Wuzhen, a water town in the south of the Yangtze River
Wuzhen, an ancient and charming town, is a typical example of water towns in the south of the Yangtze River. The town was established more than 1,300 years ago, and the civilization in this region can be dated back to over 7,000 years ago. Covering an area of 110.93 square kilometers, the town is home to 110,000 people. With convenient transportation, rich tourism resources and beautiful environment, Wuzhen is rated by the national government as a 5A scenic spot, one of the first national historical and cultural towns, and one of the 10 most charming towns in China, which earns its reputation as "the Last Riverside Town in China". Over the centuries, Wuzhen has been home to numerous scholars and literati. It has profound cultural heritages and diverse folk customs. An ancient canal runs through Wuzhen, dividing it into four areas: Dongzha or East Gate Scenic Zone, Nanzha or South Gate Scenic Zone, Xizha or West Gate Scenic Zone and Beizha or North Gate Scenic Zone. In Wuzhen, one can find a large number of riverside buildings with unique features of the Ming and Qing Dynasties as well as cultural relics on the national, provincial or county-level protection lists. The Internet industry has been flourishing after Wuzhen became the permanent site of the World Internet Conference, complimenting tourism as another pillar of development and giving this ancient town with a modern touch.
An ancient town famed for its enchanting scenery
Since the launch of the ancient town protection and development project in 1999, Wuzhen has successfully created the brand of "Wuzhen Tourism" and founded the "Wuzhen Model" for ancient town protection during the past twenty years of development. Wuzhen is an ideal destination for sightseeing, leisure tour, business event and exhibition. The East Gate Scenic Zone, called Dongzha, features riverine houses and traditional way of life. The West Gate Scenic Zone, called Xizha, offers high-end cultural tourism experience and quality service. In 2016, Wucun Village opened for business, connecting Dongzha and Xizha and jointly making Wuzhen an icon for ancient town tourism in China. Wuzhen leverages cultural tourism to upgrade its economy and has launched a number of cultural tourism programs. In 2013, the Wuzhen Grand Theatre was built, with a total investment of 500 millionyuan. Up to now, 6 Wuzhen Theater Festivals have been successfully held. In 2015, the Muxin Art Museum was opened to the public. Now with the settlement of projects like Zhejiang Yada International Health Ecological Park (IHEP) and Jucheng Musical Base, Wuzhen's tourism industry is becoming more diversified and globalized, while keeping its own distinctive characteristics.
A smart town with a global vision
Since the first World Internet Conference in 2014, Wuzhen has been striving to lead in the digital economy and has cultivated a prosperous Internet industry. So far, nearly 800 Internet projects have settled here, including Wuzhen Internet Hospital, Wuzhen Integrated Circuit Public Service Platform, Huawei Tongxiang 5G Innovation Center, Wuzhen Baidu Brain Innovation Center, China Electronics Technology Group Wuzhen Base and Beidou Space Application Center. Based on the platform provided by Wuzhen Avenue Science and Technology Innovation Cluster, projects like Wuzhen Internet Innovation and Development Pilot Zone, Big Data High-tech Industrial Park and Wuzhen Internet Featured Town have been approved, and Wuzhen has established multiple internet industry platforms such as the Virtual Industry Park, Wuzhen Design Park, Digital Economy Zone and World Internet Industrial Park. Smart healthcare, elderly care, transportation and governance applications can be seen everywhere in Wuzhen.
The blueprint for Wuzhen's tourism
As the permanent site of the World Internet Conference or Wuzhen Summit, the town aims to build itself into a "Famous Town of Global Wisdom, Small Town with international charm". Its overall development objective can be defined as "one district and four places". One district means a core area including functional blocks such as Summit Core, Kechuang Yunshan, Future Life, Interconnection Industry, Digital Culture and Education. Four places include a world-class exchange and exhibition center for global Internet industry, a world-class Internet industry agglomeration, an Internet innovation center which empowers the future development of Internet, and a demonstration-led Internet governance pilot zone. Aiming to provide a national pilot zone for Internet innovation and development, Wuzhen will make full use of bonus released by the World Internet Conference to create a new "Wuzhen Model" that is international, smart, environment-friendly and rich in cultural heritage.
Wuzhen International Internet Exhibition&Convention Center
Located in the south of Zhenbei Road, the Wuzhen International Internet Exhibition&Convention Center connects with Xizha to the north and the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal to the east. It is the permanent venue for the World Internet Conference or Wuzhen Summit.
Covering a total area of 13.5 hectare with a floor area of 129,000 square meters, the building perfectly blends traditional and modern elements. 2.6 million pieces of Chinese-style tiles are used for its facade and 51,000 pieces of steel cable form a net pattern, symbolizing the Internet. The Center leaves visitors with an impression of harmonious co-existence between ancient architecture in the south of the Yangtze River and the modern Internet technology. It shows that Wuzhen has kept up-to-date with the changing times.
The Center consists of four functional zones, namely, the Conference Center, the Reception Center, the Exhibition Center and Yunzhou Guest Service Center. The Conference Center lies at the heart of the Wuzhen International Internet Exhibition&Convention and is the main venue for the opening ceremony, the plenary conference, Release Ceremony for World Leading Internet Scientific and Technological Achievements and sub-forums; the Exhibition Center is Section B of The Light of the Internet Expo; Yunzhou Guest Service Center hosts various banquets and parties.
