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Fangsheng Bridge

Take part in the tradition of buying live fish then releasing them back into the open water for good luck.

TravelCurious Tip

When the water is still, look at the bridge from a riverboat: the semi-circle arches are reflected in the river, making five perfect circles. Hence why the style is known as a “Moon Bridge”

Zhujiajiao is a suburb of Shanghai that is famous as “The Venice of the Orient.” Its history reaches back almost 2000 years, and its many townhouses from the Ming and Qing dynasties are knitted together by a network of charming waterways. Another name for Zhujiajiao is “Pearl Stream,” perhaps owing to how its historical essence has endured while the world rushes forward around it: Zhujiajiao is the best preserved of Shanghai’s four ancient towns, after all.


Zhujiajiao’s famous waterways are spanned by no less than 36 bridges, built in a range of shapes and styles, some from wood, others from stone, and even some from marble. Some are just a single yard wide — but not Fangsheng Bridge.


Fangsheng Bridge was built in 1812 and is the longest and tallest stone bridge in Zhujiajiao. It is reputed to be the largest stone arch bridge in Shanghai, climbing up and down over five arches. The four pillars at the ends of the bridge are sculpted lions, and the central arch bears a relief of eight dragons coiled around a pearl.


The bridge is peppered with merchants at all times, including some selling live fish. Buy one and perform the ancient ritual of releasing it from the bridge into the waters below. Good karma guaranteed.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Shanghai
Sheng jian bao
Similar to the Xiao long bao, these dumplings are pan fried and dangerously delicious.
Deep fried Wonton
Delicious pork dumplings deep-fried and served with vinegar.
Silk Mill
Experience how world famous South China silk is made by visiting a real silk mill.
Kezhi Garden
Commonly called the ‘Ma family Garden’, it is home to a beautiful courtyard and historical buildings.
Moon View Pavillion
A beautiful courtyard in the Kehzi Gardens.
Qiao Family Road
Named after the richest trading family in Shanghai, this road dates back to this amazing city's origin.

Related Tours

Private Tour of Zhujiajiao Ancient Water Town
Shanghai today is an intoxicating mix of the traditional and the modern, and no trip would be complete without an excursion to ancient water town Zhujiajiao.

  • Meet your private guide and journey to Zhujiajiao 
  • Discover a photogenic canal town rich in charm dubbed the 'Venice of the East'
  • Explore a settlement rich in ancient history, dating back to the Ming Dynasty
  • Stroll cobbled streets, hemmed by canals, strung with red rice-paper lanterns
  • Enjoy a local lunch, recommended by your guide (price not included)
  • See Chinese cartographers, tea shops, pavement artists and paper cutters
  • Enjoy a gondola ride through timeless scenery to a Chinese folk song serenade 
With its quaint stone bridges, mist-cloaked canals and wooden gondolaspicturesque Zhujiajiao feels a world away from modern China  Dubbed the Venice of the East, it oozes with sleepy charm where the water’s lap against the canal-side echoes the slow-paced rhythm of daily life. Fishermen wait patiently for the telltale tug on a line as housewives haul laundry from the shallows of the glassy inky-blue water. 

On this fascinating Private Tour of  Zhujiajiao Ancient Water Town, you will venture into the mighty Yangtze River delta region where bicycles outnumber motorized vehicles. Everything centres on the waterways in Zhujiajiao, evoking memories of old Shanghai. Wooden gondolas ferry rice sacks and crates of fish up and down the river, sending silvery ripples across the surface of the canal. Skinny cobbled streets form a chaotic riddle through Zhujajiao criss-crossed by alleyways bedecked with red lanterns. 

Meander into the heart of Zhujiajiao where fortune tellers, paper cutters and tea shops are backdropped by fine 13th-century Chinese buildings. As you stroll across bridges and along the canalside, see locals playing cards at rickety tables or taking tea. Of course no visit to Zhujiajiao is complete without the timeless pleasure of a gondola ride and on your private, guided tour you will pass moored sampans where artists brush-stroke vivid colours onto silk-strung easels, to create glorious pictures of birds and blooms. 
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