Wuzhen Water Town – Ticket, Opening Hours, Location, and Highlights

wuzhen water town jiaxing

Wuzhen Water Town (乌镇), situated in Tongxiang County, Zhejiang Province, is divided into four sections by a cross-shaped network of internal rivers, known as “Dongzha, Nanzha, Xizha, and Beizha,” covering an area of 79 square kilometers. Only the Dongzha and Xizha sections are open to tourists.

Dongzha, the larger of the two sections, offers serene and picturesque landscapes spread across approximately 2 kilometers. It comprises Dongzha Old Street, Guanqian Street, Riverside Pavilions, and covered walkways, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the tranquil and graceful atmosphere typical of the Jiangnan water towns. Adjacent to the ancient Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal, Xizha focuses on commercial tourism and leisure vacations. With a dense network of intersecting waterways and 72 ancient bridges, it boasts the highest density of waterways and stone bridges among all ancient towns in China.

With a history of over 7000 years and a founding history of over 1300 years, Wuzhen is a typical Jiangnan water town, renowned as the “Land of Fish and Rice, and the Silk Capital.” It is often referred to as the “Last Water Village in China.” In 2013, Wuzhen established the Wuzhen Theatre Festival, and in 2014, it became the permanent venue for the World Internet Conference.

Table of Contents

Basic Information

Estimated Length of Tour1 day
Ticket PriceDongzha (East Section): 110 RMB
Xizha (West Section): 150 RMB
Combined Ticket for both Sections: 190 RMB
Opening Hours9.00 – 22.00
Telephone Number0086-0573-88731088

Location and Transportation

Wuzhen Water Town is situated at the northern tip of Tongxiang City in Jiaxing, Zhejiang Province, China. It lies on the western bank of the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal, adjacent to Huzhou City to the west and Wujiang County in Jiangsu Province to the north, marking the convergence of two provinces and three cities. To reach Wuzhen, travelers can take a high-speed train to either Tongxiang Station or Jiaxing South Station, then transfer to a shuttle bus or taxi bound for Wuzhen. The journey from Tongxiang Station to Wuzhen takes approximately 20 minutes by car, while from Jiaxing South Station, it takes about 1 hour.

Highlights of Wuzhen Water Town

Dongzha (East Section of Wuzhen)

Jiangnan Wood Carving Exhibition Hall

jiangnan wood carving museum wuzhen

Originally the luxurious mansion of the Xu family in Dongzha, known as the Hundred Flowers Hall, Jiangnan Wood Carving Museum is renowned for its exquisite wood carvings. The main and side rooms now display a rich collection of ancient Chinese wood carving masterpieces, which depict a wide range of subjects, including folk legends such as “Eight Immortals Crossing the Sea” and “General Guo Ziyi’s Birthday Celebration,” as well as scenes of everyday life like “Fishing” and “Cricket Fighting.” Traditional patterns like “Dragons and Phoenixes” and “Plum, Orchid, Bamboo, and Chrysanthemum” are also represented, showcasing the unique folk customs of Jiangnan.

Mao Dun’s Former Residence

former residence of mao dun, Wuzhen

Situated at No. 17 Guanqian Street on the east side of the river in Wuzhen, Mao Dun’s former residence consists of a two-story, north-facing, wooden-structured building with a total area of approximately 450 square meters. Divided into two units, it was purchased in two separate transactions by Mao Dun’s great-grandfather. The residence includes a bedroom, study, dining room, and other architectural features, with furnishings and layout preserved in their original state from when Mao Dun lived there.

Jiangnan Hundred-Bed Hall

jiangnan hundred beds museum wuzhen

Known locally as the Zhao Family Hall, the Jiangnan Hundred-Bed Hall is the first museum in China dedicated to collecting and exhibiting ancient Jiangnan beds. Covering an area of over 1,200 square meters, it houses dozens of exquisite ancient Jiangnan beds from the Ming, Qing, and modern periods. The beds range from those of wealthy merchants and aristocrats to those of ordinary people, featuring a variety of designs including single-room beds and multi-room beds (with dressing rooms, bathrooms, and servant quarters inside). The collection reflects both the luxury of the elite and the simplicity of common folk.

