The Xinchang ancient town located at Naihui district of Shanghai, between the heart of the city and airport, 36km from the People’s Square, 25km from the Pudong International Airport. Called Stalagmite Town in acient time. Famous for its unique characters clearly display the style and features of the ancient town, Xinchang town is noted for being "small, but more beautilful than Suzhou city”.
Xinchang traditionally belonged to the south part of Xiasha salt works where salt producers solarized the salt with seawater. The beaches gradually stretched further out, making the salt works a suitable place for the salt producers to live and exchange their goods. In the early period of Yuan dynasty, due to sea eastward, Xiasha salt work was moved here, so called "New Salt Work", located in the south of Xiasha, so called South Xiasha, they said there were stone stalagmites in bay sand of Shou’en bridge, deeply under the water that can't be seen its bottom, so had the name of "stalagmite town”.
As the salt industry developed, merchants and salt traders assembled there, thus, the population of Xinchang increased rapidly. During the settlement of the New Town, at the period of Xiasha salt work’s peak, salt production was much plentiful, the number of households of the public kitchen, were much more than the Western Zhejiang’s various salt works at that time.
In those days, courtesan pavilions and drinking houses were in great abundance, and numerous businessmen swarmed into the town. The degree of growth in Xinchang at the time had already surpassed Old Shanghai counties; it was definitely the largest town in the Pudong Plain. Though, Xinchang town experienced its ups and downs due to the changes of salt works and the outbreak of war, it is still a water town full of charm, integrated with rich culture.
Xinchang Ancient Town in Nanhui District's southwest has a history dating back more than 1,100 years. All the old streets, bridges, temples and trees give a delicate, archaistic fragrance. According to historical records, "10 views of the stalagmite knap", "13 monumental archways and nine stone bridges" and the "saddle-shaped water bridge and stone revetment" were the most famous scenic spots and places of historical interest.
There are more than 100 different sizes of ancient Ming and Qing Dynasty houses, white walls, Daiwa, carved doors and windows have been saved. Existing stone revetments are more than 6000 meters, of which about 1500 meters was built before the Republic, its oldest can be dating back to the Yuan Dynasty, has 800 years of history. The saddle-shaped waters bridge (more than 20), which Called as the "home of the heritage" by heritage experts, has the classical architectural style, for example, the Hidden Eight Imortals carving, the Wishful Graphics carving and so on, very beautiful and delicated, rich of typical Jiangnan water town flavor.
Three reasons of recommending:
1. The old town maintains the good style of Old Water Town, and has never appealed much to tourists until recently. In its 200,000 square meters of residential area - one of the largest-scale examples of a Chinese ancient town today - locals still lead a peaceful life in the same houses where their ancestors once lived hundreds of years ago. Unlike the international city of Shanghai, you can feel the typical Jiangnan from the Xinchang Old Town’s architectural style and atmosphere.
2. The distance of the town from Shanghai city to Pudong Airport is only 11 kilometers, transportation is well, according to the tour route: downtown - tour town - arrived at Pudong International Airport, including road transport, town tour (1.5 hours) will take about 3 hours, compared to visiting other ancient towns, time of traveling along the way is significant shorten, this tour route fits for the tour-package of time short and schedule tight.
3. This old town, still remains in a natural open state, despite some artificial attractions, the town itself, with no tickets, can be visited freely.