Xitang Water Town
Xitang Ancient Water Town, about a one-and-a-half-hour drive from Shanghai, is a beautiful town that seems like a completely different world from the hustle and bustle of Shanghai. Cobbled streets, old buildings, bridges arching over canals, rowing boats lingering on the river, locals singing folk songs—this is Xitang, a charming, ancient water town. Mornings in Xitang bring fresh air and light fog; during the evening, the setting sun casts a rosy glow on the old tiled roofs. Xitang truly is a world away.
Something that makes Xitang so special is the number of bridges that it contains. The city has 104 bridges, each built in varying styles spanning the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Some look like rainbows over the river and others like long flutes. Life for Xitang locals is calm and easy, full of comfort and peace, no difference from the lifestyle of their ancestors thousands of years ago. The elderly play with their grandchildren on the bridges and in the lanes, and women wash vegetables and clothes in the rivers that run beside their houses. If you need a break from the stresses of Shanghai, there's really no better place for chilling out and experiencing the quieter side of Chinese life.
Ancient time-worn streets crisscross Xitang town. In total, the town has about 122 small lanes, and all are paved with stone slats. Along these lanes sit hundreds-years-old houses that still serve as homes to the locals. Of the 122 lanes, the Shipi Lane is the best preserved. Located on the west side of Zhongfu Hall on West Street, it has a total length of 68 meters, is about 1 meter at its widest, and its narrowest point is only 80 centimeters wide. Shipi Lane is paved with 166 stone planks, each only 3 centimeters thick, making them difficult to be chisel from granite. This is why the lane is called Shipi (which means “the skin of the stone”) Lane. Walking through these long, quiet lanes with tall, stained walls is like traveling through the town's long history in a spatio-temporal tunnel.
In Xiyuan Garden, trees, grass, flowers, towers, bridges, lakes, and waterfalls are harmoniously integrated.
Xue's House is a typical wooden building owned by a rich merchant of the region during the later years of the Qing Dynasty.
Wangxian Bridge was built during the Song Dynasty more than a thousand years ago. The name of the bridge is associated with an interesting legend in which a Taoist once stood on the bridge to watch immortal spirits. Wangxian means “to watch immortal spirits.”
China Highlights can help you design a tour to see the best of Xitang Ancient Town.
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Hello Kelly, yes, you can stay one night in Hangzhou and one night in Wu Zheng. For the hotel close to West lake, i'd like to suggest Sofitel Westlake Hangzhou. You can take public bus from train station to wesk lake. We can arrange the tour to Hangzhou and Wuzheng for you. Please feel free to let me know if you like me to arrange the tour for you.Simon Huang Replied on 2012-08-14
I think you can visit The West Lake(including the Island on the lake), Lingyin Temple, Six Harmonies Pagoda in two days. Please feel free to let me know if you like me to arrange the tour for you.Simon Huang Replied on 2012-07-13