Fengjing Ancient Water Town
Known for its ancient stone bridges, Fengjing ancient town is a well-preserved water town, or canal town, dating back to the time of the Yuan dynasty (1271 - 1318). Located southwest of Shanghai, the town covers an area of 91.7 km², and has 29 perpendicular streets and 48 lanes.
- Transport:1.5 hours’ drive from Shanghai downtown
- History: over 1,500 years
- Recommended visiting time: half a day, 4 hours
- Suitable for: all people
- English signs: not many
- Features: streets, lanes, corridors, and bridges
Why We Recommend Fengjing
- With more than 1,500 years of history, the town of Fengjing was officially established in 1275.
- Fengjing is a historical and cultural town famous in China, and one of the new eight attractions in Shanghai. It features well-preserved wooden houses, 52 old bridges, and an age-old open-air stage.
- Historically Fengjing was located at the intersection of Wu State and Yue State. It has long been known as a typical ancient water town in Jiangnan.
Explore the Highlights
The following 5 highlights of Fengjing are highly recommended by China Travel.
1. The Old Long Corridor
At a length of 268 meters, the corridor is one of the longest in all the Jiangnan water towns. Stores, restaurants and houses line up on one side of the corridor, while there is a 1,200-meter long river on the other side. With an old-style appearance, the corridor shelters people from rain and sunshine.
2. The East District Fire Station
The East District Fire Station was a nongovernmental organization founded at the beginning of the Republic of China (1912–1949 AD). It was rebuilt from an ordinary house. The façade was made in western style, mimicking the style of the Fire Station in the Shanghai Concession at the time.
As you open the red gate of this western-style building, you will see several pieces of old fire-fighting equipment displayed in the hall.
3. The Zhihe Bridge
The Zhihe Bridge is the oldest bridge in town, but is also a temple. At one end of the bridge stands a statue of the child-giving Guanyin, a goddess of Buddhism. Many people have prayed there since it was built during the Yuan dynasty (1271–1368).
4. Museum of Ding Cong’s Caricatures
Born in Fengjing in 1916, Ding Cong was one of the most prestigious caricaturists in China at the time. He published comic works from the 1930s onwards.
In his work, he presented spicy satire on the reactionary rule of the old society and expressed high praise for social prosperity after the founding of the People’s Republic of China. At the same time, he was also scathing about some backward phenomena. His work reflects his conscience and sense of justice.
The main building of the Museum of Ding Cong’s Caricatures is a two-story structure from the time of the Republic of China. With a total area of 360 m² and over 100 works exhibited, the museum features one anteroom, 7 showrooms and a VIP lounge.
5. The Peasants' Painting Village
About 5 km from Fengjing, the Peasants’ Painting Village is a good place for local peasant artists to live and work alongside others from peasant art traditions elsewhere in China, and a charming attraction for visitors appreciating folk art, such as folk paintings, paper-cuts, embroideries and wooden engravings.
How to Get to Fengjing from Shanghai
1. Take the metro line 1 to Jinjiang Park Station. After that, walk to the Shanghai Southwest Bus Station and take a bus on the Fengmei Line to Fengjing Pailou Station. The 1.5-hour journey costs about 16 RMB.
2. Take direct buses at the Hong Kou Branch of the Shanghai Tour Bus Station.
Best Time to Visit Fengjing
The scenery in Fengjing is suitable for a visit all year round, but the best time would probably be March to May or September to October. Compared with other water towns, Fengjing is relatively empty, even at holiday times. Visitors can relax and take their time to stroll around the town, filled as it is with historical sites and relics.
- Admission Fee: Free (but it costs extra for the sites in the town)
- Opening Hours: 8:00–17:00 from May to September; 8:00–16:30 from October to April
There are about 20 hotels and private dwellings in and around Fengjing, of different standards. The prices range from 100 RMB to 400 RMB. It is worth spending a night in the town to appreciate the nightscape.
Most hotels in Fengjing are well-equipped with modern facilities like western style toilet, wi-fi, phone and television. High-end hotels usually cost around 400 RMB per room per night.
Food in Fengjing
The specialties in Fengjing are:
- Xunlasi: Made of smoked, marinated toad meat.
- Wuyue tofu: Braised bean curd cut into two, with mince between the two.
- Dingti: A dish of pigs’ feet with 8 complex cooking procedures. The meat stays fresh; fat but not greasy.
- Yellow wine: Since the 1930s, Fengjing has become an important centre in the production of yellow wine.
- Zhuangyuan cake: A kind of dessert made of sticky rice, with various flavors.
Ticket Office – Zhihe Bridge – The Old Long Corridor – The Site of the East District Fire Station – Museum of Ding Cong’s Caricatures – The Peasants’ Painting Village