In Wuzhen, there are two scenic areas, Dong (East) Zha and Xi (West) Zha. This trip, we chose to stay overnight in Xizha. There are difference classes of accommodation in Xizha, all centrally managed by the village co-operative. But even the most affordable homestay class is slightly more expensive compared with the accommodation outside the scenic areas. Despite this, we decided to try out the unique experience and I must say it is good value for money. We chose a homestay twin sharing room (not waterfront) and it costed us RMB422 on a Friday. These homestay inns are actually converted from old houses, equipped with modern day facilities (yes, they have high speed free WIFI) and comfort while retaining the age old external façade. The rooms are on the second floor of an old house, so you have to climb up a flight of stairs. The rooms are very clean and new. One thing to note, since all the inns are centrally managed, you do not get to choose which inn to stay in (it's similar to the concept of checking into the hotel where you choose your room type and the hotel will allocate you your "room number"). Of course, if it's off-peak, you can still try asking, their service attitude is quite good, you could get lucky. Upon arriving at the entrance of the Xizha Scenic Area, it's designed as though you have arrived at a hotel lobby. Get yourself checked in, then you get your room key, they can arrange for your luggage to be sent to your inn. Those staying further into the village, they even provide complimentary buggy service to bring you nearer to your Inn. After checking in, you will have to buy entrance ticket to the "Scenic Area". The entrance ticket is RMB120 for daytime (up to 5pm in winter, slightly later in summer) and RMB80 for night time. Recommend those who are staying overnight to enter the village at 5pm, and you can spend the whole day the next day to explore the water village. The water village in dusktime is very beautiful. Breakfast at the homestay is complimentary and is prepared by the respective innkeepers (they are actually the owners of the house). You have to place your breakfast order by evening time. Three breakfast sets to choose from, either oriental or western. Dinner can be taken at any of the restaurants in the town. Quite a variety. Some innkeepers also offer dinner (upon guests' request). We stayed in Inn No. 63, but chose to have our dinner by the waterfront at another Inn (Inn 61C). Six of us spent less than RMB200 for a very simple dinner with about 6 dishes, which is very affordable (but it also depends on what dishes you order). After dinner, we explored the village by foot and the next day, we took a boat ride around the waterway (standard price of RMB120 for six persons to a boat). One advantage for the central management is it weed out competition which sometimes can cause confusion and can address travellers' concern that one might get cheated by a poor bargain, and it certainly helped to maintain the quality service standard of the place in the longer term. Many travel groups only get to stay a few hours visiting this town (usually they pass by the village enroute Shanghai - Hangzhou). Personally, I feel that an overnight stay is a much better way to enjoy this ancient water village.
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- Also Known As:
- Wuzhen Guest House Hotel Tongxiang
- Wuzhen Guest House China/Tongxiang