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Xitang Water Town


A brief introduction of Xitang
Xitang Ancient Water Town, about one and half hours' drive from Hangzhou or Shanghai, 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. Mornings in Xitang bring fresh air and light fog; during the evening, the setting sun casts a rosy glow on the old tiled roofs. It truly is a world away. Something that makes Xitang so special is the number of bridges. 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.


History of Xitang
Old Town of Xitang is a famous town with thousands of years of history. As early as the Spring and Autumn and Warring States Periods (770 B.C. - 221 B.C.), it was a place of strategic importance on the boundary between Wu and Yue States, and it was thus known as the Bottom of Wu and the Corner of Yue. During the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), it 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 to see

The Covered Corridor
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. So, while walking in Xitang, 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.


The Lanes
Besides the covered corridors, 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. Amazing, isn't it?

The Bridges
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, 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 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.

Enjoy the simple lifestyle
Xitang is also attractive because of the easygoing lifestyle that local residents have followed for thousands of years. Unlike the towns of Ancient Town of Zhouzhuang and Ancient Town of Wuzhen, Old Town of Xitang is not a bustling place. People in the town live ordinary, peaceful lives. The elderly play with their grandchildren on bridges and in lanes, and women wash vegetables and clothes in the rivers running beside their houses. The simple lifestyle and peaceful atmosphere may have died out in those now commercialized ancient towns, but they fill every lane in Xitang. For tourists from modern metropolises, Xitang is a place to experience a feeling of simplicity and leisure.


From Shanghai to Xitang: Special Travel Bus Line: In Shanghai, you can wait in the Travel Collecting and Distributing Center of Shanghai (address: under the No. 5 escalator of Shanghai Stadium (waiting hall of traveling route)). Here the bus will deliver at 08:35 am (every day, including the guide service) and return at 16:30 pm or it will deliver at 09:00 am (only weekend, excluding the guide service) and return at 16:00 pm.

Hangzhou to Xitang: a) At Hangzhou Jiubao Distance Bus Station, bus departs at 6:50 am, 09:25am, 11:20am, 1:50 pm. Price: 37RMB/ per person.

The price of scenic spots
CNY 100 (tickets include both the scenic region and 11 sightseeing spots);
CNY 50 (tickets for the scenic region only) 
Opening Hours: Whole day

Tour The Xitang Water Town with Hangzhou Private Tour 
We design private and tailor-made Hangzhou Tours customized to your style of travel at affordable local prices.  We will provide a private & spacious car and a local professional tour guide with over 5 years guiding experience only work for you or your group. Transport, ticket, and dining (We find the most authentic dishes popular with locals) all we will arrange for you according your requirements. Please check our most popular Hangzhou Tours including The Xitang Water Town as below: 

Are the above sample tour programs not suitable for you? We have more Hangzhou Tours. Our tours can be tailor-made based on your requirements and budget to create unique Hangzhou experiences that allow you to interact with the local people and culture. We are Hangzhou travel experts who know what your guidebook and foreign agencies don't.  Our enthusiastic tour expert will promptly reply you in details within 24 hours.

Most Asked Questions about Xitang Tours

1. Where is the Xitang Water Town

Xitang Water Town is located in the Jiashan County, around 120 km from Hangzhou City. It is one of the six most famous water towns in South China. 9 rivers converge in this town, dividing it into 8 sections, but many bridges link this water town together. Inside the town, there are many well-preserved architectural groups constructed during the Ming and Qing dynasties.

2. How to get to Xitang Water Town from Hangzhou?

By High-Speed Train:
If you travel alone, you can take the high-speed rail from Hangzhou east railway station to Jiashan south station, there are 28 high-speed trains from Hangzhou passing through Jiashan every day. The journey takes around 35 minutes. The first train departs at 07:06 and the last train departs at 20:20.Then take the bus to Xitang Water Town.

By Car:
If you want a more comfortable way to go there, you can ask a travel agency or hotel to rent a car for you, which will take about 1.4 hours for one way.

By Bus:
There are two bus terminal where you can take the bus to Xitang. 1. Hangzhou Jiubao Passenger Terminal, the last bus is 6:15pm. 2. You can take the bus from Hangzhou East Bus Station to reach Jiashan County first, then take the local bus to Xitang Water Town.

