Wuzhen is a small, ancient water village about an hour away from Hangzhou, China. Before the trip we had a vote on whether to visit Shanghai or a small village. I am so glad that we finally voted on the village. It was such a nice experience.
The village is “small” in Chinese standard. It is a relatively prosperous village, with over 60,000 resident, and only a small part is opened up for visitors. When we arrived it was a shock as the place was swarmed with tour groups, each led by a guide waving a small flag and babbling on a loudspeaker. However, as we walked deeper into the village, the crowd really thinned out and we could enjoy the tranquility and timelessness that befits such scenery.
Rice paste is screen-printed onto cloth to keep the indigo dye from staining parts of the cloth. It was quite interesting to watch the process, although the demostrators were not particularly motivated to waste energy on us lone travellers.
Handmade shoes at the shoemaker, using the clothes from the dye shop.
Notice the fish talisman in the window? I ended up buying a few of those…
We ended up taking a ride on one of these little boats. The steer disappeared as soon as we paid him, left us sitting there a bit puzzled. But we figuredwith two steersmend on board, there was little to worry about. After a while, the man came back with a receipt, and thus began our immensely enjoyable boat ride – a nice breeze, great angle for shooting photos, a much needed rest for our legs, and our hands free from our shopping bags.
Looking at the pictures, it’s so easy to fall in love with that place all over again. I definitely hope to visit more of these villages in the future. (The site sozhen.com is a comprehensive website detailing all the ancient towns in China. )