Xitang Water Town
What makes Xitang so special is the number of bridges that it contains. The town 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.?
There are many well-preserved architectures in Xitang which were constructed during the Ming and Qing dynasties. Through a bird's-eye view of the whole town, green waves ripple everywhere and every family resides near water.?Ceilinged corridors?are the most special scene in Xitang construction. These corridors were originally built to make convenience for the residents trading on boats by the side of the rivers. Each shop has a ceiling over the stone-slate road in front of its own house, and the ceilings connect with one another to form corridors. the longest ceiling stretches 1,300 meters, like a silk belt winding along the river.
Another feature of Xitang is the ancient architecture which was well-preserved from the Ming and Qing Dynasty. there are a total of 122 lanes, long and short, wide and narrow. Five of them are longer than 100 meters. Among all the lanes, Shipi lane is the most famous.?
What to See in Xitang Water Town
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.
The covered corridor is the most well known scene in this town. It is also the most distinctive feature historic it offers compared with other water towns. Consisting of many sections, the whole covered corridor is more than 1,000 meters (about 1094 yards) long, attracting visitors from all over the world with its particular charm. Mostly, it is tile-roofed and built along the riverside, providing shelter for people to avoid either the baking hot sun or the rain. So, while visiting the town, you can never be caught in the rain or exposed to the searing sun. One section of the corridor is the most elegant, with its carved decorative patterns that are praised by tourists as being the height of artistic perfection. High-back davenports are situated on one side of the covered corridor, along the river, where passersby can rest. Walking along the corridor, watching the boats in the river, you will feel drawn into the meditation of the past.
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.”
Xue's House is a typical wooden building owned by a rich merchant of the region during the later years of the Qing Dynasty.
In Xiyuan Garden, trees, grass, flowers, towers, bridges, lakes, and waterfalls are harmoniously integrated.
How to get to Xitang Ancient Town
From Shanghai to Xitang
Train (not recommended)
There are eight high-speed trains from Shanghai that pass through Jia Shan South Railway Station. However, the management of the public bus system in Jia Shan is not complete, so you can't find any public buses there. Outside of the train station, there are unlicensed taxis all around. The price for an unlicensed taxi is around 20 yuan.
Bus (the recommended routes)
At Shanghai South Railway Station (located on Liu Zhou Road 柳州路), there are 12 direct buses to Xi Tang Bus Station. The earliest bus is at 07:10 in the morning and the last bus is at 17:54. The bus runs every hour from 07:10 to 17:54; it costs 32 yuan per person and takes around one hour. The Shanghai Bus Terminal (located at 1666 Zhongxin Road) has eight direct buses to Xi Tang Bus Station, from 07:20 to 18:30 and a one way ticket is 32 yuan. The trip takes around 90 minutes.
From Hangzhou to Xi Tang
Train (not recommended)
There are ten high-speed trains from Shanghai that pass through Jia Shan South Railway Station. The reason why we don't recommend this route is for the same reason as the Shanghai route.
Bus (the recommended route): In Hangzhou Jiu Bao Bus Station, there are four direct buses to Xi Tang at a price of 38 yuan and taking around two hours.
From Jiaxing to Xitang
From Jia Xing North Bus Station, you can take the K152 bus to Xi Tang Bus Station costing 6 yuan and taking an hour. We don't recommend that you change to a different bus. If you want a convenient way to travel, taking a taxi for around 100 yuan will be a good choice.
From Suzhou to Xitang
In the Shu Zhou North Square and the South Train Station, there are six buses to Xi Tang; the time between each bus is two hours for the price of 32 yuan and taking around one hour.
From Nanjing to Xitang
Firstly, you need to take the 14:40 bus which runs once a day from Nan Jing Long Trip Bus Station to Jia Shan Bus Terminal, at a cost of 97 yuan. After that, take the same routes from Jia Shan to Xi Tang.
Xitang Water Town Address:?Xitang Town, Jiashan County 314100, China?
Admission Fee: CNY 100
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