Old Streets and Alleys

old streets and alleys in wuzhen water town

Wuzhen is renowned for its extensive network of streets, lanes, and alleys, often referred to as “four gates and eight lanes.” The eight major streets include Changchunli Street, Chengjiangli Street, Tongli Street, Nan Street, Zhong Street, Bei Street, Guanqian Street, and Dong Street.

Hongyuantai Dyeing Workshop

Hongyuantai Dyehouse, Wuzhne

Established during the Song and Yuan Dynasties, the Hongyuantai Dyeing Workshop was originally located in Nanzha but was relocated here during the Qing Dynasty. It serves as a production base for blue calico and a distribution center for blue calico products. Chinese blue calico is world-famous, and Wuzhen is one of its original production sites.

Fengyuan Double Bridge

fengyuan double bridge in wuzhen water town

The Fengyuan Double Bridge, also known as the Corridor Bridge due to the covered walkway atop it, features water barriers underneath, remnants of ancient waterway checkpoints. Legend has it that walking across the bridge requires adhering to the custom of men walking on the left and women on the right. Crossing the bridge necessitates walking half on the left and half on the right, symbolizing encountering both fortune and calamity.

Xiu Zhen Taoist Temple Ancient Stage

Xiu Zhen Taoist Temple Ancient Stage in wuzhen water town

The Xiu Zhen Taoist Temple Ancient Stage is an auxiliary building of the Taoist temple, constructed in the 14th year of the Qing Emperor Qianlong’s reign (1749). Despite suffering damage over the years, it has been meticulously restored since 1919 and remains intact to this day. Occupying an area of 204 square meters, the stage faces the Xiu Zhen Taoist Temple across Guanqian Street to the north, while the southern side overlooks the Dongzha River, with the Xinghua Bridge to the east. The stage features a gable roof with upturned eaves, exuding an elegant and dignified aura. The delicate wood carvings between the beams and columns hold significant artistic value. The stage is divided into two levels, with the lower level constructed with brick and stone, featuring side and front doors for entry and exit. The side door leads to the riverbank, while the rear of the lower level provides access to the stage via a small ladder, and there’s also a trapdoor leading from the riverbank to the boat. The upper level consists of a dressing room at the rear with beautifully carved low windows, and the front serves as the stage, directly facing the square.

Huiyuan Pawnshop

huiyuan pawn shop in wuzhen water town

Situated between Yingjia Bridge and Nanhua Bridge, the Huiyuan Pawnshop boasts a five-bay storefront with two floors and 1.8-meter-high counters. According to the “Wuqing Town Annals,” Wuzhen once had up to 13 pawnshops, reducing to seven before the Taiping Rebellion. By the 20th year of the Republic of China (1931), only Huiyuan Pawnshop remained, and by the time of the Japanese invasion, it had stopped accepting new items, eventually closing its doors. With the closure of Huiyuan Pawnshop, the history of pawnshops in Wuzhen came to an end.

Xizha (West Section of Wuzhen)

muxin art museum wuzhen

The Mu Xin Art Gallery serves as a tribute to the lifelong artistic and aesthetic legacy of Mu Xin, a painter, writer, and poet. It provides a comprehensive documentation of Mu Xin’s research. The entire gallery, with its modern, minimalist design, faces north and overlooks the Yuanbao Lake in Wuzhen. It spans gracefully over the water surface, providing a serene environment for visitors to appreciate Mu Xin’s works and artistic vision.

Bai Lian Pagoda

Bailian Pagoda, Wuzhen

Located on Huanhe Island along the Grand Canal in Xizha, the Bai Lian Pagoda stands tall with seven levels, reaching a height of approximately 51 meters, making it the tallest structure in Wuzhen. The pagoda sits atop an octagonal lotus-themed platform with a release pond in the center. A stone boat rests on the eastern bank of the river. The Bai Lian Pagoda follows the architectural style of the brick-and-wood mixed structure commonly found in the Jiangsu and Zhejiang regions during the Song and Yuan dynasties. While its exterior appears tapering, the actual plan of the pagoda is square-shaped, with a base measuring 24 meters by 24 meters, and its interior floor is paved with Qinghui square bricks.

