Lost in Old China-Wuzhen

4-Day tour around Xitang, Wuzhen and Jiaxing

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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 to Shanghai on business trip. Even with only 4-day break , it was still a really good opportunity to travel there!! 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.

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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, here is a place only can see in the Jin Yong novel or historic drama.

How to get there?

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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, and takes 2 hrs there. 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. Lost happily,  I jumped into a place for local instead of tourists.That’s why there are not so many people. Walking alone by those water houses made by wood and studying these ancient architecture ,I took sometime to feel the beauty of this town silently.

Wuzhen is especially noted for its history and culture. Original ancient town scenery  are well-preserved and rebuilt. Places highly recommended are the east scenic zone and the west scenic zone. But those are not for free for sure. The ticket for the east zone is ¥100 , and for the west zone is ¥120. You can also buy the ticket set for both side with ¥ 150. But this ticket can only be used in the same day. Due to the limited time ,  I chose the west zone only, which is larger and closer to where I lived.

The sailor carried us to the main town. What came into sight are houses besides or above river, and the reflection mixing with lighting on the water.  House there are built on pillars made by wood or stone above the surface of waterway. A bridge within another, the smell of food in the air, and you can also see people visit the town on small boats back and forth.

There are many different kinds of shops people can stop by and take a look. What’s more, there are also to place selling traditional snacks or to sit down for food or beer. There was a lantern place that I really like, the store was decorated with hundreds(maybe) of different kind/shape/design of beautiful lanterns. People can also get an unique one for their own. In the west zone, there is a square for old black-white  movie. The sound of rolling the film by using that traditional “movie player” brought me back into a historic movie/drama.

The town is gorgeous, I couldn’t help but admire those amazing view in every corner.!

In my own opinion, the west zone is like a luxury ancient villa. Well…it is really beautiful and amazing, but totally different from what I expected. This part is well-planned and maintained by a tourist company, whose business mainly covers travel services, scenic area operation, hotels, real estate, and tourist souvenirs. Even the company has tried to keep it as original  and add in traditional elements,  it still has lost part of the feeling.

However, friends told me the east zone is totally different and it kept the ancient part what I expect! What a pity for not visiting there, but it sounds like a good reason to visit Wuzhen again! And next time I will get a 1-day ticket set which is much cheaper, and come with my parents to discover the east zone and also show them this charming west zone. I believe they will drown into the beauty, just like what I did.

What to eat?

I am really sorry for this part due to my personal reason. I love to travel alone but it is almost impossible for me to walk into a restaurant, sit down and eat alone, even in Taiwan! So handy food is my first choice when traveling. This one 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. Sometimes, I even eat dates as people eating chips at home! Haha!

Anyway, this cake is mixed with a fresh fragrance of sweet osmanthus. Aftertaste I can feel a rich mouth feel and a long sweet. 😋

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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 was trying to break China firewall the whole night. How could I forgot to install the VPN related app on my phone before coming to China.? I was so bored that I even start to see the TV show talking about poetries written by workers in China………lol

My next stop- Jiaxing.

Rachel xx

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