Shaoxing is located in the north-central of Zhejiang province between Hangzhou and Ningbo. When it comes to Shaoxing City (绍兴), the first thing that comes to mind is the Chinese literary giant Lu Xun, of course. The complex homeland love knot can be seen everywhere, from the Baicao Garden to the Sanwei Study Room, from Kong Yiji's fennel beans to the Shaoxing opera. This cultural ancient city, built in the Xia Dynasty, has a deep history of more than 2500 years. Her blood is the ancient canal in east Zhejiang, Kuaiji Mountain is her spine. This land gives birth to many eminent literary giants such as Qiu JIn, Cai Yuanpei, Zhou Enlai, etc., while black-awning boats, black felt hats, and dried pickled mustard are amorous feelings of Shaoxing. Compared with other water towns in Jiangnan, Shaoxing has more scholarliness and the fragrance of yellow wine.
Why Visit Shaoxing, Zhejiang, China
Visit Former Residences of Historical Figures: There are so many former residences of famous people in Shaoxing and you don't need to look hard for them. They are scattered in the old streets and lanes of the city, such as the former residence of Xu Wei, Wang Xizhi, Lu Xun, Zhou Enlai, Qiu Jin, etc. Among them, the most worthy of a visit is the Green Vine Study of Xu Wei and Lu Xun's Hometown. The former residences of historic celebrities are like doors, which will give you an in-depth understanding of Shaoxing's customs, architecture, history and personalities of celebrities.
Explore the History by Visiting Shaoxing Top 8 Historic Blocks: The rich cultural heritage of Shaoxing is just like yellow wine, which requires tourists to taste slowly. The history of Shaoxing is hidden quietly on the green slate road of old streets, on the stone bridges across the river, and in the old but vitality “Taimen”. After relaxing, you can take a walk in the eight historic districts of Shaoxing, including Yuezicheng Historical Block and Shusheng Hometown Historical Block, etc. Just across the street from the scenic spot, is where Shaoxing people enjoy a leisurely life with a slow rhythm. You will find that Shaoxing is much more than the hometown of Lu Xun.
Take a Black-awning Boat and Enjoy Yue Opera Performing on Water Stage: As long as there is a wharf, you can step on the boat and start a black-awning boat trip at any time. If you want to watch the Yue opera, Lu Xun's Hometown or the Night in Shen Garden can all make you a feast for your ears, but only the East Lake Water Stage between the mountains and rivers can let you enjoy the two amazing experiences at the same time. It would be a quite memorable experience to sit on the boat and enjoy the local operas while drinking the yellow wine.
Inside Each Gates of “Tai Men” are Hiding Interesting Stories of Shaoxing: In Shaoxing, all the houses that are more decent are called Tai Men, and often live in a family or clan. Walk several steps on Shaoxing old street, you will meet a Tai Men. There are a lot of people living in one Tai Men. The patio is a place where children play, neighbors chat and do household chores. At present, the largest Taimen in the ancient city of Shaoxing should be the Zhou-family Taimen Group in Lu Xun's hometown. If you like, you can also stay one night in the Taimen converted inn. It will give you a special experience.
Shaoxing Delicious Yellow Wine, Salted Sausages and Duck: In the hometown of yellow rice wine, drinking a glass of yellow rice wine is an unmissable experience. Xianheng Hotel is certainly the best choice. However, if you care more about the atmosphere, go to Anchang Ancient Town during the last month of the lunar year. There are not only yellow rice wine but also salted sausages. Eat rice cakes, smoked sausage, salted duck with yellow wine and watch a local opera, which will freeze the strong festival atmosphere of Chinese New Year.
Top Attractions in Shaoxing, Zhejiang
To discover the historic, cultural and nature charm of Shaoxing, there are a series of famous attractions you can’t miss on your trip, including Lu Xun’s Hometown, Shen Garden, and Qingteng Study Room, etc. in the downtown area, and East Lake, Orchid Pavilion, Anchang Ancient Town and Wuxie, etc. in Shaoxing suburb.
Lu Xun’s Hometown
Lu Xun's Hometown (鲁迅故里) scenic spot is the place where Lu Xun and his family lived. There is not only the Xianheng Hotel mentioned in Lu Xun's article Kong Yiji, but also the famous Baicao Garden and Sanwei College, and other sites closely related to Lu Xun, such as Luxun Memorial Hall, Changqing Temple, etc.
Shaoxing East Lake
East Lake (东湖), one of the three famous lakes in Zhejiang Province. The ingenious combination of cliffs, caves, stone bridges and lakes, makes it become a famous garden. Although the east lake is small, but with the spectacular scenery formed by peculiar rocks and fancy caves, it’s recognized as a rare "wonder in lakes".
Influenced by the beautiful love story between Lu You and his cousin Tang Wan, Shen Garden (沈园) has now become “the love garden of Shaoxing”. One of the must-sees in Shen Yuan is a wall in the screen wall made of old bricks from the Song dynasty, Phoenix Hairpin by Lu You, which was written to memorize Tang Wan, and was engraved on the wall.
