A brief introduction of Wuzhen
Wuzhen lies at the north of Tongxiang City of Zhejiang Province, China, and at the center of the triangle formed by Shanghai, Hangzhou and Nanjing, positioning at the east longitude of 120°29’ and north latitude of 30°44’. The town covers an area of 71.19km2, with a total population of 60,000 and permanent residents of 12,000. The town is divided into four zones by a cross-shaped river, with the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal running across the town, making it the only ancient water town adjacent to the canal. The town lies on the Hangzhou-Jiaxing-Huzhou Alluvial Plain, with no hills but interlaced rivers. Due to its warm and humid climate, and abundant rainfalls and sunshine, the products here are rich, making Wuzhen well-known as “the town of fish, rice, and silk”.
History of Wuzhen
Wuzhen displays its two-thousand-year history in its ancient stone bridges floating on mild water, its stone pathways between the mottled walls and its delicate wood carvings. Also, setting it apart from other towns, it gives a unique experience through its profound cultural background. It is said that people have lived in Wuzhen for 7000 years and over time it has produced a galaxy of talents. Mao Dun, an outstanding modern Chinese writer, was born here and his masterpiece, 'The Lin's Shop', describes vividly the life of Wuzhen. In 1991, Wuzhen was authorized as the Provincial Ancient Town of History and Culture, so ranking first among the six ancient towns south of the Yangtze River.
What to see in Wuzhen
Dong Zha (the East Sector) is basically one waterway, about 400 meters long sandwiched between two streets of original Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) houses. The street on the entrance side has souvenir shops and restaurants and the street on the far side has various museums exhibiting beds, clothes, blue flower printed fabric, etc. There are various exhibitions showing the old way of life in this water town. In the peak season the streets are thronged with Chinese tourists (few foreigners) and the waterway is busy with single-oar skiffs carrying up to six passengers up and down the waterway. Despite being given over to tourism Dong Zha is still inhabited by the original residents who go about their lives among the tourists. Dong Zha’s uniqueness lies in its layout, being 2 kilometers (1.24 miles) long and divided into six districts. These are: Traditional Workshops District, Traditional Local-Styled Dwelling Houses District, Traditional Culture District, Traditional Food and Beverage District, Traditional Shops and Stores District, and Water Township Customs and Life District. Wandering along the east-west-east circuit created by these six districts, you will enjoy the atmosphere of the traditional cultures and the original ancient features of the town that have been preserved intact.
Xi Zha is quieter (during the day) and is more spacious. There is a marsh with a firefly aviary and wooden water-drawing system, and a sizable pagoda at one end by the Beijing Hangzhou Grand Canal. It is similar in layout to Dong Zha with a main waterway and streets either side, but larger at 1000 meters long, with a good number of side alleys, bridges, ancient docks and secondary waterways, which makes it a fascinating place to stroll around. Xi Zha has been rebuilt and renovated in the original style (it is still being constructed (August 2009) in the western corner), with many charming architectural features: colonnades, small bridges, balconies, piers, wooden windows and doors, and gray stone walls and paving. Xi Zha has few local residents and is instead given over to accommodation for visitors. There are three main accommodation providers. The largest and cheapest is Min Su (Wuzhen Guest House), with antique style wooden furnishings and all the modern conveniences including internet access and satellite TV. To enter Xi Zha, visitors need to take a short single-oar ferry ride across a man-made lake. The streets of Xi Zha are lined with guest houses, restaurants, bars and souvenir and arts and crafts shops. Xi Zha has a similar feel to West Street of Yangshuo (the backpackers mecca and highly-developed tourist town in Guilin, South China), but it is less crowded and hasn’t really been discovered yet. Xi Zha has the potential to become East China’s Xi Jie (West Street).
How to travel between Dongzha and Xizha in Wuzhen Water Town
There are free shuttle buses between Dongzha and Xizha.
Xizha to Dongzha: 07:30 - 17:30
Dongzha to Xizha: Mon. - Thu.: 07:40 - 17:20; Fri. - Sun.: 07:40 - 17:35.
Former Residence of Mao Dun
Originally built in the central 19th century covering a total area of 650 square meters (7020 sq. ft), the former residence of Mao Dun, a well-known Chinese revolutionary writer, was the Mao family home for many generations and witnessed the growth of this great revolutionist and writer. In 1984, the former residence of Mao Dun was renovated and extended to cover a total area of 1,731.5 square meters (18,700 sq. ft) - it opened to the public one year later. In 1988, it was listed as one of the Key State Preserved Relic Units and in 1994 was renamed the Mao Dun Museum of the City of Tongxiang. The house has three exhibition areas: 'Wuzhen, the Hometown of Mao Dun', 'the Way of Mao Dun', and 'the Former Residence of Mao Dun (renovated)'. The present Mao Dun Museum can be found to the east of the residence, which used to be Lizhi Shuyuan (Aspiration Academy) where Mao Dun spent his early school years.
Xiuzhen Guan is a Taoist temple which was built in the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127). It is one of three famous Taoist temples on the south bank of the Yangtze River.
