Put language and transport worries aside on this private tour to enjoy the door-to-door service in a comfortable private vehicle by a courteous driver from your lovely Shanghai hotel to Xitang Water Town. This tour including the visit to the cobbled streets, old buildings, bridges arching over canals, rowing boats lingering on the river, and enjoy the locals singing folk songs, you'll truly understand the charm of Xitang ancient water town.
Duration: 6-8 hours
Xitang Water Town
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Overview: Xitang is a beautiful town that seems like a completely different world from the hustle and bustle of Shanghai. 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 in Xitang, whether local residents or travelers, feel that this is fairyland. They even have no idea as to whether people are wandering in the picture or the picture is moving in their hearts. This is Xitang, a charming, ancient water town. It truly is a world away.
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Upon on your arrival, you guide will take you explore this ancient town. Xitang Water Town is known for its bridges, lanes, and covered corridors. Below are the most famous attractions in Xitang Water Town.
Bridges makes Xitang so special. There are 104 in total, built in varying styles spanning the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Some looks 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 running beside their houses. If you need a break from the stresses of Shanghai, there's really no better place to chill out and experience the quieter side of Chinese life.
The Corridors: The covered corridor is the most well-known scene in Xitang. It is also the most distinctive feature this historic town 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. 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.
The lanes: The lanes here are a must-see. 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.
The Houses: In the old town of Xitang, 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.
After the sightseeing, drive you back to your Shanghai hotel and your tour ends.
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