For a genuine experience that not only show you the history of China, but also showcase its beauty, try a visit to China’s great ancient water town known as Zhujiajiao. Formed over 1,700 years ago, this wonderful canal laden town that was once an important trading hub, has seen the days of both the Yuan, Qing and Ming dynasties, and has flourished today as a an up-and-coming bohemia of Asia.

In order to truly have an understanding of this beautiful place, one must visit the towns many bridges and canals. The Fangsheng Bridge is the biggest around, wonderfully engraved with eight dragons coiling around a shining pearl. Once you’ve done that, take a boat ride on the canal gondola, where you will experience wonderful views of this historic and well-preserved town. You can also take longer boat rides lakeside, experiencing the town from a different angle and perspective.

Make sure while you’re there to check out Zhujiajiao’s lovely and imposing gardens, particularly Ke Zhi Yuan, or Course Plant Garden, the largest in town.

Zhujiajiao can accommodate those with any budget, as it is not quite as overexposed as the more popular areas in China. From hostels to overnights in traditional guesthouses, there are more there are more than a few ways to live affordable and comfortable as if you were at home. Many guesthouses also speak a variety of languages, so feel free to ring ahead of time.

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