Where to? Shoaxing, China
Why you’ll love it: Touring around China’s major cities, it’s hard to believe that not that long ago there weren’t any skyscrapers in sight. Just 1.5 hours from Shanghai, Shaoxing showcases a beautiful juxtaposition between old and new. The river town still retains lots of historic charm, where old white houses with charcoal-colored roofs and over 4,000 stone bridges overlook the many canals.
While beautiful and peaceful, the canals are actually only half the draw of this Chinese town. Shaoxing is known as the home to famous 19th century scholar Lu Xun, and the main pedestrian street (aptly named Lu Xun Middle Road) is dedicated to the guy. You can tour his old house, temple, his study rooms, and even eat Aniseed beans at the writer’s favorite restaurant, Xianheng Restaurant, as documented in one of his short stories “Kong Yiji.”
Fun fact: The city is famous for its fermented food and Shaoxing rice wine, the latter of which has typically been buried underground to age. Don’t miss the stinky tofu, braised pork belly and drunken chicken in Huadiao wine — three of the city’s staples.
Get there: Fly to Hangzhou and take a 20-minute “D” or “G” bullet train ride to Shaoxing for about RMB20.
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