Your Wuzhen water town tour begins with coach pickup from your Hangzhou hotel. Stop at the Hundred-Bed Museum (Zhao Hall), the first museum in China to collect and exhibit ancient beds of the Jiangnan area. See the luxurious carvings and elaborate designs on these antique beds and listen as your expert guide shares stories reflecting this unique cultural account of ancient Chinese civilization.
Next, visit the Sanbai Wine Workshop, the only remaining winery in Wuzhen, built during the Song Dynasty. Brewing liquor was a huge industry in Wuzhen during the Ming Dynasty; there were over 20 distilleries in operation at the time. Witness how wine is handmade using traditional techniques.
Then, visit the Hongyuan Thai dye house to see the time-honored art of making indigo-dyed printed calico. Wuzhen is one of the principal sources of this flower-printed blue cloth. Elderly women still carry on the folk tradition of carefully weaving this textile. Watch the painstaking method of creating it and marvel at the final product of striking embossed blue cloth.
After a local Chinese lunch, engage yourself in a unique display of Chinese performing arts as you admire the Shadow Play show. This is an exceptional storytelling experience – the actors are handmade leather puppets behind a screen with a cast light upon them, forming silhouettes. Accompanied by Chinese traditional instruments, like the erhu and the flute, Shadow Play is a universally renowned Chinese cultural spectacle.
Of course, no visit to a water town is complete without taking a boat ride down the river. Board a rowboat and relax as you enjoy the sights of the old town and see people going about their daily lives. Float over the calm water and pass under picturesque stone bridges. After your boat tour, take time to roam around the town at your own leisure before being driven back to your hotel in Hangzhou.