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Why Visit Wuzhen, Zhejiang, China?

Located in the north of Tongxiang City, Jiaxing City, Zhejiang Province, 86 km from Hangzhou (the capital of this region), Wuzhen, or Wuzhen Water Town is one of the top six ancient towns in South China. It has been praised as a land of abundance since the ancient time. The town was established over 1,300 years ago, it's a typical water town of Jiangna Style (Jiangnan: the region south of the lower reaches of the Yangtze River). Wuzhen fully preserves the water town's style and pattern in the late Qing Dynasty and the Republican period. Little rivers, houses on the two banks, little bridges connecting streets, stone paved alleys, all these compose the most typical Jiangnan stle water town.

Wuzhen Attractions: What to See & Where to Go

Wuzhen is composed of four parts. The Dongzha (East Area) and Xizha (West Area) are the scenic zones requiring a ticket each or a combined ticket to visit, while the southern part and northern part are the living quarters for the locals.

Wuzhen Dongzha (East Area)

Recommended Visiting Time: 2 ~ 3 hours

Dongzha (东栅), covering an area of 0.9 square kilometers, is located to the east of Shi River, hence the name Dongzha (East Area). It was opened to the public as a scenic spot in 2001. There are six bridges across the river, and the wooden architectures in the north bank compose the main scenery, while the south bank only has several architectures. Dongzha is the firstly developed scenic zone. Yet, there are still many local people living here, and most of them change their houses into home inns or restaurants. To explore Dongzha is to enjoy all kinds of traditional folk customs. The Famous Dongzha attractions and performances include:

Ancient Bed Museum

It is China's first museum devoted to the collection and display of antique beds. You will find exquisite examples of the original style, with the oldest dating back to the Ming Dynasty (1368~1662).

Folk Customs Museum

This museum displays Wuzhen's customs about birthday, wedding, childbirth and seasonal change as they existed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Wine Distillery Workshop

It is a distillery to display wine-brewing culture in Wuzhen. In Ming Dynasty, it produced Sanbai Wine, a famous alcoholic drink that pleases the palate with its soft and lasting mellowness.

Indigo Fabric Workshop

It was firstly founded in Wuzhen during the 13th century. You can have a look at the production base and distribution center of indigo cloth.

Shadow Play Theater

This old, traditional style Shadow Puppetry is a form of entertainment created by projecting the shadow of cattle, sheep or other characters hidden onto a screen. Here in Shadow Play Theater in Wuzhen, you can enjoy Chinese classics performed by the local artists. Show time: 8:30-11:20 am; 1:00-4:30 pm.

Huagu Opera

Huaguo Opera is also called flower drum opera. Travelers can enjoy a variety of local dramas that depict rural life through simple stories, fluid performance and lively music. Show time: 9:00 am ~ 4:30 pm (every 30 minutes).

Martial Arts Performance

The origin of the boxing boat dates back to the Southern Song Dynasty over 700 years ago. This method of exercising was very popular at that time. Local people exercised the Chinese martial on boats to guard Wuzhen as well as keep health. Show time: 08:30~08:40, 09:30~09:40, 10:30~10:40, 11:10~11:20, 13:30~13:40, 14:30~14:40, 15:30~15:40 and 16:10~16:20. It will be cancelled during rainy days.

Best Time to Visit Dongzha: Morning is the most beautiful time of Dongzha. In the morning, the whole river will be surrounded in a thin mist, local people burn the honeycomb briquette for the day, and everything is just like scenery from the tranquil and poetic Chinese painting. A living ancient town will be awaken in front you.

Wuzhen Water Town Ancient Dongzha (East Area) Wuzhen Water Town Wuzhen Traditional Wedding Wuzhen Water Town Indigo Fabric Workshop Chinese Shadow Puppetry Chinese Shadow Puppetry

Xizha (East Area)

Recommended Visiting Time: at least half a day

Compared with Dongzha (East Area), the Xizha (西栅) is less crowded, more tranquil, more spacious and more beautifully-decorated. It is the paradise combined with water town features as well as relaxation needs. Located to the west of Shi River and the east of Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal, Xizha covers an area of 3.4 square kilometers and the rivers crossing the area reaches over 9km. There are 72 ancient bridges in total in Xizha, and numerous delicate architectures from Ming and Qing Dynasties spread along the two sides of the 1.8-kilometer-long old street. Different from the east part, Xizha perfectly combines the sightseeing with relaxing vacation. Except for all kinds of historical sites, manual workshop, exhibition halls, and relaxing places, there are various resort hotels of different prices, too.

