Zhujiayu - 12th June 2008 @ 5:15 pm «   »

Location: China, Shandong Province : Zhujiayu

Zhujiayu was the main reason for coming to Ji’nan. Not easy to get to, we had to walk about 2km to the long-distance bus station to catch a 1:30 hour bus to Mingshui. From there we had to change to a local minibus for another 35min trip to 1km from the village gate.

Zhujiayu,¬†45km east of Ji’nan, is an unspoiled stone villiage flanked by 3 hills and one of the oldest in the Shandong province. There are very few local inhabitants with many of the older buildings either empty or used as museums. It only takes about 20min to walk through town from the main entrance gate to the start of the foothills.

Apart from a handfull of Chinese tourists all you see are dotted pancake & colddrink stalls and a few small restaurants here and there. It is actually quite uncommercialised which made for a pleasant change from the norm. We walked along the suggested route and strolled through a few of the older buildings, where we met a group of English-speaking local students very keen to have their photographs taken with us. We happily agreed and this turned into a 10min photo shoot from all angles and with individual & group poses.

After having said our goodbyes we slowly made our way out and back to the bus stop (just a random corner in a little side-street where we had been dropped earlier). After a few minutes wait our student friends from earlier arrived and invited us for a drink and a rest in a non-descript building across the road.

As we sat down the food started arriving and our beer glasses never went lower than the half-way mark. It turned out that one of the girls lived locally and knew the residents (we couldn’t figure out if it was a restaurant or not) and told them about the ‘guests of honour’!

This was our first true Chinese home-cooked meal and it was facinating to experience this first-hand. We happily snacked away until we realised that the first course was a broth of sheep stomach (or something similar) and tofu.. There were lots more edible courses to come though and we had a great time learning about their way of life. It was their first encounter with foreigners and they kept telling us that they would remember this day for the rest of their lives. As a leaving present they gave us Chinese money on which they wrote their names Рa friendly Chinese gesture.

After this lovely encounter we had a very tight timeframe to make it back to Ji’nan as our next onward train was sheduled for 17:18 to Tai’an. We bought the cheapest tickets, which in this case meant cattle-class with people basically just sitting wherever they want. Thankfully the journey only lasted for one hour.

If you can’t see the slideshow above click here.

2 Responses to “Zhujiayu”  
hanwei Says:

Hello,my name is hanwei who is the tallest among the four .I have seen the photo .They are
very beautiful ?But there is no the photo which we all together taten .It is a pity .Iwill never forget this experience.we are really very happy.We are very envy of you .We are hope wewill have the chance to call for you.where are they? Have a good trip. 2008.06.15

jan Says:

Hi Hanwei!

We are so glad you found the website! Yes, I was not on any of the photos, but someone had to hold the camera!
We are in Shijiazhuang tonight and will be visiting Zhending villiage tomorrow before moving onto Pingyao and Xi’an.
It was very nice to meet you and your friends and we will always remember the nice meal we had with you. Thanks very much again for inviting us!

Keep in touch
j&m