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  Wuzhen Water Town

Wuzhen, a town with a history of 1200 years, is just 50 minutes' drivefrom Hangzhou City. This small town,with its black tiled, tung oilpainted timber framework houses, that contrast sharply with its white walls and gray flagging,brings to mind a Chinese ink and wash painting. The river running through the town was once the main means of transportation for local people, but these days is little used, other than for festive celebrations, when bulk cargo is shipped in. The window sills of the houses on the banks of the river are further extended with boards, on which flowers, plants and bonsai bloom in the warm sunshine, adding a touch of life and color to this tranquil, oldstyle town.


Local residents pay little attention to tourists, preferring to get on with their work, or to pass the time of day with their neighbors. The elderly like to gather in the pavilion at the head of the bridge, and talk over everyday matters. There are some well preserved Ming and Qing dynasty buildings in the town, formerly the homes of those rich enough to escape me social turbulence of past centuries, and who chose Wuzhen as the place to build them or its out-of-the-way location and convenient transportation.


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