Wuzhen is one of the Historical and Cultural towns, Top-10 Charming Towns and Towns with Beautiful Environment. It is known as “The Last Riverine Town in China”. In 2003, it was given the Asia-Pacific Heritage Award for Cultural Heritage Conservation by UNESCO. In 2006, it was shortlisted as a World Heritage Site by the UN and the Chinese government. In 2010, Wuzhen was rated National AAAAA Tourist Attraction, the first one in Jiaxing City.
Wuzhen is located in the northern part of Tongxiang City, on the west bank of the Grand Canal. It lies to the east of Huzhou and the south of Wujiang, connecting two provinces and three localities. Yaozhen Highway crosses Wuzhen and connects provincial highways such as Yanhu Highway, national expressways 320 and 318, Shanghai-Hangzhou Expressway, Shenjiahu Expressway and Zhajiasu Expressway. Wuzhen is 13km away from the center of Tongxiang City, 27km and 45km and 60km away from Jiaxing, Huzhou and Wujiang respectively. Its distance to Hangzhou and Suzhou is 80km and it is 140km away from Shanghai. Wuzhen covers an area of 71.19km²and a built-up area of 2.5 km².
Wuzhen is located in southeastern China’s coastal area. It has a typical subtropical monsoon climate with great sunshine and rich rainfall. Wuzhen is in the Temperate Zone and has four distinctive seasons. The annual mean temperature is 16.1 Celsius with January as the coldest month (monthly mean temperature: 3.6 ℃) and July as the hottest month (monthly mean temperature: 28.1℃). The mean annual precipitation is 1233.9mm. Rainfalls are concentrated in April-May, June-July and August-September. It snows in winter.
Annual average sunshine totals 1842.3 hours. In Wuzhen, spring is 78 days long, summer 90 days long, autumn 64 days long, and winter 133 days long.
Wuzhen has a history of 1,300 years. The two crossing rivers divide the town into four sections known as "East, West, North and South Scenic Zones". In 1998, Wuzhen Government commissioned the Shanghai Tongji Urban Planning & Design Institute to draw up the Preservation Plan for Wuzhen. The Plan describes the preservation and tourism development of the town. In the Plan, the town is divided into absolute protective, key protective, general protective and controlled areas, corresponding to different level of protection. The buffer zone covers an area of 198 hectares.
In 1999, a General Plan for Phase I of Wuzhen Preservation was drafted for the Wuzhen East Scenic Zone after thorough investigation, which contains four aspects (protection, environment, functions and management) and covers the preservation of relics, culture and environment. Various projects were carried out to revive the ancient town, including: underground pipeline project, toilets project, river dredging project, floodlighting project and intelligent management.
In 2001, Wuzhen East Scenic Zone was opened to the public. The well-preserved water town landscape and culture makes the town a top tourist destination in China.
Wuzhen shines its charm of ancient Chinese ancient culture, becoming a bridge for cultural exchanges between China and foreign countries.
In 2003, Phase II of Wuzhen Preservation was initiated. This well-funded provincial project was focusing on Wuzhen West Scenic Zone.
Compared with Phase I, Wuzhen West Scenic Zone was far better preserved by achieving the harmony between human beings, environment and architecture. Ancient buildings dated back to Ming and Qing dynasties, covering 300,000 km2, are well-preserved in this zone. The old street running from the east to the west is nearly 1.8km in length. Along the street, many water chambers are built by the river. The watercourse in the zone has a total length of nearly 10,000m with 72 ancient stone bridges. The density of watercourse and the number of bridges rank first among all ancient towns in China. The northern part of Wuzhen West Scenic Zone is a 50,000m2 wetland. The distinction between Phase I and II is that Phase I is for sightseeing like other similar towns while Phase II combines sightseeing with recreation and experience. The town is much more than a living fossil or a museum, serving as an oasis away from the hustle and bustle in cities.
The attractions in the town includes cultural relics, workshop, exhibition, religious architecture, customs, recreation centers and natural landscape. The floodlighting is magnificent. You can stay in homestays or hotels of great variety. There are also several well-equipped conference centers and business clubhouses. Other services are all available, including: tourist center, sightseeing coach, boat, public transportation on water, drinking water, natural gas, broadband internet, satellite TV, digital patrol system, floodlighting, quality toilet and smart parking lot.
The history, culture, landscape, environment of the town are coupled with advanced facilities. The town is a top choice for sightseeing, recreation, vacation and business trip.
We adopt advanced ideas and new approaches in the preservation. We have developed some effective practices such as underground pipeline, dredging, restoration and limited commercial activities. Wuzhen sets an example of ancient town preservation in China. It is highly praised by experts and our peers. The UN panel named these practices "Wuzhen Mode" on their visit.
Wuzhen East Scenic Zone maintains the original water town lifestyle. Workshops display many traditional crafts. You can enjoy the beautiful scenery while shopping and tasting delicious local food. Compared with Wuzhen West Scenic Zone, Wuzhen East Scenic Zone is for you to experience the water town style in a day or two.
Renovated for four years with more than 1 billion yuan investment, the 4.92km2 West Scenic Zone is composed of twelve islands that represent original Chinese water town. In Wuzhen West Scenic Zone, we keep many buildings and streets in Ming and Qing dynasties. These buildings have ancient outer appearances but modern facilities inside. That improves local people’s lives while providing good facilities for tourists. Wuzhen West Scenic Zone is an oasis away from the hustle and bustle of the city, offering you a perfect vacation resort.