4-Day tour around Xitang, Wuzhen and Jiaxing
I believe everyone knows a song by Psy- Gangnam(강남,江南) Style. In south Korea, Gangnam Dist is with heavily concentrated wealth and high standard of living. In China, the area Gangnam(or Jiangnan, 江南) is totally different. This area is the south of the lower reaches of the Yangtze river, where is famous for water villages and its beautiful scenery .
This March I went on a business trip in Shanghai. Even with only 4-day break , it was still a perfect opportunity to travel!! I chose 3 places in Zhejiang Province, which are Wuzhen(烏鎮) town, Jiaxing(嘉興) city and Xitang(西塘) town. After saying goodbye to friends in the Hangzhou airport, I jumped on the bus and started my 3.5-day trip.
my first stop- Wuzhen
Wuzhen is a historic scenic town which lays among Hangzhou, Shuzhou and Shanghai. “Villages nearby river and bridge within a bridge…” That’s exactly the place where can only be seen in the Jin Yong novel or historic drama.
How to get there?
From Hangzhou Airport – Buses depart every 50mins-hour, and it takes around 1.5 hrs. The ticket is only ￥38 per person.
From Shanghai-Buses depart from the Shanghai south station every 90mins. The trip is around 2 hrs. Or you can take the train to Tongxiang or Jiaxing.
What to see?
I was a little bit lost on the way from the bus station to my hostel. And that was how I jumped into a place for local instead of tourists.Walking alone by those water houses made by wood and studying these ancient architecture ,I took sometime to feel the beauty of this town.
Wuzhen is noted for its history and culture. Original ancient town scenery are well-preserved and rebuilt. Tourist areas are the east scenic zone and the west scenic zone. These two zones are not free entry. One ticket to the east zone is ￥100 , and to the west zone is ￥120. You can also buy the set for both zones within ￥ 150. However, the set can only be used in the same day. Due to the limited time, I only visited the west, which is larger and closer to where I stayed.
The sailor carried us to the main town. What came into sight are houses besides or above river, and the reflection mixing with light on the water. House there are built on pillars made by wood or stone above the surface of waterway.
There are many different shops people can stop by and take a look. And there are also places selling traditional snacks or to sit down for food or beer. My favorite shop is a lantern place. That store was decorated with hundreds(maybe) of different kind/shape/design of beautiful lanterns. People can order an unique one for their own. In the west zone, there is a square playing old black-white movie. The sound of that traditional “movie player” had brought me back into a historic drama.
The town was gorgeous! I couldn’t help but admired those amazing view in every corner.!
In my own opinion, the west zone is like a luxury ancient villa. Well…it was really beautiful and amazing, but totally different from what I expected. This part has been well-planned and maintained by a tourist company, whose business has covered services, scenic area operation, hotels, real estate, and tourist souvenirs. Even the company has tried to keep it as original, it still has lost the real feeling.
However, friends told me the east zone is totally different which has more ancient part as what I expected! What a pity for not visiting there, but it sounds like a good reason to visit Wuzhen again!
What to eat?
I am really sorry for this part. I love to travel alone but it is almost impossible for me to walk into a restaurant, sit down and eat alone.So handy food is always my first choice in traveling. The one in the photo is Osmanthus cake, which is made by Osmanthu flower and mixed with red dates. I know it’s special(or weird), but I do love red dates.
Anyway, this cake is mixed with a fresh fragrance of sweet osmanthus. Aftertaste I can feel a rich mouth feel and a long sweet. 😋
The final note
I stayed in Wuzhen Wenyuan Ge Inn , great location and friendly bosses. Additionally, I only paid less than ￥100 for a single room with a double bed and my own bathroom.!
I remember that I spent whole night to break China firewall. How could I forgot to install the VPN related app on my phone before visiting China.?
My next stop- Jiaxing.