Most of the towns are over 1,000 years old; some are over 2,000 years. All of the towns boast beautiful old bridges, small rowing boats and stone walkways along the water. Many of the people who live in and around the towns are still doing today what generations did before them: fishing, farming, washing clothes and showering in the waterways and cooking in woks along the river.
Zhujiajiao is right outside of Shanghai but, although touristy, still maintains an authentic feel. Farther away are Luzhi and Nanxun. Both of these towns are less likely to have throngs of tourists, but not surprisingly, farther from the city.
When we have an extra day or half day in Shanghai, visiting one of these villages is a "must do". The time spent here is relaxing and enriching. Of course, there are ample opportunities to buy souvenirs, clothing and knickknacks. We eat a meal and take a little boat ride on one of the canals. We feel as if we went back in time to a simpler life.