Super traveler Xu Xiake (1587–1641), who traveled through China for 35 years, visited the Sheshan area in Shanghai's Songjiang district five times during his travels from 1624 to 1636.
Sheshan is famed for its gorgeous mountains and forests, former residences of cultural celebrities, and Buddhist monuments, and is one of the sites Xu has visited the most. Xu praised it as a fascinating place. The area is now known as Shanghai Sheshan National Tourist Resort, and it is home to a variety of well-known tourist attractions.
Xu is a well-known geographer, traveler, and writer who is well known for his work “The Travel Diaries of Xu Xiake”, which covers a wide spectrum of China's topography, scenic areas, and geography. In China, he was compared to Marco Polo, a 13th-century Western explorer. He had visited 19 provinces and cities as the father of Chinese backpacking. Several of the routes Xu traveled 400 years ago are still in use today.
Xu went to Shehan five times, in 1624, 1625, 1628, 1631, and 1636, respectively. He went to both East and West Sheshan and made friends with a number of cultural figures who lived there.
When Xu first visited Sheshan in 1624, he met Chen Jiru (1558-1639), a well-known painter and writer who lived in seclusion in East Sheshan, and the two became friends. According to records, Xu visited Chen four times.
Xiake, a nickname given Xu by Chen, means "a guy walking under the rosy clouds", because Xu was so fond of traveling that he was quite often seen walking through forests with rosy clouds above his head.
In 1636, the last time Xu visited Sheshan, he started his journey westward.
Xu's travel routes in Sheshan pass through today's tourist attractions such as Sheshan National Forest Park (East Sheshan Park, West Sheshan Park, Tianmashan Park and Xiaokunshan Park), Shanghai Chenshan Botanical Garden, Tianma Country Golf Club, InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland and Shimao Dream City Theme Park. The route is full of cultural relics and scenic spots that attract many people that are curious about following Xu's footsteps.