At the center of an extensive network of waterways, Wuzhen was once a transport hub linking all the surrounding prefectures and provinces. People living in the adjacent towns and villages used to row their boats here in the early morning to drink a cup of tea or to sell their vegetables and domestic animals. Gradually this developed into a thriving market. The riverside denizens could call out to passing boats, and they would row up to the house with fresh vegetables for sale, much to the delight of local people then and now.
The Market on the Water in Wuzhen West Scenic Zone has an area of about 3,400 m2 and is divided in two by Zhan Bridge, running east to west. Across the Xishi River, Muzhan Bridge and Jingxing Bridge face each other from afar with waterside pavilions on either side.
Tourists with an interest in experiencing the life of the local people may book a room in a resident’s home. After shopping for vegetables at the market, they can come back and learn to cook a few local dishes.