This charming small town, which is among the oldest of six known towns situated south of the Yangtze River, reveals its two thousand year history through its stone bridges that float on the calm waters and its stone paths that wind through the delicately-carved wooden walls. It belongs to a local people known as the 'floating peoples' who live around the Grand Canal and located near the cities of Shanghai, Suzhou and Hangzhou. Being one of the last "discovered" villages in recent years by the tourism industry, for this reason it is one of the best preserved in its original charm.
This museum in the Chinese village, Wuzhen, in the Zhejiang province (in the east), shows the evolution of the costumes and traditional Chinese dresses of this part of China, and the introduction of Western fashion in the 30s, when the rules of dress became more permissive: pants, hats, American jackets and even ties were adopted by the people of this region. In the different costumes exhibits, women and men are from the early twentieth century and traditional clothing of Chinese peasants during late nineteenth century are showcased.
In the small village of Wuzhen, in the province of Zhejiang (in the east) there are several museums that teach visitors about the culture and history of the old town, dating all the way back to the ancient Tang Dynasty. One of them is the interesting Antique Beds Museum, where we can see the beds that were used in this part of China during the times of the Tang and Qing dynasties. The beds on display here are made from typical trees from the province of Zhejiang and even one made with the stems of roses.
In this curious shop in the Chinese village of Wuzhen, located about two hours from the city of Shanghai, you can buy homemade noodles made right in front of you. You will see for yourself the typical artisinal traditions of the Chinese. In addition they also sell other craft products like dumplings filled with meat and vegetables or pork buns typical of Chinese cuisine.
From Hangzhou or Shanghai, it is highly recommended to visit Wuzhen, a beautiful village and very ancient town of Tongxiang, in the northern Province of Zhejiang. Seeing as I had time, I decided to hire a tour as it was the easiest option and, as part of it, we were taken to a silk factory on the outskirts of Wuzhen. Actually, it was quite interesting to see the evolution of methods to extract and treat the silk from the worm to the final product, but of course, this is nothing more than a ploy to reduce the costs of the tour, on the part of the tour provider (that takes away dome hefty commissions from the shop). In fact, we even saw a fashion show! I think the best idea is to see it for yourselves with the artwork that I have included.
In the village of Wuzhen China (Zhejiang province, east), there was a famous fabric printing factory. The pattern (characterized by it's navy blue flower motif) became very popular and famous throughout much of China. These printed fabrics were used to make women's dresses, fabrics for the home and even mosquito nets. Today you can still buy these patterned fabrics in the village and there is a museum which has some of the originals on display.
The small town of Wuzhen China (East Zhejiang province) is famous among tourists for its network of Venice style canals and its history linked to the silk trade and local fabric printed with the characteristic blue pattern of the region. One of the major tourist spots of the city is a typical fabric store, which sells handbags, ornaments, shirts or pajamas with this well-known blue print. I recommend that you visit.
The Chinese village of Wuzhen, in Zhejiang province (east), has a long tradition of craftsmanship, both in the production and printing of fabrics and in the manufacture of wood chopsticks, toys, buckets and spoons. One of the most historically important is silk. Wuzhen Old women still use the wheel to spin silk and you can see them in action at one of the local craft workshops there around the canals.
Some of the products that can be bought at this souvenir shop on the main street are silk scarves, printed fabrics typical of the area, fans, wood products handcrafted or traditional brushes for writing characters, one of the most popular hobbies in China.