We've heard about Wu Zhen for some time. Loads of billboards around town show it off. It was just one of those places we kept meaning to go to, but because it's so close, we neglected it. We've got this artist friend who lives down by the hills. He's told us how he goes there during the week when it's raining. That way, there's nobody there. The rain makes for nice pictures. We went smack in the middle of the October holiday on a sunny day. Needless to say, it was heaving with tourists. People-free pictures were next to impossible. The town is much smaller than we thought. It's more like a street actually. The houses are nice. There are plenty of small museums and old-style places of batch production. The baijiu factory smelled like a dude who had way too much baijiu the night before. What else would you expect? Street vendors sell homemade snacks that keep both children and adults smiling. We hit every nook and cranny. It took about an hour and a half. Had there not been a fight on the bus on the way out to Wu Zhen, it would have been an easy-going half day trip. We got to the east bus station at 8am and bought tickets for the 8:35am bus. When we got on the bus, a lady was screaming at this guy. Boarding passengers carefully squeezed by. The tugging and yelling continued. Because the two were wearing identical shirts, we thought that they either knew each other or belonged to some secret clan. She was trying to get the guy off the bus and almost did when said guy made a last ditch effort to hit the man he must have previously been arguing with. It was all happening a foot or two in front of us. After a small pocket knife, a lot of police, and even more yelling and screaming, we were finally on our way albeit almost an hour late. No blood was shed. Bring an umbrella, and spend a half a day at Wu Zhen when there are fewer people. On the other hand, we can't say we had an uneventful time. You can check out http://www.wuzhen.com.cn/oldweb/wuzhen.eng/ for more info. To get there: After you leave the bus station, there is a road on your right. Face the road on your right and make a left turn and head towards the end of road (about 10 minutes), then turn right and in a couple minutes, you'll see the entrance on your left. You can also take a taxi (around 5RMB).
Ticket: There are 2 parts: East (Dong Shan 东栅) and West (Xi Shan 西栅). Eastern part: 100RMB/person. 150RMB set ticket for east and west, available from 8am - 12pm at the west ticket office. 40RMB for night tour. Boats are available at 120RMB/one way in the day time, 180RMB/one way night time, 6 people maximum. West part: 120RMB/person. 150RMB set ticket for east and west, available at 8am - 2pm at the east ticket office. 5RMB/person for tour bus.
Busses: 20RMB. From 6:25am to 1:20pm, there are busses leaving from the Hangzhou East Bus Station every 30 minutes. You can get your return ticket when you leaving Wuzhen, the last bus is at 5:30pm. There are also tickets and busses available from the Yellow Dragon stadium, 120RMB includes round-trip bus tickets and admission to the east part, but they return at 3pm and drag you to a few other spots around Hangzhou.