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Brief Introduction about Xitang Water Town

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 Water Town Charming Xitang
Xitang Water Town Local resident in Xitang

Xitang Ancient Town Features

104 Old Bridges

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.

  • Wolong Bridge: It is the most famous bridge in Xitang with 31.46 meters in length, 5 meters in width and 5.5 meters in height. First built in Ming Dynasty, it was a wooden bridge that many people slipped and got hurt. One man named Guangyuan had raised money for over 10 years to build a stone bridge for the locals. There are many streak on the stone which look like ripple of dragons.
  • Yongning Bridge: it is the best place for photography which is at the conjunction of Ceilinged Corridors and “Qiantang Family”.
  • Songzi Laifeng Bridge: It was first built in 1637 in Ming Dynasty. A legend goes that when the bridge almost had been finished, a curassow flew and stopped on the top of the bridge. Hence, it got Laifeng (phoenix coming) Bridge. When the bridge finished, the local residents living near the bridge gave birth to a son that local people called it Songzi (sending a son) Bridge. It is lucky bridge for new couples to wish for sons and daughters.
  • 122 Old Lanes

    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”.

    Ceilinged Corridors

    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.

Xitang Water Town Songzi Laifeng Bridge
Xitang Water Town Cruise in the Misty Xitang
Xitang Water Town Shipi Lane, the most famous lane in Xitang

Other Must-sees Attractions & Highlighted Experience

Traditional Houses, Shops & Exquisite Artifacts

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.

Leisure Boat Sailing on the Water

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.

  • Western Route: 1. Western Entrance – Tang Family Lane – Laifeng Bridge; 2. Laifeng Bridge – Tang Family Lane – Western Entrance; 3. Laifeng Bridge – Tang Family Bridge.
  • Eastern Route: 1. Eastern Entrance – Wolong Bridge; 2. Wolong Bridge – Eastern Entrance; 3. Wolong Bridge – 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.

Xitang Water Town Western Garden, the largest private garden in Xitang
Xitang Water Town China Button Museum
Xitang Water Town Leisure cruise on the water

Recommended Visiting Route (one-day visiting)

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.

Xitang Ancient Town Tourist Map Click to Enlagrge Tourist Map of Xitang Ancient Town

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)

Location & How to Get to Xitang Water Town

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.

By Train:

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).

  • Trains are available from Hangzhou, Shanghai Hongqiao, Shanghai South, Nanjing, Jinan, Beijing, Fuzhou, Xiamen, Changsha and more cities to Jiashan Railway Station. After arrival, travelers can take bus K210 for about 1 hour to reach Xitang Water Town. If by taxi, it may cost around 40 Yuan for 20 minutes.
  • Jiashan South Railway Station is the high speed train station that travelers can take G or D trains from Shanghai Hongqiao, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Hefei, Jinan, Beijing, Xiamen, Changsha and more cities to Jiangshan County. After arrival, travelers can take bus K222 for 80 minutes’ transfer To Xitang. If by taxi, it may take half an hour for around 70 Yuan.

By Coach:

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.

Xitang Ancient Town Location Map Click to Enlagrge Location Map of Xitang Ancient Town

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.

Travel with China Discovery

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!

Useful Travel Tips

1. Local Snacks

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.

2. Accommodation

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.

Xitang Water Town Xitang Water Town Night View

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Start planning your tailor-made holiday to China by contacting one of our specialists. Once enquired, you’ll get a response within 0.5~23.5 hours.

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Questions & Discussions

Following are latest questions and answers from our webusers and customers. You can learn many useful information from the discussion and cases. You can also join in the discussions or ask your own question. Our experts will help you ASAP.

Entrance fee to Xitang Water Town
I will be arriving Xitang on a Sunday about 2pm and staying in a hotel which is inside the Xitang scenic area.
1) Is there any entrance fee for hotel guest?
2) Do I need to pay if I arrive late like after 5pm? What is the time that we need to pay for entry?
3) Is the entrance fe chargeable everyday? That is, if I stay for a night Sunday to Monday, do I have to pay on Mon too?
2018-02-13 13:55
Thanks for your question and happy Chinese New Year!

1) Normally, you need to buy entrance ticket 100 RMB though you booked a hotel in Xitang Water Town. Please call your hotel staff in advance to make sure.
2) If you arrive late after 5pm, you need to buy a night ticket for 50 RMB (news presented on official website). The detailed price on that day will be displayed on the electronic billboard.
3) Yes, if you enter after 2pm on Sunday and your ticket is valid till 2pm on Monday. You can visit the spots inside on Monday.

The info will do some change based on different season, holiday and real situation. The above info is for reference only. Our advice is calling your hotel staff in advance to make clearer. For more questions, please feel free to contact us.

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[Important] Travel News for Expats: China travel is reopening now! Travel with China Discovery and learn about where to visit & requirements for each destination! Read Details >