Zhu Family Hall

zhu family hall in wuzhen water town

Zhu Family Hall is the residence of a prominent Zhu family in Wuzhen, known locally as “Hall upon Hall.” In Wuzhen, there are numerous grand residences belonging to affluent families, such as Xu Family Hall and Zhao Family Hall on Dong Street. These houses exhibit unique architectural styles with intricately carved halls. Zhu Family Hall not only embodies the characteristics of these grand residences but also stands out as a unique hall in Wuzhen. Its distinctive feature lies in the concept of “Hall upon Hall,” showcasing a layout where one hall is built atop another.

Mao Dun Memorial Hall

Mao Dun Memorial Hall in Wuzhen Water Town

Spanning approximately 1,000 square meters and divided into two floors, the Mao Dun Memorial Hall showcases the life and literary achievements of Mao Dun, a renowned Chinese writer. The exhibition features 59 personal belongings, nearly 1,000 books, and over 90 photographs, many of which are being displayed for the first time. The main theme revolves around Mao Dun’s life journey and literary accomplishments. At the center of a black granite platform in the water pool stands a marble sculpture of Mao Dun, crafted in a 1:1.3 scale to resemble his appearance at the time of his passing. This sculpture reflects the deep respect and admiration the people of Wuzhen hold for Mao Dun.

Zhaoming Academy

zhaoming academy in wuzhen water town

Within the spacious courtyard of Zhaoming Academy, illuminated by the flickering glow of lanterns, stands a stone archway bearing the inscription “六朝遗胜 (Legacy of the Six Dynasties).” Beneath it lies an engraved stone tablet with the inscription “梁昭明太子同沈尚书读书处 (Reading Place of Prince Zhaoming of the Liang Dynasty and Minister Shen).” Historical records indicate that this stone archway, erected during the Wanli period of the Ming Dynasty, stands at a height of 3.75 meters and a width of 3.8 meters. The inscription on the dragon and phoenix plaque was composed by Shen Shimao, an official of the Ministry of Punishments during the Ming Dynasty, and miraculously survived the Cultural Revolution after being hastily whitewashed. Beyond the stone archway lies an expansive courtyard garden adorned with ancient towering trees and four ornamental ponds, creating a tranquil atmosphere for contemplation and study.

Yichang Iron Forging Workshop

Yichang Iron Forging Workshop in wuzhen water town

Situated on the southern bank of Xizha in Wuzhen, the Yichang Iron Forging Workshop dates back to the Jiajing period of the Ming Dynasty. It was established by a blacksmith from Huzhou to operate his workshop in Wuzhen. As you enter, you’ll find a courtyard surrounded by four-sided corridors. At the center of the courtyard lies a massive “Number One Pot in the World,” with a diameter of approximately 5 meters. The bottom of the pot bears the cast imprint “Number One Pot in the World, Made in the Fifth Year of Tongzhi.”

Waterborne Stage

waterborne stage in wuzhen water town

Located on the northern side of the old street in Xizha, the Waterborne Stage stands out as a unique architectural marvel built directly over the water. This characteristic has earned it the name “Waterborne Stage.” Its scale and exquisite design make it a rarity within China. The stage serves as a venue for various performances, adding a touch of charm to the picturesque water town of Wuzhen.

Herbal Dyeing Workshop

Caomu Natural Color Dye Workshop, Wuzhen

The Herbal Dyeing Workshop is a large-scale facility dedicated to traditional handcrafted eco-friendly dyeing and drying processes. The drying area features a brick-paved ground with rows of tall poles and tiered drying racks, creating a vast and impressive sight. In addition to the traditional blue dyeing technique using indigo plants to create blue printed fabrics, the workshop also employs a unique color baking process. The colors produced through this method are rich and vibrant, extracted from local herbal materials such as tea leaves, mulberry bark, and Chinese pistache leaves. Due to its focus on utilizing natural resources, the workshop is known locally as the Herbal Dyeing Workshop.

Wuzhen Grand Theater

wuzhen grand theater

Wuzhen Grand Theater stands as a contemporary symbol of cultural revival in Wuzhen, drawing visitors from around the world. Its design, resembling a blooming lotus, gracefully rests atop the waterways of Wuzhen, blending modernity with elegance. The theater comprises seven above-ground levels and one underground level, featuring a large-scale theater and a medium-sized multifunctional theater. It caters to a variety of performance genres and types, injecting new vitality into Wuzhen’s millennia-old cultural heritage.

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