In the province of Zhejiang on the east coast of China, Jiaxing is a city one hundred kilometres west of Shanghai and home to more than four million inhabitants. Beautiful areas of water surround the city, as it sits on the Grand Canal of China, across from Hangzhou Bay and just south of Taihu Lake. The geographical location has influenced its history in the fishing industry and its success in the tourism sector, with picturesque water villages inviting visitors to explore its streets.
In spring and autumn, folk festivals arrive in the area, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in local customs in the Jiaxing South Yangtze River Culture and Nanbei Lake Tour festivals, where celebrations are focused on historic traditions related to their gratitude for water. Visiting the town of Xitang is the best way to explore the unique landscape of the area, with hundreds of watered alleyways meandering within the ancient town, a maze of picturesque neighbourhoods filled with rich history. The surrounding lakes are also perfect tourist attractions, such as South Lake or Nanbei Lake, as they are saturated in natural beauty with captivating views of the landscape.
Through its proximity to Shanghai, Jiaxing is well connected and located on the Hangzhou-Shanghai Railway as a major stop for travellers between other significant destinations, including Hong Kong and Suzhou. One station of the city is a high-speed rail connection and the other is for regular use. Tourists can also take a bus from nearby cities to one of the two long distance stations in Jiaxing. With no airport in Jiaxing, this is the best way to travel from the nearest airport Shanghai Pudong. Inside the city, there is an accessible bus system available. A favourite mode of transport in Jiaxing is cycling, as it is a flat city where visitors can easily travel between districts.
In addition to its scenic beauty and charming local industry, Jiaxing has connections to national history, with the tourist attraction of South Lake once being the official origin of the Communist Party of China. The city is also a major global distributor of leather goods and an outstanding producer of textiles, commonly referred to as the “Hometown of silk”. Furthermore, it is a significant national energy base with two major nuclear power plants in the vicinity. Once a humble home to the local fishing and rice industry, Jiaxing has risen to global power and in 1983 became a prefecture-level city.