Light of the Internet Expo Centre
Light of the Internet Expo Centre is Section A of The Light of the Internet Expo, which covers an area of about 11.2 hectare. The first phase of the project has been completed this year, covering an area of 20,000 square meters. The building is shaped like a walking silkworm, representing both the traditional silk weaving culture in the south of the Yangtze River and the taking-off of countless new Internet technologies and start-up companies.
With the continuous improvement of infrastructure, Wuzhen is striving to build itself into a town featured in exhibition. If we say Wuzhen at present is a symbol for Chinese ancient town culture, Wuzhen in the future will be a smart town famous for Internet technology with poetic charms.
Located in the northern part of Zhejiang Province, Wuzhen boasts convenient transportation networks. The expressway connects it to Shanghai, Hangzhou and Suzhou, which are 120 km, 80km and 89km away respectively. If you arrive at the airports in Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou through international flights, you can choose domestic flights, railways or buses to get to Wuzhen.
Weather and dressing tips
Wuzhen is located in the subtropical zone, with a humid monsoon climate. It has four distinctive seasons, hot in summer and cold in winter. During the 6th World Internet Conference, the maximum temperature is about 22.5 ℃ and the lowest is about 14.4 ℃. The weather is pleasant, with slight humidity. It would be more comfortable if you walk in low-heels or flats on the stone roads in this ancient town.
Mandarin is spoken in Wuzhen. English is also the working language. Staff at reception desks can speak both languages.
Wuzhen uses Beijing Time (UTC/GMT+08:00).
The currency in circulation in Wuzhen is Renminbi, including 100 yuan, 50 yuan, 20 yuan, 10 yuan, 5 yuan and 1 yuan banknotes, and 1 yuan, 50 cents and 10 cents coins. Wherever there is a POS machine, you can pay by China Union Pay, VISA or MasterCard. All the scenic spots support Alipay, so mobile payment is an alternative.
In the Tourist Service Center of the scenic spots, Tong’ an Inn, Wuzhen Waterside Resort，Splendid Clubhouse and Wucun Village, you can find currency exchange service for US dollar, Japanese yen, Hong Kong dollar and Euro. VISA, Master Card and American Express Card can be used for payment in the above-mentioned places. ATM machines are also available.
Mobile phones are widely used in Wuzhen. Major telecommunications operators are China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom. There are 2 main systems: GSM (900MHZ) and CDMA. If your mobile phone has the same signal system and you have turned on roaming model, then it could be used locally. All the landline telephones in Wuzhen can be used for long distance calls in China and some can be used for international direct calls. If you are calling from another country or region to Wuzhen, please enter China's country code 86 first, followed by Wuzhen’s region code 573 and the intended phone number.
If you want to make an international direct call, please dial 00 before you enter the country or region code and the phone number.
26 10-Gb optical fibers are connected to Wuzhen. All hotels in Xizha Scenic Zone provide free Internet access and WiFi. You can surf the Internet and handle e-mails at a rapid speed. Xizha Scenic Zone has set up wireless APs (wireless launchers). If your smartphone or laptop can receive wireless signals, you can access the Internet within the WiFi areas.
People in Wuzhen mainly drink tap water. Direct drinking water is provided in some areas (designated drinking water station in the scenic spots or hotel rooms) within Xizha Scenic Zone. But in other places, you need to boil the water before drinking (using the electric kettle in hotel rooms).
Emergency phone numbers
Fire alarm 119
Highway police 96122
First aid 120
Weather inquiry 121
Emergency call 110
Phone number inquiry 114
The voltage here in Wuzhen is 220 Volt, 50 Hertz. Please prepare an adapter or a voltage converter for your portable appliances in case the plugs and sockets are different from those in your country.
The Organizing Committee has set up several medical service stations, where emergency medical service is provided. Most hotels and other lodging facilities are in close contact with the nearby hospitals, so that medical service can be provided in a timely manner when necessary. Hotel staff can help or guide visitors to the emergency medical service centers or hospitals.
You can buy OTC medicines in the pharmacies in Wuzhen. If you want to buy prescription medicine, the prescription issued by the doctor should be presented. The business hours of the pharmacies are similar to that of other shops. There are also 24-hour pharmacies, such as Hengyitang Pharmacy.
The postal service in Wuzhen is operated by China Post. You can send and receive letters and parcels to and from different places. There is an old postal office with over one hundred years of history in the Xizha Scenic Zone. It is a memoir of the past and is still in operation today, providing regular postal services, such as letters, parcels, postcards and commemorative postmarking.
Wuzhen has good public order and sound legal system. People lead a prosperous life with great contentment. They follow Chinese traditions and are very hospitable to the guests. Visitors will have a safe and pleasant stay here. Wuzhen is located in the plain area with multiple rivers. Since most buildings and rooms are located by the rivers, visitors should take care when touring around, especially in the night. Please be aware and mind your steps when walking along the rivers.
Most buildings here have wooden structures. Therefore,smoking is prohibited in many scenic spots in Wuzhen. Even if you are in a smoking area, please do not litter the cigarette ends in case they cause a fire.