(Dec 2017) 乌镇


Located in the eastern China near Shanghai, Wu Zhen is historically a cultural and commercial centre of China, and its architecture is well-known for its ‘Jiangnan’ (or south of the Yang-tze River) style and its integration with the natural scene. The town also just hosted the first international conference on the Internet, with technological giants of China showcasing their innovation and power to determine every household’s future. It is therefore a paradoxical town that feels both old and new, with free Wifi in every vintage restaurants and coffee shops.

My impression of the town is that it’s very commercial despite its beauty. Due to the rapid development of local tourism, Wu Zhen becomes less charismatic than it used to be. Everything seems to be money-making routine. Travel routes are standardised and efficiently condensed into one or two-day trips. Shop owners also do not put price tags on their products so the price is really up to the merchants and your bargaining skills.

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