If you are planning a one-day tour in Shanghai, there are various places to visit, like the Bund, the grand Jinmao Building, Jing’an Temple, Shanghai Oriental Pearl TV Tower, etc.. But If you are interested in Chinese traditional culture, such as the traditional Chinese drawing and the scenes in the movies like Crouching tiger, hidden dragon, you can come to Fengjing ancient town which is located in the southwest of Shanghai. It's not that crowded as Zhujiajiao water town or Zhouzhuang water town as it's far from the downtown area. It’s open from 8am to 4:30pm. The best seasons for visit is between March and May or between September and October when it's neither too hot nor too cold. As it’s a small town, it’s a perfect choice for a one-day tour.
You can take metro line 1 and get off at Jinjiang Park station, and then transfer to the Fengmei bus line and get off at the last stop. The bus line comes every 20 minutes and takes around one hour costing 12 yuan one single way.
Once you step into this small delicate town, you will see hundreds of narrow rivers intersected with each other, which breed the residents for generations. Along the river are packed with the ancient styled houses, which feature wood structure, grey tile, hooked eaves, timber checkered window, triangular roof and usually no more than three storeys. They stand so closely that you will probably miss the narrow long alleys between them. On the river there are some people paddling the boats. Now that you have a whole day, you can take your time and take a boat to enjoy the views on both sides. In Fengjing there are three icon bridges which are Qingfeng Bridge, Zhuxing Bridge and Beifeng Bridge, connecting the residents on the two sides together. It's said the bride and the groom must pass these three bridges in the jubilant music of gong and drum, a Chinese traditional percussion instrument, during the wedding, which can bless the new couple being happily together forever. Among all these bridges, Zhihe Bridge stands out as the oldest bridge here, which was built in Yuan Dynasty and still works very well.
After the boat cruise, you can shop in the small stores. It’s great fun to see the traditional Chinese items like the fan, handmade art craft displayed in the stores even if you do not buy them. For lunch, there are plenty of food you can choose, such as the famous bruised pork leg, dried bean curd, Shiu mai, steamed bun with juicy minced pork and wonton. In autumn, you can also taste the very fresh and delicious crab. After lunch, you can go the Chairman Mao Badges Memorial Hall which displays around three thousand badges of Chairman Mao collected by a personal collector Mr. Miu Shifang.
In the afternoon, if you are tired, you can go into the teahouse and have a cup of tea. In ancient china, the teahouse is usually a social place where people exchange ideas and talk with each other just like today’s coffee shop! Here you can relax, have a little chat with your friends. When you have enough rest, you can continue your trip.
Another place you can go to is Ding Cong Caricature Exhibition hall. Ding Cong is a famous caricaturist for his social satirizing caricature. The exhibition hall is two-storey tall and has a big garden which is decorated with various plants and flowers. There are seven exhibition halls exhibiting more than a hundred paintings by Ding Cong.
These places above are enough for a one-day tour. Besides, there are still many other interesting things to do and unique beauty to see in this small ancient town if you have more time.