Orchid Pavilion (兰亭) was the place where the calligrapher Wang Xizhi of the Eastern Jin Dynasty wrote "the first script" - The Orchid Pavilion. Although the original script of Wang Xizhi is no longer here, it is still a poetic place with lush forest and bamboo, you may have a glimpse of the comfort of ancient literati.
Bazi Bridge (八字桥) has been praised as “the oldest overpass in China”. The shape of the bridge is like the character “八”, cleverly connecting the three converged rivers. The design of the Bazi bridge conforms to the layout of streets and houses in Shaoxing old city, and makes good use of the terrain.
Qingteng Study Room
Qingteng Study Room (青藤书屋) is the residence of Xu Wei, one of the three scholars in the Ming Dynasty. Compared with the downtown area not far away, it is like a Zen paradise. After purifying by the Tianchi Pond and ivy, the study room can be described as “spotless”, just like the house owner Xu Wei himself.
Anchang Ancient Town
The simple and elegant Anchang Old Street (安昌古镇) was built along the river hundreds years ago with the characteristics of water towns. Over 1000 years’ folk customs of Shaoxing are mostly preserved and continued here. Strolling along Anchang old street in the middle of winter, you can sense more about the jubilation and peacefulness of locals.
Kuaiji Mountain (会稽山·大禹陵) is a spiritual place of worship, surrounded by green trees and glazed tiles on red walls, showing the veneration of Da Yu by posterity. The whole mausoleum and temple were built along the mountain with a beautiful natural environment. Walking into the forest, you can hear birds’ singing and feel the wind’s blowing, very poetic.
Featured Shaoxing Activities
As a famous cultural city for many years in China, Shaoxing offers many interesting activities for you to have fun. Taking a black-awning boat, watching classic Yue opera, tasting local food and attending local featured festivals will all enrich your Shaoxing trip.
The black-awning boat is a unique water transportation tool in Shaoxing. A trip to Shaoxing without taking a black-awning boat is like a trip to Venice without taking a Gondola. Riding a swinging boat and shuttling in the waterway, is the best way to enjoy the harmonious scenery of small bridges, streams and local residences.
Shaoxing is the hometown of Yue opera, so when you come to Shaoxing, listening to the authentic Yue Opera should not be missed. Yue opera, also known as Shaoxing opera, is the second largest opera in China. Yue operas are mainly based on the theme of "talented scholars and lovely ladies", mainly sung with a beautiful voice and a moving performance.
Shaoxing is not only famous for its yellow rice wine, traditional Shaoxing dishes and local snacks also have attracted countless gourmets from all over the world. Preserved Vegetable Roast Meat, Deep-Fried Fermented Tofu, Beans Flavored with Fennel, etc. are all famous local foods. Xianheng Hotel is the top recommended place to try local dishes.
Shaoxing has many local featured festivals, such as The Twelfth Lunar Month Festival held in Anchang Ancient Town, Calligrapher Festival held at Orchid Pavilion Scenic Spot, Lu Xun Culture & Art Festival and Shaoxing Yellow Wine Festival held at Shaoxing Downtown, etc.
Shaoxing Weather & Best Time to Visit
Shaoxing is located in the subtropical monsoon climate zone with four distinct seasons. The climate is mild, wet and rainy. It has an average annual temperature of 16.4℃ and an average annual rainfall of about 100mm. In spring, the temperature rises gradually. The rainfall is increased in spring and the weather changes greatly. The plum rainy season in Ningbo occurs from mid-June to early July, with relatively concentrated rainfall and often accompanied by heavy rains. After the Plum Rain, the hot summer begins. Ningbo summer is featured with sunny weather, high temperature and strong sunlight, which might cause local drought occasionally. In autumn, the temperature falls gradually, usually after rain. Most of the time, the air is fresh and cool. However, the city might be affected by the typhoon in October, accompanied by strong wind and heavy rain. Winters in Ningbo are cold and dry with stable weather.
The best seasons to visit Shaoxing are spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November), when the temperature is warm and the UV is not so strong. There are also many local festivals held during this time. It is recommended to take your rain gear if you visit Ningbo from June to August, and sunglasses as well as sun cream in summer.
Shaoxing Transportation: How to Get to/around Shaoxing
How to Get to Shaoxing
Shaoxing has no airport but is well connected with other cities in Zhejiang province and main destinations in China by high-speed train and coach. Shaoxing is about 60km southeast from Hangzhou - the capital of Zhejiang, about 110km west from Ningbo and about 200km southwest from Shanghai.
There is no airport in Shaoxing. However, Shaoxing is only about 40km away from Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport. There are direct buses to Shaoxing from Hangzhou Xiaoshan Airport from 7:00-20:00, and the bus leaves every 50-60 minutes.
