Fenjing Water Town: Shanghai Day Trip


Where can you go to escape the crazy crowdedness of Shanghai? The answer is a short bus ride away to the town of Fenjing.

Getting There:

In southwest Shanghai, the ancient water town called Fenjing quietly lies. We traveled by bus to this old town, arriving an hour and a half after departure, the ground wet with rain and the sky white with clouds. After walking through a small museum, we made our way through an arched “moon gate” and got our first view of the city. The houses sitting along the water’s edge was so beautiful to take in.

Fenjing Ancient Watertown, photo taken from one of the town’s famous bridges

Atmosphere: A Peaceful Watertown

Compared to the towering skyscrapers and flashy lights of modern Shanghai, this small town was a breath of quiet beauty and simplicity. Two story houses sat surrounded by water, green plants decorated their white washed sides, and little red lanterns hung from their black tiled roofs. Red fortunes hung from some of the trees near the entrance, and wooden boats with bright red canopy tops bobbed by the shore.

Fortunes hanging in the trees
Houses by the water decorated by bright red lanterns

What to Do in Fenjing:

A trip to Fenjing is not complete without riding along the canals in one of the wooden boats. The ride was pleasant, and our boat rocked rhythmically from side to side as we were propelled forward by our guide’s long oar. We made our way under bridges and next to waterside homes throughout the journey.

Our great oarsman!

Off the boat and along the streets, merchants made and sold a variety of food, while a few artists sat along the water to paint the scenery. If you are looking for a bite to eat or a small souvenir, pick up something here!

Here a woman wraps Zongzi (stuffed glutinous rice) in lotus leaves.
Along the canal in Fenjing
Looking down the street

My time in Fenjing was brief, but I loved the change in pace and scenery. My favorite part was seeing the houses along the canal (almost as if they were floating!) and being able take a boat ride that offered a glimpse into some of the old culture and customs of China. This is a good place to visit if you have time to spare while in Shanghai!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

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