Xitang Ancient Town – a day trip from Hangzhou
I was visiting Zhejiang Province which is on the Eastern coast of China, for work, when I decided to stay a couple more days and arranged a bus trip to Xitang which is about an hour and half from Hangzhou (the capital of Zhejiang). I have written a post about my visit to Hangzhou which I think is one of the most beautiful places to visit in China.
So…back to my trip to Xitang. I arranged a tour bus and guide to the water town and when we arrived we took a boat trip on a little wooden boat which lasted about twenty minutes. If you intend to do this, and I do recommend it, please watch your head when you walk onto the boat or you will do what I did and smack your forehead on the low doorway.
The boat ride gave me the opportunity to see some great sights along the way which included some very colourful buildings, hundreds of wonderful Chinese lanterns hanging from trees and/or buildings (one of my favourite things in China) and the daily life of locals washing clothes and dishes in the canal.
Nine rivers run through the town of Xitang, while over 100 bridges connect the water town into one entity. Xitang is particularly famous for its corridors which consist of many sections and in the main, are tiled roofs which are built along the riverside connected to the shops and houses.
Xitang’s residents relax under the shade of these covered corridors whilst the many tourists walk around, enjoying the scenery, eating snacks and buying fruits, nuts, sweets and nick knacks. I tasted some great local food including Chinese pancakes and turnip cakes – absolutely delicious.
The corridors also, as I saw, provide a great place for residents to hang out washing on a sunny day. No item of clothing was too delicate to be displayed and clearly the owners of the said ‘delicates ‘were not embarrassed by tourists walking past.
I have many great memories from this day out but two favourites are meeting one very charming Chinese gentleman who asked me in perfect English ‘where are you from?” and after our conversation was very happy for me to take his photo. Completely charming!!
And my second is a small dog who sat in the middle of the pathway and no amount of people traffic or coaxing from his owner would make him move – that clearly was his spot in the sun and that is where he stayed!!
A wonderful place to visit with some really fabulous sights.