce but the garden is harmonious and is enclosed by a high wall painted white and capped in part by a very long undulating dragon.           

Yuyuan is a 400 year old classical Chinese garden in the Old Town of Shanghai, not far from the Bund. Pan Yunduan spent twenty years and all his savings building it to please his parents in their old age.

Over the centuries the garden fell into disarray. Parts of it became residential, schools and markets. In 1956 the Shanghai government restored it and it was reopened to the public in 1961. There are over 40 buildings, ancient trees, ponds, bridges and sculpures.
As one walks through the garden, the view changes with every step.

In the middle of the garden, the Huijing Tower area has ponds, bridges, viewing pagodas, rock formations and large trees. It is a peaceful area to relax and look at the different angles the garden's designers have created.
From here you can look at Huijing Tower, look at Jiyu Corridor, look at the Toasting Pavilion, go to the Double Corridor or go to the Yule Pavilion.


Zhouzhuang

Zhouzhuang, one of the most famous water townships in China, situated in Kunshan City which is only 30 kilometers (18 miles) southeast of Suzhou. It is noted for its profound cultural background, the well preserved ancient residential houses, the elegant watery views and the strong local colored traditions and customs. In the Spring and Autumn Period (770 - 476 BC), Zhouzhuang was a part of the fief Yaocheng and called Zhenfengli. After being donated to Full Fortune (Quanfu) Temple by Zhou Digong, a very devout Buddhist, in 1086 during the Northern Song Dynasty (960 - 1127), Zhouzhuang got its present name as a memorial of the donor.

In an area of half a square kilometer (124 acres), 60 percent of the Zhouzhuang's structures were built during the Ming and Qing Dynasties, which is from 1368 to 1911. Taking the most convenient form of transport in Zhouzhuang, a gondola, we will present some of the breathtaking sights one by one.

Twin Bridges (Shuang qiao): Zhouzhuang is surrounded and divided by lakes and rivers, 14 stone bridges cross the rivers, showing distinctive views of the water-town. Twin Bridges which comprise Shide Bridge and Yongan Bridge are the most famous and is considered the symbol of Zhouzhuang. Built in Wanli era (1573 - 1619) of the Ming Dynasty, Twin Bridges is in the northeast of the town. Shide Bridge is east-west and has a round arch, while Yongan Bridge is north-south and the bridge arch is square. Crossing the two crisscross rivers (Yinzi Creek and Nabeishi River) and connecting at the middle, Twin Bridges look like a Chinese old-style Chinese key. In 1984, 38 canvases of the notable painter, Chen Yifei, were exhibited in a New York gallery of Armand Hammer, chairman of Occidental Petroleum Corporation. "Memory of Hometown" which depicts Twin Bridges was one of the items on display and has gained the world's attention for Zhouzhuang. The painting was chosen to be the first-day cover of the United Nations' postage stamp in 1985.

Fuan Bridge: Located at the eastern end of Zhongshi Jie, Fuan Bridge was built in 1355 during the Yuan Dynasty. The unique trait of the Fuan is the consummate combination of the single-arch bridge and the bridge towers which have , are used as tearooms, restaurants and stores, and are good places to appreciate the views while taking a rest.

Shen House: Built in 1742 and located at the southeast side of Fuan Bridge, Shen House was the private property of the descendant of Shen Wansan, the first millionaire of Jiangnan (South of Yangtze River) in the early Qing Dynasty. The whole architectural complex is of the Qing's style and occupies an area of more than 2,000 square meters (half an acre). Over 100 rooms are divided into three sections and each one is connected by arcades and aisles. The first is the water gate and the wharf, where Shen's family moored boats and washed clothes. The middle part includes the gate tower, the tearoom and the main hall. Bricky gate tower carved with lively and ingenious figures which tell the historic stories or show the good wishes, make it a rare artwork. Tea room and main hall are places for serving guests, and the furnishings in here are all very elegant. The last section is the two-storied dwelling which consists of several buildings which are quite different from the main hall, more comfortable and refined in pattern and atmosphere. The painted sculpture of legendary Shen Wansan is in Datang Tower; cultural relics including ancient folk instruments are exhibited in Xiaotang Tower and Back Hall.

