Jiaxing is a Chinese city full of glorious canals, natural landscapes and historical architecture, that is not overcrowded by tourist. It has been populated, rich and prosperous since the ancient times of the Qin Dynasty and has a history of more than two thousand years. Although it used to be renowned as the “Silk city”, Jiaxing is now popular for its gardens and landscape but also because of its historical importance as the birthplace of the Communist Party of China. Only a small train ride from Shanghai, here is a list of the things you should not miss when visiting Jiaxing.
1. Take incredible photos and feel romantic at Moon River Street (Yuehe Street)
This is where the magic really begins. Here you can really sense and smell why Jiaxing is a great destination. Between those ancient neighborhoods, divided by canals, you can really feel you are in the Venice of China. The buildings might look a bit different, but the romanticism is still here. Kiss your loved one and watch the lanterns light up. “Moon River Street” or Yuehe Street, is named after the shape of the local curved canal, which bears a great resemblance to the crescent moon.
Moon River Street/Yuehe Street
Address: Jingkou Qu, Zhenjiang Shi, Jiangsu Sheng, China
2. Visit the popular and photogenic Nanhu South Lake
Located in the center of Jiaxing, you can find Lanxiou Park. In the middle of it you will be able to admire this huge lake that has views all over the city. The lake is Jiaxing’s main tourist attraction. Take an afternoon stroll around the perimeter with the luxuriant trees and enjoy the picturesque lake in the shade. In the middle of the lake you will find an island accessible by a ferry.
Address: Nanhu, Jiaxing, China
3. Try some of the amazing Jiaxing street food
Street food is one of the best and most original experiences a traveler can have in a new destination. So don’t forget to try the famous Zehjiang cuisine food stalls. A perfect mixture of sweet and salty, Jiaxing rice dumplings are a traditional Zhejiang cuisine, earning the label of “Chinese fast food”. They are glutinous but not pasty; fat but not greasy.
4. Get off the beaten track and have an entire lake to yourself at Nanbei Lake
Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing
If you would rather have a gorgeous lake all to yourself and the most unique pictures of the bunch, then you should definitely pay a visit to Nanbei Lake. It is located between the hills near to coast. You can just walk around the lake, visit a small island in the middle or rent a boat. Here you will be all alone with the locals, but there are no menus in English at the food places nearby.
Nanbei Lake of Jiaxing
Address: Nanbei Lake of Jiaxing, Haiyan County 314300, China
Website: Nanbei Lake of Jiaxing
5. Join the other tourists in a boat trip in Jiaxing's Ancient Canal
There is no better way to observe the amazing ancient architecture than taking a boat tour in Jiaxing’s Ancient Canal. This is the only guaranteed way for you to lay your eyes upon every single building of this World Heritage Monument. There is also a bustling market where you can buy food, plants, golden fish, local snacks and souvenirs.
Jiaxing's Ancient Canal
Address: Dongfang Road, Xiuzhou District, Jiaxing 314031, China
6. Visit the place where communism started at Nanhu Revolutionary Memorial Hall
Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing
If you want to learn a different version of history from a chinese perspective, then this is a museum that you should not miss. There are many explanatory texts in English. With detailed information, this is a museum that you should not miss if you are interested in politics and history. Entry is free, however, you need to obtain a ticket from the reception. Audio is available in several languages for a small fee. Westerners please note there is a dress code; strapless tops are discouraged and shoes without a back (slips-ons or scuffs) are not allowed.
Nanhu Revolutionary Memorial Hall
Address: Yanyu Rd, Nanhu Qu, Jiaxing Shi, Zhejiang Sheng, China
7. A tale of two cities: take a tour at the nearby Wuzhen
Only a bit further away from Jiaxing you can visit Whuzhen, which was originally two towns administered by two prefectures, divided by a canal. Located on the opposite corners of the same canal based on Dongzha and Xizha the two most important streets of Whuzen are quite separate and consist of two gorgeous scenic areas. A visit to Mux Xin’s former residence is really worth it.
Address: Longyuan Rd, Tongxiang Shi, Jiaxing Shi, Zhejiang Sheng, China
Website: Wuzhen: Ancient Water Town
8. Don't let even a drip of gorgeousness slip away and visit Xitang Water Town
Just like Wuzhen and Jiaxing, Xitan is another ancient water town with cobble stone streets, incredible traditional architecture, gorgeous canals and bridges. What makes Xitang different is the 104 bridges, 122 ancient lanes and the option to take relaxing strolls on the riverside. Also the light morning fog will make your selfies look incredibly mysterious.
Xitang Ancient Water Town
Address: 407 Zhejiang Sheng, Jiaxing Shi, Jiashan Xian, China
Jiaxing: culture, romance, politics and scenery
Jiaxing is a destination that should not be missed by any traveler. It combines everything that makes a city a great getaway; gorgeous world heritage monuments, traditional well preserved architecture, natural sceneries, strong political history and a romantic riverside to walk by while you hold the hand of your significant other. This is the Venice of China, but it is not just a boring place for romantic couples, it is a bustling ancient city that is slowing evolving and fluctuating to welcome a new era. And if you get bored and need some peace and quiet, the nearby ancient water city getaways are right around the corner.
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