Xitang Water Town

Xitang Water Town in Zhejiang
Xitang Water Town in Jiaxing, Zhejiang
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Xitang Water Town, lying in Jiashan County in Jiaxing City, Zhejiang Province, is a famous town with thousands of years of history. It dates back to the Spring and Autumn Period (770 BC-476 BC) and the Warring States Period (476 BC-221 BC). The town was a place of strategic importance on the boundary of the Wu and Yue states. Its flat terrain is marked by a quiet, natural environment with rivers running through it. From a bird's-eye view of the whole town, one sees blue water sparkling almost in every point the eyes touch and reflections of the houses in the water. The quiet water, handsome bridges, and the reflections in the early morning and the rosy sunset, fishing boats and the glistening lights in the evening, form an amazing picture full of a sense of poetry which can only be seen in the south lower reaches of the Yangtze River. People there, whether local residents or visitors, feel that this is a fairyland. They even have no idea as to whether people are wandering in the picture or the picture is moving in their hearts.

In the Xitang Water Town, there are well-preserved groups of buildings of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) with relatively high artistic quality and research value. It is famous for its large number of covered corridors, lanes and bridges.

Xitang Water Town

Covered Corridor in Xitang Water Town

The covered corridor is the most well known scene in Xitang Water Town. It is also the most distinctive feature historic 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.


Lanes in Xitang Water Town

Besides the covered corridor, the lanes are another eye-catching area in Xitang Water Town. There are many lanes here, long and short, wide and narrow. Some are dark all the year round; some are simply the drain of two families; most of them were the main artery of the town in the old days. Among all the different lanes, the narrowest is about 80cm (about 31 inches) wide and provides space for only one person to pass through at a time. The lanes are like ropes connecting the whole town into an organic net and no matter from which point you start, you can find any other place in the town. Amazing, isn't it?

Bar Street in Xitang Xitang Ancient Town at Night

Bridges in Xitang Water Town

The bridges to the south of the lower reaches of the Yangtze River are like the hyperlink to the internet. They are indispensable not only in terms of convenience but also in terms of beauty. Waterways are interwoven in Xitang Water Town, so it is not surprising that many bridges cross over the rivers. Here the creative shapes of bridges are very different from each other. What's more, beautiful legends about these bridges are still spread among the people. The craftsmanship of these well-preserved bridges is so masterly that they are indeed a feast for your eyes. Exquisite bridges dot the mirror-like rivers one after another, like flaring clusters of diamonds on the neck of the old Xitang Water Town.


Old Houses in Xitang Water Town

Xitang Bus Station
Local Bus Station

In the Xitang Water Town, people who live there are not rich, so no newer modern houses have been built there. That's maybe one of the reasons why the old constructions are preserved as a whole almost without damage. In those archaic houses, besides the culture and value of the houses themselves, there are also displays of cultural relics or woodcarvings or eaves tiles collected by the house owner. To this day there are exhibitions of the ancient rare books of the owners passed down from generation to generation or rubbings from a stone inscription of a famous calligrapher.

On the roofs of some old houses here, the grass is about one chi (about 13 inches) tall. It is said that the spirit of the former owner of the house joins with the grass, making it flourish and blessing the peace and permanence of the house as well as the prosperity of the entire town.

How to get to Xitang Water Town

 From Shanghai:
By Bus:

From Departure Time Ticket Price Duration
South Long Distance Bus Station 06:45 - 17:49 with an interval of 30 - 50 minutes CNY 36 1 hour
Long Distance General Bus Station 07:20 - 18:30 with an interval of 40 - 60 minutes CNY 37 1.5 hours

Special Travel Bus Line: In Shanghai, you can wait in the Tour Bus Center of Shanghai (address: under the No. 5 escalator of Shanghai Stadium (waiting hall of traveling route). Here the bus will deliver at 09:00 am (every day, including the guide service) and return at 16:30.

By Train:  Shanghai Train Schedule
Take high speed trains from Hongqiao Railway Station to Jiashan South Railway Station, and change bus no. K222 to reach the scenic area. Or take bus no. K702 to Jiashan Passenger Transport Center, change bus no. K215 or K216 and get off at Xitang Bus Station. Then walk around 5 minutes to the scenic area.
Take fast trains from South Railway Station to Jiashan Station.Then take bus no. K210, and get off at Xitang Bus Station.

 From Hangzhou:
By Bus:

From Departure Time Ticket Price Duration
Passenger Transport Central Station 07:45 -18:15 with an interval of  20 - 60 minutes CNY 41/ CNY 45 2 hours
East Railway Highway Bus Station 08:35; 11:05, 14:05, 16:35 CNY 45

* Visitors can also take bus from Passenger Transport Central Station to Jiashan first. Then take bus no. K215 or K216, get off at Xitang Bus Station and then walk around 5 minutes to reach the scenic area.
Bus schedule: 08:05 - 18:45.
Ticket Price: CNY 36/ CNY 40
Duration: around 1.5 hours.

By Train:  Hangzhou Train Schedule
Take high speed trains / fast trains from Hangzhou Railway Station / Hangzhou East Railway Station to Jiashan South / Jiashan Station. Then take a local bus mentioned above to reach the scenic area.

 From Suzhou:

From Departure Time Ticket Price Duration
Passenger Transport Station on the North Square of Suzhou Railway Station 07:20 - 17:40 with an interval of about 90 minutes CNY 35 1 hour and 20 minutes
South Bus Station 07: 45 - 18:10 with an interval of about 2h CNY 35 1 hour

 From Ningbo:

From Departure Time Ticket Price Duration
South Bus Station - Jiashan 07:30 - 17:45 with an interval of 80 minutes CNY 77 2 hours
South Bus Station - Jiashan North 2.5 hours

1. If visitors get off at Jiashan Bus Station, they can take K215 to Pingchuan Zhongxue; or take K216 bus to Xitang Bus tation. Upon arrival, visitors can walk to the scenic area.
2. Jiashan North Bus Station is another name for Xitang Bus Station.

By Train:
Take high speed trains from Ningbo Railway Station to Jiashan South, and then take a local bus to reach there.

 From Nanjing:
Take bus from Eastern Long Distance Bus Station. It departs at 14:00 every day and costs CNY 110 per person.

Entrance Fee CNY 100
CNY 50 for children between 1.2 - 1.5m (3.9 - 4.9ft). 
Free for children under 1.2m.
Note: It covers 11 scenic spots and Five Girls Theme Park.
Night Ticket: CNY 50
Note: It's available after 15:00 from Apr. to Oct.
Opening Hours Whole day
Ticket Hours: Mon. - Thu.: 7:30 - 17:00;
Fri. - Sun.: 7:30 - 21:30.
The 11 scenic spots are  Ni House, Huguo Grain Official Temple, Shrine, West Garden, Fortune House, Zuiyuan Garden, Root Carving Hall, Eaves Tile Exhibition Hall, Chinese Wine Culture Museum, Chinese Fastener Museum, and Ming & Qing Wood Carving Hall.

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