China's water towns, often referred to as “Venices of the East,” are famous for their ancient buildings, bridges, canals, and ways of life that have not changed in centuries. If you want to escape from the hustle and bustle of your city life, water towns would be the best choice.
Water towns are also perfect destinations for lovers of photography. The photo opportunities are endless. By taking a small water “taxi,” visitors can take a eisurely cruise through these villages, getting a different perspective on them. The gardens in the villages, although not as well known as the villages in Suzhou, are of the same style and no less grand.
Why take a water town tour? Because life in these water towns seems to have stood still, and visitors can still see the unique traditional folk cultures of Southeastern China. It is easy to fall in love with a place where life still seems traditional and laid-back. If you take the time to visit these water towns, you will be surprised by what you discover.
Situated in the north of Zhejiang Province, the beautiful water town of Wuzhen is one of those ancient towns. It is a charming place full of ancient bridges, traditional hotels, boutiques and restaurants all built around an amazing water network that is part of the Beijing-Hangzhou Canal, the longest canal in the world.
Over the past thousand years, Wuzhen has not changed its name, water system, or way of life. It is a living museum for an ancient civilization's history, food, and traditions.
The buildings of Wuzhen are all a century or more old and built using traditional wood and stone architecture with tile roofs.
For centuries the local people of this area have been building their homes and markets along the river's edge. Spacious, beautiful courtyards are hidden by the thousands in between the buildings, providing a delightful discovery at almost every turn.
In this ancient town there is plenty to do, or nothing at all if your aim is to relax. The place is quiet, yet also offers wine bars, pottery and glass workshops, theaters, and an open-air film pavilion.