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Wuzhen Ancient Town (乌镇 Wū Zhèn)

Suddenly at Wuzhen

Wuzhen (乌镇) is a scenic town, part of Tongxiang, in northern Zhejiang Province, China. It lies within the triangle formed by Hangzhou, Suzhou and Shanghai.

In Chinese, wu means crow or dark, and zhen means a small town.

Wuzhen's population is 6,000 and its area is 46.5 square kilometers.

Located in the center of the six ancient towns south of Yangtze River, 17 kilometers (10.56 miles) north of the city of Tongxiang, Wuzhen displays its two-thousand-year history in its ancient stone bridges floating on mild water, its stone pathways between the mottled walls and its delicate wood carvings. Also, setting it apart from other towns, it gives a unique experience through its profound cultural background.

It is said that people have lived in Wuzhen for 7,000 years and over time it has produced a galaxy of talents. Mao Dun, an outstanding modern Chinese writer, was born here, and his masterpiece, 'The Lin's Shop', describes vividly the life of Wuzhen. In 1991, Wuzhen was authorized as the Provincial Ancient Town of History and Culture, so ranking first among the six ancient towns south of the Yangtze River.

Wuzhen's uniqueness lies in its layout, being 2 kilometers (1.24 miles) long and divided into six districts. These are: Traditional Workshops District, Traditional Local-Styled Dwelling Houses District, Traditional Culture District, Traditional Food and Beverage District, Traditional Shops and Stores District, and Water Township Customs and Life District. Wandering along the east-west-east circuit created by these six districts, tourists can enjoy the atmosphere of the traditional cultures and the original ancient features of the town that have been preserved intact.

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