Situated between Hangzhou and Shanghai, the town of Wuzhen has been around since the late Tang Dynasty, but was only recently painstakingly restored and resurrected as a tourist destination. Like Zhouzhuang and other places in southern Jiangzu, Wuzhen is a water town whose network of waterways and access to the Grand Canal once made it a prosperous place for trade and the production of silk. The ambitious restoration project recreates what Wuzhen would have been like in the late Qing Dynasty. Most residents still live in the old town, going about their daily lives and facing the trouble of having to be chased out by developers due to the tourism development.
Wuzhen is historically famous for its indigo-dyed fabrics (the dye is extracted from the herb eupatorium fortunei) and dyeing workshops still exist in Wuzhen. The 20th century writer Mao Dun, author of Midnight, lived here and his former residence - a Qing-Dynasty house - is open to the public.