Wuzhen Ancient Town

Last updated by chinatravel at 2014/11/5

Wuzhen is an ancient water town with a history spanning about 1300 years. The beautiful, picturesque town has many sites of historical and cultural interest. 

Historically, Wuzhen was the boundary area of the Wu Kingdom and Yue Kingdom during the Spring and Autumn Period (BC770-221). The rulers of the Wu Kingdom stationed troops there to garrison their land against Yue enemies. During the Qin Dynasty (BC221-206), Wuzhen belonged to Kuaiji Prefecture. In the Tang Dynasty (618-907), the town was under the rule of the Suzhou Prefecture. In the year 872, on a stone tablet in Nobility Suojinming's Temple, the name of "Wuzhen Town" was inscribed for the first time.

Wuzhen is considered to be the jewel of the Zhejiang province. It is one of the most famous ancient towns south of the Yangtze River delta. On both riverbanks stand elegant black tiled oil-painted timber framework houses with white walls and gray flagging creating a stunning contrast. Stone bridges in various designs and outside corridors with beautiful southern China characteristics can be found everywhere. Pubs, restaurants, pawnshops, weaving and dyeing establishments and other businesses run side by side beside the river. Here and there you’ll see neighbours chatting, exchanging local news and enjoying the river views. The elderly like to gather in the pavilion at the head of the bridge to chat and spend leisure time. Under soft rainfall, Wuzhen looks incredibly romantic. Walking the streets and crossing the bridges, you get a feeling of how Ancient China must have been.   

Accommodation: Ziye Grand Hotel is the only hotel in Wuzhen at the moment. It’s a comfortable place to stay, and standard single rooms cost around ¥240 per night. It is usually booked up during holidays, so call up in advance to ensure you get a room. Another hotel is being built right now, so acommodation choices will be more varied in future.

Foods: As a top tourist town, Wuzhen has a well-developed catering industry. Tasty snacks and unusual local foods can be found everywhere around the town. Specialties of Wuzhen include ‘sister-in-law’ biscuit, Wuzhen Mutton, white wine and Sanzhenzhai marinated duck, all of which can be found in local restaurants and street stalls. One of the town’s most popular and oldest restaurants is Jiujianglou, situated on the river close to a beautiful stone bridge. It is over 100 years old, and is a perennial favourite. Also popular is the Sanshanguan restaurant, and the Qianchangrong restaurant, famous for its goat noodles. The marinated duck served at the Sanzhenzhai is highly recommended.    

Shopping: Wuzhen is well stocked with shopping facilities. Along with a central shopping mall, there are also four large shopping centers which are popular with visitors. As for industrial purchasing, Caishenwan (Bay of Wealthy God) is the largest marine product terminal market of the town.

Tourist attractions

Former Residence of Mao Dun: mao dun is a famous literature writer in modern china, with novel of 'midnight', etc. literary works. his former home is located in the middle part of guan qian street of the town, where he had his happy childhood. the home is a traditional chinese style house built in qing dynasty.

Xiu Zhen Guan: xiu zhen guan is a taoist temple which is built in xian ping yuan period of bei song dynasty. it is one of three famous taoist temples in south bank in yangtze river.

ancient Stage: the stage is built in 1749. it is sitting back on a major river of the town and facing a plaza. in the ancient time, farmers around the town came to watch plays by rowing boat. while a play was going on, boats were floating on the river.

Local housing:an architectural complex that is a legacy of qing dynasty reflects local architectural style and humanity.

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Shanghai-Wuzhen: on weekends or some major festivals, there are special-line buses departing from shanghai hongkou football stadium at 8:00 am or shanghai stadium at 7:50, 8:45 am for wuzhen. shanghai xiqu bus station also has some bus connections to wuzhen and the ticket price is 30 yuan/per person.

Hangzhou-Wuzhen: there are no direct buses running between hangzhou and wuzhen, visitors want to travel wuzhen via bus journey has to make a transfer at tongxiang.

Nanxun-Wuzhen: buses from nanxun to jiaxing all passing through

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