Zhujiajiao is one of a number of ancient water towns located just outside of Shanghai.It is said that Zhujiajiao is the best preserved of them. It serves as a popular tourist destination and weekend retreat for many local Shanghainese. My advice would be to try and visit mid-week, if possible, to avoid the large crowds. It takes only an hour to get to by bus from the centre of Shanghai, though do be aware that there is also a slow bus which takes two hours (so make sure to ask!). We did check but, on the way back, we were wrongly informed that we were on the right bus. This was a little annoying. However, we had such a lovely day in Zhujiajiao that it could not dampen our spirits and I took the extra journeying time to have a much needed snooze.
There are a couple of temples to see and a number of the old buildings, such as the ancient post office and apothecary, are opened to the public as museums.
The red ribbons tied to the trees are prayers, or wishes.
Like Suzhou, Zhujiajiao also has immaculate Chinese gardens to peacefully wander around.
The streets are lined with charmingly cute hipster cafes, where you can enjoy a tea, or coffee, out on the decking by the water. There are also numerous stalls (catering mainly to Chinese tourists) selling bizarre looking street food. I opted for the much safer looking spiralized potato!