Zhang House: Built by Xu's family in the Zhengtong era (1436 - 1449) of the Ming Dynasty and bought by Zhang's family in the early Qing Dynasty. Located to the south of the Twin Bridges, Zhang House has more than 70 rooms and takes up about 1,800 square meters (less than half an acre). With Ruojing River flowing through, Zhang House is a dapper and graceful residential house; has a tranquil courtyard and pond. Deep halls all represent the life of the quondam owner.

Milou Tower: Once called the De's Tavern, Milou Tower perches next to Zhenfeng Bridge which is at the southwest corner of Zhouzhuang. It is famous for being a rallying place of the literators in old times. Numerous poets, songs and stories about Milou Tower are wide spread and make it more charming.

Chengxu Taoist Temple: Standing on Zhongshi Street which is opposite to Puqing Bridge, Chengxu Taoist Temple was built during 1086 - 1093 of the Song Dynasty and also known as Sanctity Hall (Shengtang Hall). After several periods of expansion, it is one of the most famous Taoist temples in Wuzhong Region. In an area of 1,500 square meters (1,800 square yards), simple but majestic Shengdi and Doumu halls, Yuhuang, Wenchang and Shengdi pavilions are really elaborate works and masterpieces of Taoist architectures.

The preceding sight-seeing sites are just a little part of the pretty attractions of Zhouzhuang. Besides these historic sights, the local folklore, traditions and legends of this water township, such as the dragon boat race, the granny tea or the Wansan home-style banquet which are formed from the immemorial civilization and history are also the indispensable elements for an unforgettable tour.


Zhujiajiao

Shanghai's Venice
Located in a suburb of Shanghai city, Zhujiajiao is an ancient water town well-known throughout the country, with a history of more than 1700 years. Covering an area of 47 square kilometers, the little fan-shaped town glimmers like a bright pearl in the landscape of lakes and mountains.

Endowed with another elegant name - "Pearl Stream" - the little town is the best-preserved among the four ancient towns in Shanghai. Unique old bridges across bubbling streams, small rivers shaded by willow trees, and houses with courtyards attached all transport people who have been living amidst the bustle and hustle of the modern big city to a brand-new world full of antiquity, leisure and tranquillity.

Bridges in the town
It is said that to visit Zhujiajaio without seeing the bridges means that you have not really been to Zhujiajiao at all! Bridges in the town are distinctive and old, built during Ming and Qing Dynasties. The old town is thoroughly connected by 36 delicate spans in different shapes and styles, from wooden to stone to marble.

Fangsheng Bridge (Setting-fish-free Bridge) is the longest, largest and tallest stone bridge, with five openings both in Zhujiajiao and in the Shanghai region. This bridge was built in 1571. On the bridge stands a stone tablet named Dragon Gate Stone, which is engraved with 8 coiling dragons encircling a shining pearl. On top of the bridge are 4 lifelike stone lions.

Lang Bridge (Veranda Bridge), also named Huimin Bridge, is the only wooden bridge and the most featured span in this town. It has wooden bars on the two sides and upturned eaves above, just like a narrow corridor.

North Street - Ancient Street
In the town, there is an ancient street filled with representative ancient buildings from the Ming and Qing Dynasties, attracting great numbers of domestic and foreign tourists. That is North Street, which is the best preserved ancient street in this suburb of Shanghai. Only one kilometer long, the whole street is at once primitively simple, yet very elegant. Strolling on this ancient thoroughfare and appreciating the historic buildings, long-established stores, and old bridges as well as the many narrow lanes is another enjoyment.

Ke Zhi Yuan (Course Plant Garden)
Zhujiajiao boasts imposing gardens as well as ancient dwellings built during the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Among the ancient architecture, Ke Zhi Yuan is the largest manorial garden in the town. The garden is commonly named "Ma Family Garden" after a former host named Ma Wenqin.

Located in Xijin Street in the northern part of town, Ke Zhi Yuan features beautiful sightseeing and quiet and secluded surroundings. It consists mainly of three parts, including a hall area, an artificial hill area and a garden area. In the artificial hill area, there is magnificent symbolic architecture - a foursquare five-story building, on the top of which stands a diametric pavilion named "Moon View Pavilion." This building is considered the tallest architecture in the town.

The scenic spots outlined here are just a sampling of the pretty attractions of Zhujiajiao. Old narrow lanes, peculiar stone hawsers on the riverside and old residences also make you enjoy yourself so much as to forget to go home.

 



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