We enjoyed our stay at Wang & Julien's place, which was charming, contained basic amenities, had a working airconditioner (something we looked forward to at the end of the day) and was located in a quiet part of Zhaji. Not that the rest of Zhaji was noisy. It's an absolutely picturesque town and a welcome sanctuary for anyone who wants to experience rural China away from the tourist hordes.
Our room could have used some dusting/airing but we were fine after taking our allergy pills. Perhaps some new pillows and mattress covers for a fresher smell. At some point the hot water ran out but we didn't bother asking our hosts to fix it because we got used to the initial shock of cold water and needed to cool down after a day in the hot outdoors. I'm sure they would've fixed it pronto had we mentioned it.
The caretakers Liuliu and Xiao Ming were lovely people. They made us feel very welcome and looked after, and we're very patient trying to understand our limited Chinese. Their dog, Hei Dou accompanied us on most of our walks, hardly leaving our side until he seemed to know we would be okay on our own.
Julien, the French gentleman who owns the place was very helpful with all my inquiries and requests, even arranging for a car to fetch us from the train station.
I highly recommend Chawu, Our Neighbor's House for travelers on a budget and adventurers looking to absorb the lovely culture that the village offers.
I'd say 5 days is enough to enjoy the place at a slower pace of living, taking unmapped walks thru this amazing little Ming Dynasty community, trying all the little home-based restaurants where meals always come with a friendly chat with kind folks, watching clusters of artists that plant themselves in many corners to capture the beauty of the village's cobbled pathways and gray brick houses, renting a bike or exploring the outlying neighborhoods of green fields on foot, sitting at Zhaji's only airconditioned cafe to chat with the English-speaking owner who is himself an artist. Mail some postcards from the shop or ask the owner to sing you one of his many original songs. Buy a basket. Or a fan. Or a bamboo flask of sweet rice wine. Bring that book you've never found the time to read. Take a walk down the river that is the heart of Zhaji. It's more of a stream so you can literally take a walk down the river.
I hope to be back for all these.