Xitang Water Town is conveniently located in Jiashan County, about 90 kilometers from Shanghai, 110 kilometers from Hangzhou and 85 kilometers from Suzhou. This historic ancient town was listed as National AAAA Tourist Attraction. It is like an ancient piece of jade, glittering and translucent.
This ancient town has a history with more than one thousand years. As early as the Spring and Autumn and Warring State Period (770-221 B.C.), Xitang was a place of strategic importance on the boundary between Wu and Yue States and it was known as one of the birthplace of Wu and Yue culture. During the Yuan Dynasty (1271~1368), Xitang developed into a prosperous town. And during the Ming and Qing Dynasties (1368~1911), it was known as an important town for commerce and handicrafts in South China.
What attracts visitors most is the easygoing lifestyle that local residents have followed for thousands of years. Unlike the ancient towns of Zhouzhuang and Wuzhen, Xitang is not a bustling village that people in the town live ordinary and peaceful lives. The simple lifestyle may have disappeared in those now commercialized ancient town, but they fill every lane in Xitang. For travelers from modern metropolises, Xitang is a fantastic place to experience a feeling of simplicity and leisure. Xitang Water Town is like the limpid and melodious music of flute, and Appreciate with your heart!
Xitang is water village crisscrossed by nine rivers, divided into eight sections linked by old-fashioned stone bridges. There are 104 bridges in total. Among them, there are 11 old bridges built in Song Dynasty, including Anren Bridge, Anjing Bridge, Wufu Bridge, Yongning Bridge, etc. While Wolong Bridge, Wuchan Bridge and Songzi Laifeng Bridge built in Ming and Qing Dynasty are also famous. Some are looking like rainbow over the river, and others like long flute. Standing on of these bridges and looking at the traditional boats running through, one feels drawn into deep meditation on the past.
Many of the shops and old houses in Xitang are built on the riverside. There are a total of 122 lanes, long and short, wide and narrow. The lanes are paved with stone planks, polished by the feet of pedestrians as well as hundreds of years of weathering. Wandering through the old lanes, you are like traveling through the channel of thousand year history, linking your modern life with old stories. You won’t miss Shipi Lane which it is the most famous lane with 68 meter long. It is paved by 216 pieces of three-centimeter flagstone. With the widest point at 1.1 meters and the narrowest point at 0.8 meters, it is hard for two people to get through. When you look up in the sky, you can feel Shipi Lane like “A Thread of Sky”.
The ceilinged corridors are the featured architecture in Xitang. It is called ceilinged corridor that means the street with roof. Most of the streets of Xitang are with corridor sheds, making it very convenient for locals and visitors to shelter and rest. Most of the ceilinged corridors are in wooden and stone structure at a width of 2 to 2.5 meters. And the longest is 1300 meters. Travelers can go through ceilinged corridors at Beizha Street, Nanzha Street and Chaonandi Commerce Area.
When you take a stroll in this ancient town, you can encounter many historical sites and exquisite artifacts. There are 11 scenic spots including Wuguniang Theme Park & Western Garden, Zhongfu Hall, China Button Museum, Jiangnan Eaves Tiles Exhibition Hall, Root Carving Hall, Huguo Suiliang King Temple, Saint Hall, Ni Residence, Ming & Qing Woodcarving Exhibition Hall, Zui Garden, China Wine Culture Museum. You can cover some or all of them when your time is allowed.
Taking a traditionally-decorated boat sailing on the water of Xitang is the highlighted experience. You are traveling through the old history of Ming and Qing Dynasties, viewing the black-tiled old houses passing by. The sun glow reflecting on the clear water gives you a feeling of tranquility and antique. Travelers can take boat at the Western Entrance, Eastern Entrance, Laifeng Bridge and Wolong Bridge.
(Please note: if you want to take night cruise, please come to Laifeng Bridge pier to take the boat.)
Xitang Water Town is an awesome place to take many great pictures. No matter you are professional photographers or travelers who love taking photos, there are many things for you to shoot. On a breezy day, shoulder a camera and ramble along the old street and begin your photography journey. The old lanes with the black tiled folk houses, the old bridges over the clear water, the boat sailing quietly on the canal, the misty ceilinged corridor, the bustling shops, the cats and dogs, the local people sipping tea…all can be your subjects. Don’t miss Yongning Bridge which is the hot place for photography to shoot the panoramic water village.