Check more about Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport >>
There are 4 train stations in Shaoxing, which are Shaoxing North Railway Station, Shaoxing Railway Station, Shaoxing East Railway Station and Zhuji Railway Station. Among which, North Railway Station is the high-speed train station in Shaoxing, which has many daily trains from Shanghai, Beijing, Hangzhou, Guangzhou, Nanjing, Xiamen, Ningbo, Wuhan, Changsha, etc. Shaoxing North Railway Station (绍兴北站) is about 15km north from Lu Xun’s Hometown, which takes 50 minutes by car and about 1 hour by BRT Line 1.
Another frequently used train station is Shaoxing Railway Station (绍兴站), it’s also the only train station located in the city center, only about 2.5km from Lu Xun’s Hometown. However,only normal trains would stop at this railway station.
There are 3 bus stations in Shaoxing downtown. The inter-provincial and inter-city long-distant buses are all depart from Shaoxing Passenger Bus Center (绍兴客运中心), you may take buses to major cities like Shanghai, Beijing, Tianjin, etc. and Chinese provinces like Jiangsu, Anhui, Fujian, Sichuan, Guangdong, etc. For those who are only transfer in the city or in Zhejiang province, may take buses at the Shaoxing East Bus Station or Shaoxing West Bus Station.
Check more about Get from Shanghai to Shaoxing >>
Getting Around Shaoxing
Taxies, public buses, BRT and other city vehicles like public bicycle, human tricycle and black-awning boat are very convenient to take you to where you want to go here in Shaoxing downtown. However if you want to visit the East Lake, Orchid Pavilion, Kuaiji Mountain and Anchang Ancient Town in suburb, you are recommended to book a private car service in advance.
Travel Shaoxing with China Discovery
To get rid of the troubles of making busy transfers at Shaoxing city, you are highly suggested to use our private transfer service. Once you travel with us, our local driver can escort you from the airport/train station/hotel to the tourist sites in Shaoxing in ease and convenience. If you are interested, please feel free to contact us.
Shaoxing Accommodation & Where to Stay in Shaoxing
Even the urban area of Shaoxing is not large, you can still find all kinds of accommodate from luxury 5-star hotel to cozy 3-star hostels and inns. Most Tourists will choose to stay in the city center. Lu Xun's Hometown Scenic Area, as well as Renmin Road, Jiefang Road, Shengli Road and Yan 'an Road are all included in the city center area. Besides, tourists can also choose hotels around the City Square and around Shaoxing Railway Station.
Top Recommended Hotels in Shaoxing:
- Xianheng Hotel (咸亨酒店) ★★★★★
- Address: No.179 Luxun Middle Street, Yuecheng District, Shaoxing (绍兴市越城区鲁迅中路179号)
- Shaoxing Laotaimen Luxun Native Place Youth Hostel (绍兴老台门鲁迅故里国际青年旅社) ★★★★★
- Address: No.558 Xinjian South Road, Yuecheng District, Shaoxing (绍兴市越城区新建南路558号)
Useful Shaoxing Maps
Here we list some very useful maps about Shaoxing City for your reference. You can feel free to use them if you want to know the location, transportation and attractions of Shaoxing through maps.
Shaoxing China Map
Shaoxing Tourist Map
Shaoxing Transportation Map
Other nearby Destinations
After a Shaoxing tour, you can take a bullet train to Shanghai, Hangzhou, Huangshan, Suzhou, Ningbo, Jiaxing, Yuyao to find more interesting attractions. Also, you can go to the sacred Putuo Mountain in Zhoushan to feel rich Buddhist culture. Discovery now!
Chinese Name: 绍兴
Chinese Pinyin: shào xīng
Population: 5057 thousand
Language: Mandarin & Shaoxing Dialect
Tel Code: 0575
Zip Code: 312000
Time Zone: (UTC+8)
Plan Your Shaoxing Tour
You can spend 1~2 days in Shaoxing to see all the classic attractions such as Lu Xun’s Hometown, Shen Yuan, Shaoxing East Lake, etc.
However, most tourists wouldn't just visit Shaoxing, but take Shaoxing as the extent destination of their Hangzhou, Zhejiang or Yangtze River Delta Tours. Therefore, before or after your Shaoxing tour, you can have 5~6 days to visit Shanghai, Suzhou and Hangzhou together. Visitors may also extend the tour to the famous Yellow Mountain for 2~3 days.
If you prefer sea scenery, you can extend your trip to east Zhejiang, visit the 7000-year-old Ningbo city and take a ferry to Putuoshan to feel the fusion of religious culture and island scenery.
Moreover, it is also a good idea to travel Shaoxing and other popular destinations in China, such as Beijing, Xian, Yangtze River, Xiamen, Chengdu, Kunming, etc. All our tours can be customized according to your interests, group size, needs, travel time, budget, etc. If you are interested, please feel free to contact us for a personal Shaoxing, Zhejiang tour 2023/2024!
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