Xiuzhen Guan Stage
The stage was built in 1749. In ancient times, farmers around the town came by boat to watch plays. While the play was going on, the spectators would be in boats floating on the waterway.
A 1000-meter long roofed corridor runs along the bank of the river, which is one of the key architectural features of water towns south of the Yangtze.
The architectural style is from the Qing Dynasty and reflects the traditional lifestyle of the people.
Aged Ginkgo Tree
A ginkgo tree over 1000 years old has witnessed the town's history since the Song Dynasty. Formerly located in the courtyard of General Wu Temple along the river's south ba
How to Get to Wuzhen Water Town
Visitors can take buses from the three cities to Wuzhen Bus Station directly. Also they can take a train to Tongxiang and then change a local bus to reach.
1. Take a bus from Shanghai South Long-Distance Bus Station. The route operates from 07:17 to 18:37 with an interval of less than an hour, and a fare of CNY 55. After arrival, tourists can take local bus K350 to reach Xizha. The bus K350 is available from 06:10 to 17:30 with an interval of 5-10 minutes.
2. Take a train from Hongqiao Railway Station to Tongxiang Railway Station. Upon arrival, tourists can take bus K282 to Wuzhen Bus Station and then get on bus K350 from there to the scenic area. The bus K282 is available between 07:30 to 18:20 every 20-25 minutes in peak time and 35-40 minutes in low time.
1. Take a bus from Hangzhou Passenger Transport Central Station (Jiubao Passenger Transport Center). The bus departs about every 25 minutes from 7:00 to 18:20, with a fare of CNY 31.
2. Take a train from Hangzhou Railway Station or Hangzhou East Railway Station to Tongxiang Railway Station. Then change to local city bus K282 going to the site.
3. Travel by bus from Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport. The bus departs at 9:10, 10:00, 10:40, 11:10, 12:10, 13:00, 13:50, 14:40, 15:20, 16:10, 17:00, 18:00, 18:40, 19:10, 20:10 and 21:10. Ticket fare is CNY 42 and duration is about 110 minutes. Upon arrival, take a local city bus to reach the scenic site.
1. Take a bus from Suzhou South Bus Station. The route operates at 08:40, 09:55, 10:55, 11:55, 15:25, and 16:20, with a fare of CNY 35.
2. Take a bus from Suzhou North Bus Station (neighboring North Square of Suzhou Railway Station). The route operates at 08:15, 09:30, 10:30, 11:30, 13:45, 15:00, 15:55 and 17:10, with a fare of CNY 35.
3. Take a train from Suzhou, Suzhou North, or Suzhou Industrial Park Station to Tongxiang Railway Station. Then get to the scenic site using local buses.
The price of scenic spots
CNY 120 for Dongzha Scenic Area
CNY 150 for Xizha Scenic Area
CNY 200 for Combination Ticket;
Excluding the boat ticket:
CNY 80 (for 8 people) in Dongzha
CNY120 (day), CNY 150 (night) in Xizha for 6 people
The following Wuzhen tours may also interest you!
1. Private Hangzhou to Wuzhen Water Town Day Tour
2. Three Days Hangzhou Highlights Tour with excursion to Wuzhen Water Town
①Take a bus from Jiubao Passenger Transport Center. The bus departs about every 25 minutes from 7:00 to 18:20, with a fare of CNY 31.
②Take a train from Hangzhou East Railway Station to Tongxiang Railway Station.
Wuzhen, with a history of 6000 years. Since 1999, most of the ancient buildings and culture have been well preserved. Tourists can experience the most primitive natural scenery and the most simple way of life. If you are a photography enthusiast, Wuzhen is definitely your best choice.In addition,since the first World Internet Conference has been held there on November 19, 2014, it has become the permanent venue of this summit.Most importantly, Wuzhen's delicious food is not to be missed! Sample local snacks like stinky tofu, “victory cake” (dingsheng bing), or “sister-in-law cake” (gusao bing).
Dongzha has a strong flavor of life. Most of the historical site are in dongzha. Xizha is famous for its night view. There are few tourists and strong business atmosphere. There are many teahouses and bars on both sides of the river. If you want to choose a quiet place for holiday, xizha must be the best choice.
It takes only around one hour from Hangzhou to Wuzhen by driving, about 60km distance. You can do Hangzhou to Wuzhen day tour both by train, by bus or by car. It’s very easy to access. And you’ll have enough time to explore the Wuzhen Water Town. Our company provide numerous Wuzhen Water Town tours from Hangzhou as well, please see the tours listed on ‘Water Town Tours’, we can also customize the tour that fits your needs.
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Tour Style：With a history of over 6,000 years, Wuzhen ancient town features old houses lining up along the river and flagstone lanes as well as flowing water and stone bridges. Escape the busy Hangzhou crowds and discover Wuzhen’s rich cultural background on this full-day private tour. You will be escorted to visit some local museums, traditional workshops, and enjoy a shadow play to understand this ancient town's history, culture and lifestyle.
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