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Wuzhen, China: A Town On Water

Every town has it’s charm. In Wuzhen, it’s their handmade noodles and rice wine. Don’t leave without having a taste!


Reminiscing about my days traveling through #China. First stop #Wuzhen, a town built on water.

A photo posted by Monica Wong (@_monicawong) on

When the travel bug first bit, I thought I could do it all. I wanted to take on the nightlife and catch all the cultural stuff during the day. A trip to Wuzhen taught me otherwise.

Running on an hour of sleep after a night of karaoking, I woke up and met the floor with my face. I scrambled to put myself together for the two-hour bus ride to Wuzhen from Shanghai.

Wuzhen is a water town built on rivers and canals and lined with wooden hut houses. On a cloudy day, the small arched bridges and low hanging tree leaves give the town a very down-to-earth charm.

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Poverty In Pudong

Like many major cities, Shanghai’s Pudong district is one filled glamours lights and makeshift homes, high-end restaurants and trash can dinners and the haves and have nots.

Poverty In Pudong

¥20 for a cab ride down to People’s Park (人民公园). ¥10 to see the Gaudi exhibit at the MOCA. ¥40 for lunch at Pizza Hut. ¥50 for a shuttle ride to the Oriental Pearl Tower. ¥50 for dinner. ¥10 for extraneous expenses. I spent ¥170 like it was nothing, because in my mind it was only $10.

I walked along the Huangpu River that night. There was a boy in ripped rags and torn slippers. He looked about 10 years old. He approached me raising a flower in his hand and said,

“一块,一块。要不要花?”(One dollar, one dollar. Do you want flowers?)

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Shanghai Nightlife – The Unglamorous One

Shanghai nightlife is sprinkled with homeless children and hunchback grannies who linger in the shadows of pricy venues and beg for a few bucks from drunken tourists and expats.


At night, the lights on The Bund illuminate Shanghai’s famous Pudong skyline. Exploring the city’s nightlife is like déjà vu. With each new venue, I think to myself, “Wait…this is just like New York. Did I really fly half way around the world?”

Windows Too is a meat market with a dirty dance floor bar and cheap beer. The terrace at Attica, one Shanghai’s more exclusive clubs, is rimmed with sleek, cozy sofas and an incredible view of the Huangpu River. Bon Bon is an all-you-can-drink debacle. For a ¥100 cover, liquor is on the house all night, every night.

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