Famous Xizha attractions & performances include:

Wuzhen Grand Theater

If interested, you can view wonderful local operas, storytelling, and classic black and white movies in this theater.

Wuzhen Market on Water

To best experience the close relationship between water and business is to visit the waterways in town and the Market on Water. Here you can trace the bustling scene about bargaining and buying.

Chinese Foot-binding Culture Museum

This museum presents the controversial foot-binding custom with a comprehensive display of artifacts and photographs describing the painful pursuit of the “three-inch lotus” which was the standard beauty at the feudal society.

Yadi Silk Workshop

Travelers can know long history of Chinese silk culture as well as learn the entire silk production process, from planting mulberry trees, to raising silk worms, to silk reeling, to silk spinning and finally silk weaving.

Best Time to Visit Xizha (West Area): Xizha is suitable to be visited at any time! Except for the day view, the night view here is extremely beautiful. After a delicate arrangement for the lights, night view is more romantic than day view, and it's great time for photography, and many tourists come to Wuzhen just to see the night view of Xizha. Take a rowing boat to travel is a great idea. After the sightseeing, order a drink in the small bars along the river and enjoy a leisure time is definitely quite a beautiful time.

Recommended Wuzhen Water Town Packages:

☛ 3 Days Best Hangzhou Tour with Wuzhen Water Town

Wuzhen Water Town Xizha (West Area) Wuzhen Water Town Wenchang Pavilion in Xizha Market on Water Market on Water Wuzhen Water Town Amazing Night Scenes of Xizha

Original Local Life in the Southern Part

Recommended Visiting Time: 0.5 ~ 1 hour

The southern part of Wuzhen is not a scenic zone but the local living quarter. There are full of all kinds little shops (mainly opened for the local people) and you can experience the original old street life here. Though it looks smaller and clutter when it is compared with the east and west zones, the southern part is still a good place to see the original face of Wuzhen and to experience the civil life.

Wuzhen Water Town Original Local Life in the Southern Part

Which to choose, Dongzha or Xizha?

Classic Wuzhen Travel (Half Day or So)

For the tourists who want a short stay from Hangzhou or Shanghai, you are suggested to travel Dongzha only. Dongzha is more traditional and it offers a greater ancient flavor. You will need about 2~3 hours to visit it.

In-depth Wuzhen Travel (2 Days in Wuzhen)

Normally, in-depth Wuzhen travel requires two days. There are several ways to travel according to your arriving time.

If you arrive at Wuzhen in the morning, you can visit Dongzha first. After a delightful tour, head to Xizha for further exploration and stay overnight here. Next day, continue to travel around the East section.

If you arrive at Wuzhen after 16:00, you can get to Xizha and appreciate the stunning night view there, and then stay overnight. Next day, you can head to the Dongzha after your Xizha trip.

Wuzhen Map Wuzhen Map Wuzhen Xizha Map Wuzhen Xizha Map

Wuzhen Transportation & Wuzhen Map

How to Get to Wuzhen

Wuzhen Water Town is 86 km from Hangzhou, 70 km from Suzhou and 128 km from Shanghai and 18 km from Tongxiang City. There is no airport or railway station in Wuzhen, so the only way to get there is by bus or private car. At present, there are direct coach line between Wuzhen and Shanghai, Hangzhou and Suzhou.

By Flight

If you take a flight, you can first arrive at Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport or Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport or Shanghai Pudong International Airport, and then take coach to Wuzhen Bus Station to take a bus to Wuzhen West Scenic Area.

By Train

If you catch a train, then you can take high speed train from Shanghai, Hanghzou or Suzhou to get to Tongxiang Railway Station, then take bus K282 to Wuzhen Bus Station, at last, take local bus K350 to get to Wuzhen West Scenic Area.

By Bus/Car

If you take a private car, it's about an hour's drive from Hangzhou and Suzhou to Wuzhen; while from Shanghai, it will take about 1.5 hours.

Check more about Hangzhou to Wuzhen >> | Shanghai to Wuzhen >>

Hangzhou to Wuzhen Map Hangzhou to Wuzhen Map China Discovery Private Transfer China Discovery Private Transfer

How to Travel around Wuzhen

There are free buses and boats running between the Dongzha and Xizha, though it's only will take about 10 minutes to walk between the two scenic zones. The free boat only takes you to the other scenic zone, if you want to take boat or sightseeing bus to travel in the scenic zones, you will pay for it.