Travelers begin your tour at Western Entrance. First take a walk to visit Wuguniang Theme Park (statues, pavilion, platform on the water) to listen to a vivid love story and enjoy farming song; move to Huguo Suiniang King Temple to feel the kindness of Mr. Seven Lord; enjoy the charming architecture and scenery by visiting Zui Garden; take a leisure stroll along ceilinged corridor and pass Songzi Laifeng Bridge; learn about Chinese wine at Chinese Wine Culture Museum; later, get to Ming & Qing Dynasty Woodcarving Exhibition Hall to enjoy the exquisite wooden carvings of Ming and Qing Dynasties in Jiangnan Area. Take a leisure cruise and enjoy some quiet moment.
After that, try some local snacks and food at West Street. Pay a visit to Jiangnan Eaves Tiles Exhibition Hall to have a basic understanding about the eaves tiles of Ming and Qing Dynasties; enjoy the process of making button at China Button Museum; visit the largest private garden in Xitang – Western Garden and stroll along Shipi Lane and if you like, enjoy the root carving art in Zhangzheng Root Carving Hall.
>> 2 Days Poetic Hangzhou with Xitang Water Town Tour (Hangzhou / Xitang)
Xitang Water Town is an ancient town located at Jiangshan County, Jiangxing City of Zhejiang Province. It is at the intersection of Shanghai (90 km), Hangzhou (110 km) and Suzhou City (85 km). Travelers can easily get to Xitang Water Town by train, coach or taxi.
Xitang Water Town itself has no railway station. Travelers can take train to Jiangshan County first and then transfer to Xitang. There are two railway stations in Jiangshan County, one is called Jiangshan Railway Station (12 km to Xitang) and another is called Jiangshan South Railway Station (21 km to Xitang).
Hangzhou – Xitang: It takes about 2 hours from Hangzhou to Xitang. Travelers can take long distance coach at Hangzhou Jiubao Bus Station. Every day, there are about 10 coaches running from Hangzhou to Xitang and the reference time are at 06:55, 07:45, 09:00, 10:05, 10:55, 11:45, 13:10, 14:10, 15:25, 17:55.
Shanghai – Xitang: It takes about 1.5 hours from Shanghai to Xitang. Coaches are available from Shanghai South Long Distance Bus Station during 07:10 to 17:54. Also, travelers can take coach from Shanghai Bus Station and the reference time are at 07:20, 08:30, 10:10, 12:10, 14:10, 15:20, 17:10, 18:30.
Suzhou – Xitang: It takes about 80 minutes from Suzhou to Xitang. Travelers can take coach from Suzhou North Square Bus Station during 07:20~17:30 or Suzhou South Gate Bus Station during 07:45~17:55.
Jiashan – Xitang: Jiashan Bus Station has coaches running between Hangzhou, Shanghai, Suzhou, Nanjing, Fengjing, Wuxi, Shaoxing, Ningbo and more destinations. From Jiashan Bus Station, travelers can take bus K215/K216 to Xiang Water Town which needs only 25 minutes.
If you want to get rid of hustle of public transportation and troublesome navigation, you can take a private tour package which covers sightseeing, night shows and activities, dining and transfer from us. Our local tour guide and driver will escort you to Xitang Water Town with speed and convenience, and take care of all the details. You just need to focus on sightseeing.
If you have more questions about Xitang Water Town, please feel free to contact us and our professional travel consultants are here ready to help!
There are some famous dishes in Xitang Water Town, including Braised Baisi Fish, Yellow Rice Wine, Bazheng Cake, “June red” crab, water bean curd, meat braised with lotus, etc. Many hotels can offer nice dining condition with comfortable atmosphere.
Living in Xitang can be far away from the city noise, and enjoy a kind of tranquility. Strolling in Xitang in night, you can enjoy special romantic feeling and breathe own pure and fresh air of the old town. To offer you a better night in Xitang, Xijiang Holiday Hotel, Qiantang Hotel, Hongtai Hotel and more hotels and hostels are recommended.
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