Another water town nicknamed as Venice of the East, much like Suzhou famed for its garden, Tongli with its three-bridges canals, Qibao with dumplings and Shaxi for the tea house opera, another city that I like to visit (even though it’s too tourist-y for me) is Wuzhen (乌镇, Wu/Dark town).
The water town is within the triangle area of Suzhou, Hangzhou and Shanghai. It takes approx. 2 hour from Shanghai South Station to Wuzhen (entry 160 CYN + bus ticket 100 CYN). Wuzhen is divided into east and west scenic areas.
Weekend getaway with a couple of friends, Ema, Vicky, and Tara to Wuzhen is like taking a break and probably not too much cultural experience but the pleasure of a vacation. We arrive quite late in the port, and took a boat to our hotel in another side of the town. Tong’an Hostel is not really a hostel but a boutique hotel. It’s rather expensive for my budget, each person paid like 650 CYN.
After check in to the hotel we go out for a night stroll.
Chinese lantern in various colors
Umbrella/Chinese parasol shop
Some sweet snacks, Ding Sheng Gao (定胜糕), rice cake
All kinds of bamboo shop
Lights lit up
The buildings are quite ‘new’ and much of the historical places are rebuilt so they are nicer and well maintained for most parts. It’s fine by me, but the appearance of club houses and bar really killing the old charm mood here. Oh well. Have a drink instead.
I have no idea what drink it is when I order it (as long as it’s not a Jack D), but it tastes sweet and citrusy and the bartender gives us a ‘lighting up’ with the stack of glasses to make my drink. Heh. After a nice drink we return to the hotel and sleep for the night.
Early morning yo!
Like I mention before, some or most of the buildings are ‘newer’ and looks clean. The details of carvings and paint are fresh even with the architecture following ancient China style.
Early morning is amazing, there aren’t many people…yet
Of all the water town I visited, I finally decide to go on the boat tour with the others. 120 CYN for a single ride.
A pair of dragons
The Ding Sheng Bridge (定升桥是), a high stone bridge in Xizha Scenic Zone
The bridge in bridge – Togji and Renji Bridge (西栅桥里桥-仁济桥)
Coming through, passing through
Once we get off, we just walk around
White Lotus Pagoda (白莲塔)
A little shopping. I found the sweets are very sweets and nice with a bitter tea
Walk ways. I can get lost here.
Fei Clan Hall, Hengyiyang Chinese Pharmacy (恒益堂药店)
Specialize tea shop
The street with clobber stones and shops/houses
Last night umbrella store
Pottery place workshop for kids and grownups alike Wu Tao Square (乌陶坊)
Pop corn seller
These looks like a ‘hotel’ cottages
Zhaoming Academy (昭明书院)
Zhaoming academy was named after the crown prince Zhaoming (昭明太子) who studied and built the building in Wuzhen. It houses a library with books and cultural magazines, reading room, lecture hall, class rooms. Currently it is a hotel too.
The Gingko trees at Zhaoming Academy
The Zig Zag bridge in front of Zhaoming Academy
Xishan Tongshun Bridge (西栅通顺桥)
Indigo Fabric Workshop, Hongyuantai Dye Workshop (宏源泰染坊) in separate post
Xùchāng Paste Company (叙昌酱品)
The sauce paste company established for hundred of years since 1859. The company use traditional method using soybeans and raw materials, steam and spread on bamboo with flour and butter. The process took about 70+ hours. The paste then kept inside the large jar and covered up. The fermentation process use natural light from the sun and they take 6 months.
A small store with cute decoration
After the walk, we take our lunch by the canal in a traditional Chinese menu with glutenous rice, duck and vegetable and drinks :)
Good things come to an end as we headed for the exit, riding the same boat we came on last night and another 2 hour ride with the bus back to shanghai.
See my other post in Wuzhen: [Travel] Wuzhen, Indigo Blues Fabric for the Lovelies