Wuzhen, A Chinese Water Town
Now that I am back in the United States and can successfully access my blog from a secure location, I need to get caught up on some of my blog posts! I had my sister post some entries previously on my blog to explain that I could not access WordPress in China. This was the first time I have ever spent an extended period of time in the Mainland, so I did not realize China blocked even WordPress! Anyways these photos and the short video clip were taken in the beautiful water city of Wuzhen, China. During my brief studies in Shanghai, our university took a day trip to Wuzhen during the month of June. I had done some research on the city before I decided to go on this trip and I was extremely excited about traveling to Wuzhen. Wuzhen was around 1.5 hours to 2 hours by bus from Shanghai, China. My only wish was that we had stayed until night fall, because I thought Wuzhen had looked prettier during nightfall.
I would also like to apologize again for the poor image quality. Unfortunately the nice Panasonic I had bought for this trip broke the second day I was in China. Thankfully I had my Google Nexus One, but being the photographer I am, I was greatly disappointed in taking these photographs with a camera phone. But some photos are better than no photos at all! Plus I thought these images were fairly impressive for a camera phone.I hope everyone can still enjoy these photographs!
I know I was in China, but I could not help but think of the movie Memoirs of a Geisha and the breathtaking shots of the streets throughout Japan. I was amazing at how well preserved these old buildings/ houses actually were.
The entire town had these beautiful wood carvings everywhere. For some reason this city focused on a lot of different styles of beds in their small museums, if my Chinese was better and I hadn’t run off from the tour group, I probably could mention why the town focused on so many beds in their museums.
As we walked down these streets, we could see the locals who still live within these amazing old buildings. Thankfully we went on a holiday, so I am sure that on average, these locals would not have to interact with pesky tourists. :) I forgot the rate of entering Wuzhen, but I can remember they offered a student discount. My best guess was somewhere around 100RMB or about 16USD.
A speciality of the town was wine production. There were several areas that were entirely dedicated to storing and producing wine. Our guide mentioned it was rice wine, but to my surprise, it was nothing like the Japanese version of rice wine aka sake. I’ll mention that story a little later.
A friend of mine took this photograph of me trying some of Wuzhen’s famous rice wine! Like I had previously mentioned, I was expecting something similar to sake. Those of you who know me know that I am not much of a drinker and when I do drink its usually a non-alcoholic beer, but I could only take this small cup of rice wine. This was some of the strongest wine I have ever tasted in my life. It burnt going down my throat and it was very overpowering. If you would like to try some of their wine you can either purchase a bottle at a premium or test a sip for around 4-10 RMB. I would suggest only trying a sip.
Finally I would just like to include a link to the website for the town of Wuzhen. If you travel to Shanghai anytime in the future, I would highly recommend taking a side journey to Wuzhen. Sadly China is modernizing rapidly and a lot of the culture is being tossed to the side. Wuzhen is one of the few remaining areas that offer some of the majestic experiences of traditional China.Wuzhen Traveling Site