Wuzhen Water Town

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Wuzhen Water Town is a famous and popular travel destination near Hangzhou. Wuzhen has a history of 1300-years and ancient Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal flows through the town. As a representative of the ancient water town architecture and culture, it has become a huge tourist spot for Chinese and foreigners alike.

I visited Wuzhen on 8th of August this year, having just arrived to Hangzhou on the very same morning after midnight. My flight from Guangzhou was delayed several hours, but even with sleepy eyes, I managed to make to most of my visit to Wuzhen.

Wuzhen Water Town

Wuzhen Water Town

Wuzhen includes two areas that are close-by each other, the West Scenic Zone and the East Scenic Zone. Ticket to the west are 120RMB, to the east 100RMB and for both 150RMB. If you have a full day or are staying the night, it’s best to get the combined ticket.

Wuzhen Water Town

While searching for information about Wuzhen, I find out that the West Zone is mostly designed for tourists with tea houses, restaurants and shops. Because of time limits and being able to visit Wuzhen during the week, I decided to brave the crowds and head to the West Zone. The village had many tourists wondering along, but I was possible to find more quieter alleys as well.

Wuzhen Water Town

Wuzhen Water Town

The West Zone alone is quite big and you can spend a full day there walking around, taking photos and spending time with local delicacies. The Chinese tourist seemed to be able to buy something new to eat on every stall.

Wuzhen Water Town

When walking along the numerous streets and alleys, I noticed it’s easy to get a bit lost in Wuzhen. The maps they have in many crossroads are sometimes from East to West and sometimes from West to East, making navigation harder. At the same time getting lost is always part of the experience in all ancient villages, just take your time and let your feet lead the way.

Wuzhen Water Town

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I didn’t have time to visit the East Zone, but that’s said to be more quiet, less tourists and the place where actual locals reside. Of course those same locals also offer hostels and hotels there, but most of the commercialism seems to be gathered at the West Zone. If you have a full time, I recommend visiting the East first and then continuing to West with the shuttle bus.

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Wuzhen Water Town

Because of the popularity, avoid public holidays and even weekends if possible when visiting Wuzhen. In my opinion Wuzhen is not a place to explore the daily life of locals, it’s best to be seen as a picturesque village ideal for great photography and relaxation.

Wuzhen Water Town

If you decide to stay for a night, take a good book with you and find a nice spot in a tea house along the river. Watch the sun set and see another beautiful side of the water village. I bet the evening view with lanterns lit is amazing!

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If you are going to Wuzhen from Hangzhou, take a bus at the couch terminal (客运中心站), easily reachable by the one and only metro line at the moment. The bus tickets is 30RMB and it takes about 1.5 hours to reach Wuzhen. From the Wuzhen bus station you can take a local bus K350 to both of the Scenic Zones, costing only 3RMB. At the bus station you can buy your return ticket too when you arrive, that way you don’t need to worry about not getting a ticket during the busy season.

For more information on how to get to Wuzhen check their own website.

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I recommend Wuzhen for everyone who is interested in ancient Chinese water towns South of Yangtze river, but isn’t looking for finding a quiet and tourist empty place out of the beaten path. Wuzhen is a nice and easy village to visit, which makes it great for day trips from Hangzhou or Shanghai.

Wuzhen Water Town

Plan your trip away from national holidays or Summer vacation weekends, and you will have a pleasant time wondering the streets and canals of Wuzhen. I had about six hours in the West Scenic Zone, walking slowly and stopping often to admire the view. I found Wuzhen to be a great place to visit with my camera, something totally different than I see daily in Guangzhou.

If you have any questions about visiting Wuzhen, just leave me a comment! More posts about my week-long visit to Hangzhou and Suzhou are on their way too.

  • Looks very nice. Were there many tourists? I believe Wuzhen was the town me and my wife wanted to visit already several times but then we end up staying just at home for several weeks during our holidays in China…

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    Sara Jaaksola Reply:

    Wuzhen is nice when it’s just a normal working day in the middle of the week. Never ever would go there during a weekend or a public holiday.

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    Timo Reply:

    Hey, I just remembered this post again as we had been in Wuzhen last month as well (plus I wrote about it yesterday on my blog). It was a really nice experience, sadly just too short due to our weird tour group

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    Sara Jaaksola Reply:

    Glad you enjoyed it even with a strange group!

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  • T

    Wuzhen looks amazing!

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    Sara Jaaksola Reply:

    It was a great place, beautiful even with tourists.

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  • Your pictures are great! I will definitely have to visit as it is not far fom Suzhou.

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    Sara Jaaksola Reply:

    You should, just do it on a work day and avoid the crowds.

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  • Nana

    This summer, Me and my boyfriend went to Wuzhen ! It was an awful experience from the start to the end. We arrived in the Bus station of Wuzhen, A lot of taxi drivers pestered us , We took one of them because we didn’t know how far was our hotel. The price of it was more expensive than the one in Shanghai for a so short journey at least 10 minutes of driving.
    Then we arrived in our hotel, the reception desk which didn’t look at it ! They charged us money .
    We discovered our room which was crowded of dusts, the bedsheets were dirty…Even thought this we decided to take a visit in the town. First of all, too many arrogant people, everybody pushed everybody. The first area where you can discover the different houses and rooms are not recommended to visit : TOO MANY PEOPLE, DIRTY and UGLY !
    The second area was more pleasant, more beautiful sides to see; After a long day visiting the areas of Wuzhen we decided to have dinner in a restaurant Inside the area. First we were not that welcome, secondly the waitress snatched the menu out of my hands, She didn’t apologize. I asked my Chinese boyfriend to remind her I was a Customer , she even didn’t care about what he said. I wanted to go away after this , but my boyfriend told me to calm down…I was very upset how people were in this little town.
    I really don’t recommend you this place at all !
    Anyway There are other places to visit in China….

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  • นางสาวยู้ฤดี

    Hi, I’m looking for Wuzhen travelling too. but got some question: 1. the combination ticket is for one day use? if we stay overnight, can it use in the next day? I’ve planned go to east at first day, and west in second day, then back to Nanjing. 2. the bus stop at Wuzhen station or tongxiang station? Thanks :)

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