Saturday, March 24, 2012

Wuzhen water town

Wuzhen, a town surrounded by rivers, about 80 minutes drive from Suzhou. It is one of the 4 grand Ancient Towns in South China, the other three are Zhujiajiao Ancient Town, Zhouzhuang and Tongli, they all have Qing Dynasty style layout, water system is still well preserved, the main scenic spots all gather along rivers... There are 2 canal towns in Wuzhen, 'west' & 'east', separated by the main town of Wuzhen, which has only roads & a river. 

That was Mar, one of those cold but sunny days, I took a half day trip to this old water town, visited the west part, Xizha, with plenty of photos return...
Amazing wood carvings
It looks very serene and peaceful... 
These boats can be seen carrying passengers all throughout the town. The cost is 30 RMB per person, which equals to about SGD$6 per person. Boat trip in the canals of ancient town is just nice to spend a lazy afternoon, and relax your mind. 
The old water town, with its stone bridges, waterside pavilions, centuries-old wooden houses and wooden terraces built over the water,  attracts up to 4,000 people a day. I was amazing at how well preserved these old buildings/ houses actually were. But soon I was told that most of the houses were "renovated" and now become hotels, restaurants and gift shops, this beautiful city has now turned into a tourist trap.

Houses are all by the water edge, the transportation mode is by boats rowed along the many canals. Like  Venice but this town is older, Marco Polo brought the idea back to Italy?

 ...the "White Lotus Pagoda" in the back ground

Bridge within a Bridge 

Wuzhen displays its 2000 years history in its ancient stone bridges floating on mild water, its stone pathways between the mottled walls and its delicate wood carvings. 

Xizha Scenic Zone, boat trip in the canals of ancient town, there are many interesting spots captured my eyes:  

...a lovely window display with smoke meat and dried chili. 
Wuzhen water town's residential,  Although this town still a live village but many of them move to new town near by for convenient life. Now it is just a tourist attraction village
It’s something like the orient style of Venice?

Historic water village lack some real historic activities, but well restored, it is worth spending my quiet and lazy here, just amazing old village and experienced the slow life style here...

Narrow flagstone alleys and ancient homes from the Qing Dynasty...Now they become shop houses...

...and a lot of shops where you can buy loads of intriguing things. Naturally they have the typical tourist stuff but they also have traditionally dyed silk clothing, beautifully designed fans, handmade umbrellas, old postcards and much more. I spent about 2 hours to walk around the shops, just enjoy capturing all those beautiful colors. I was walking towards to exit,
...and I found this traditional silk dyeing. All dyed pieces of cloth are hung up on these massive wooden clothing lines to dry, I just curious how they get them up?

more photos will be posted tomorrow

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