Wuzhen, less than 100 miles from Shanghai, is a typical ancient water town in southern China. It is named as China's class AAAA scenic site, and is one of the 20 hot spots during Golden Week in May. The Qing style old homes, the river, stone streets, and bridges intertwine with each other, creating an ambiance that is uniquely called JiangNan (or south of the Yangtze River).
The most frequently visited East Street is only a mile long. Many villagers still live in their hundred-year old houses. The West Street opened only a few months ago attracts tourists for its night scenes. The villagers there were forced to move to newly built apartment buildings to make room for renovation and restoration. It has less human touch and is less lively, but it is more tranquil.
I spent less than 24 hours here under the cloudy and rainy skies. I also found a local family to let me spend the night for about $10, no ID needed, no questions asked. The hostess had three rooms for rent but all were operated under the radar.