  • Cruise boat in Dongzha: CNY 30 per person, at most 8 people a boat.
  • Cruise boat in Xizha: CNY 60 per person, at most 8 people a boat.
  • Sightseeing bus in Xizha: CNY 10/person, at most 10 persons a bus (including children).
Wuzhen Water Town Cruise Wuzhen Cruise

Wuzhen Weather & Best Time to Visit

Feature in subtropical monsoon climate, Wuzhen has a moderate humid climate with a clear distinction among four seasons. Average temperature of the whole year is around 16℃, with 3℃ in January, and the temperature in July is often below 30℃. The most beautiful time of Wuzhen is spring and autumn, and the most beautiful time of the day is morning and dusk. In the morning, there is a thin mist over the river and the scenery at this time is just like a dream. In the dusk, most of the tourists leave, a tranquil town under the sunset glow will appear in front of you.

Best Time to Visit Wuzhen

Spring from March to May and autumn from September to November are considered to be best time to visit Wuzhen, because there will have comfortable temperature. Lots of traditional cultural events being held during these periods, especial in spring! Summer is hot. However, it is also a good choice if you avoid the noon heat. Winter is cold in Wuzhen. However, you can enjoy a less-crowded time during then. Besides, you will get a stunning snowy water town if snow comes.

The busiest time for the local people is after the Tomb Sweeping Day (the 108th day after Winter Solstice in Chinese Lunar Year, normally, it's April 4th or 5th or 6th in Gregorian calendar). Half to one month after the Tomb Sweeping Day, people will gather at the Incense Bazaar to pray for good fortune and bumper harvest by burning incense, and diverse celebratory activities will also be held during this time.

Wuzhen Water Town Wuzhen Water Town in Spring Wuzhen Water Town in Winter Wuzhen Water Town in Winter

Wuzhen Accommodation: Where to Stay in Wuzhen

If you plan to stay overnight in Wuzhen, it's better to stay overnight in Dongzha or Xizha, for you can keep touring in the next morning without buying another entrance ticket. Both Dongzha and Xizha offer plenty of accommodations for visitors. Xizha is usually the best choice, because it enjoys stunning night views and colorful nightlife. Hotels in Xizha also have better facilities and provide more luxurious service. Dongzha has many private hostels and home inns, which are usually cheaper than hotels in Xizha.

How to Plan a Wuzhen Tour

A Wuzhen Water Town Tour usually takes at least half a day. However, seldom tourists only visit it, but combine it with Hangzhou or Shanghai together, because Wuzhen itself has no a railway station or airport. Both Hangzhou and Shanghai are good options to visit Wuzhen, while Hangzhou is closer and Shanghai offers more modern charms.

Visitors usually spend 1~3 days for a Hangzhou Wuzhen tour or Shanghai Wuzhen tour. If your time is limited, you can spend one day or so to only visit Xizha. And if you have one day more, you are highly suggested to visit Dongzha and Xizha together with Xizha nightview to get an in-depth savoring of this charming water town with well-preserved architectures and traditions.

☛ 3 Days Best Hangzhou Tour with Wuzhen Water Town (Hangzhou / Wuzhen / Hangzhou)

☛ 5 Days Essence of Shanghai & Hangzhou Tour

Wuzhen is located within the triangle formed by Shanghai, Hangzhou and Suzhou. Besides Shanghai and Hangzhou, Wuzhen is also close to Suzhou. Therefore, some visitors also prefer to add Suzhou into their tour and visit these four wonderful destinations in one go! Such a tour needs about 7 days!

☛ Check all Wuzhen Tours

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Travel Wuzhen with China Discovery

Can't wait to visit Wuzhen? Looking for a worry-free Wuzhen Tour Package? Travel with us China Discovery and let our professional travel consultants help you! Before the tour, we will give you perfect itinerary according to your budget, interest, group size and every special need! Hotels, attractions and visiting routes will be confirmed before you heading there. During the trip, your English-speaking guide will accompany you all the way and introduce you the best beauty and most interesting cultural background of the tourist sites in Wuzhen, Hangzhou, Shanghai, etc. Private car service is also included, and thus you will make convenient transfers in each city and in between the cities. The tour won't be end until we get your final affirm. Feel interested? Travel with China Discovery now!

Recommended Wuzhen Tours

Top 3 Wuzhen tours chosen by most customers to explore Wuzhen in the best way. Check the detailed itinerary, or tailor your own trip now with us.

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