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All Chinese are born with a rustic bent. To many people, their happiest daydream is no more than a straw-thatched hut with a small bridge across near a chattering stream.
In the suburbs of Shanghai are a number of ancient towns dating back to the Ming and Qing dynasties, among which Zhujiajiao Town is the best preserved.
Villages and fairs first sprung up during the Three Kingdoms period, 1,700 years ago, and during the Wanli Reign of the Ming Dynasty, it developed into this flourishing town, with a sizable population and booming businesses.
In Zhujiajiao Town, traditional-style streets, markets and architecture of the Ming and Qing dynasties are well preserved, and certain traditional crafts have been restored. Aboard the black-awning skiffs floating along the canal, fishermen ply their hauls, while country girls dressed in bright colors pick water chestnuts.
There are many small eateries in the town selling local specialties such as chestnut-and-pork zongzi (a pyramid-shaped dumpling made of glutinous rice, wrapped in bamboo or reed leaves), smoked green soy beans, and pickled vegetables, all cooked in the accustomed, centuries-long manner. (Source: China Today)
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