3. What is the opening hours in Xitang and does the Xitang Water Town have the Night View?

Xitang Water Town will open from 08:00-17:00 all day, the ticket is 100RMB/per person for entrance ticket. If you want to see the Night View, the ticket will be 50RMB/per person, and 20RMB/per person for boat cruise.

4. What is the best way to travel to Xitang water town from Hangzhou train station?

Taking tourist bus or private transfer is the best way to visit Nanxun from Hangzhou. It takes around 1 hour 40 minutes to get there. As for the high speed train, you can reach at Jiashan station, then take about 1 hour Jiashan public bus to Xitang water town. If you are confused about the public transportation and want to enjoy the hassle free tour, you can book a private transfer with Hangzhou local tour company.

5. How long does it take to visit Xitang water town if i come from Hangzhou?

Xitang water town is not very big, one day will enough for the water town sightseeing. It takes around 2 hours from Hangzhou downtown to Jiashan county, you will have 3-4 hours to visit the gardens, museum, ancient buildings, experience the traditional boat ride along the grand canal. You can stay longer at Xitang water town for the night scenery, to relax yourself at the local bar street.

6. What kind of food should we try during the Xitang water town sightseeing? Any good places for eating there?

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. You can try lots of snacks when you walk around the town and find a restaurant along the riverside to enjoy the delicious food as well as the scenery.

7. I want to visit water town near Hangzhou, which one is better? Xitang or Wuzhen?

Both are the famous, authentic water towns near Hangzhou & Shanghai. If you travel from Hangzhou, Wuzhen is close to Hanghou. Xitang water town is less crowded and popular for the young people and family, it has a coloful night life. Wuzhen is bigger but crowded since it has a great repution, the World Internet Conference held here, a traditional & modern water town in China.

8. How about the hotel conditions in Xitang water town? Will be expensive to stay there?

There are starred Hotels & Waterfront Hostels in Xitang water town. There are many starred hotels in Xitang. Compared with those in big cities, their rooms are simpler, reflecting the water town’s characteristics. The most popular is Xitang Holiday Inn (three-star), near the Water Town entrance. These hostels are built on the waterfront, so the beautiful scenery outside the windows is their distinctive feature, despite their plainness otherwise. They are cheaper than starred hotels. Normally, the cost for one night will be 200RMB-400RMB, the rate will be higher during the weekends and holidays.

9. How to get around the Xitang water town? Is the wheelchair friendly here?

Xitang does not have motorized traffic, for motor vehicles are prohibited. The only available transport is by boat or on foot when you go to visit Xitang scenic area. The water town with many water way, narrow alley & stone bridge, so it is not such convenient to use the wheelchair inside the town. You can try to do the boat ride if you have walking problem.

10. When is the best time to visit Xitang water town?

Xitang has different highlights in different seasons. April and May when the flowers, are the most romantic months. And July is the best month for tasting crab. Most rain falls between September and November. Besides, there are far fewer tourists in December and January, so those two months are ideal for those who like to travel in relative peace. 

Questions & Answers or Review
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Carol Pakula
Reviewed on 02 July 2020

Does the old city close to tourists at night? Is it possible to enter the old city at night even if staying in a hotel outside the old city? There are not many good hotels inside the scenic area. I was thinking going from Xitang to Hangzhou. Is this easy? Thanks

Replied:02 July 2020

You can enter the town at night but some scenic spots of the town may close at night. The transportation from Xitang to Hangzhou is convenient. You can take the direct coach from Jiasha Xitang Coach Station to Hangzhou Passenger Transport Center. The bus schedules are from 07:30 to 18:25. The duration is around 1.5 hours. The ticket fare is around CNY45/person. 

Monti Pier Canada
Reviewed on 02 July 2020

I will stay overnight in Xitang and leave for Hangzhou next afternoon.
Do we have direct bus to Hangzhou? If yes, then how often? And how much do the entrance ticket to Hangzhou Xitang (day+ night)Tks

Replied:02 July 2020

Yes, you can take the direct coach from Xitang Coach Station to Hangzhou. The bus schedules are from 07:10 to 17:40 with the duration of around 1.5 hours. The ticket fare is CNY42/62 per person.

The entry fee is CNY 95, while CNY 50 for children between 1.2 - 1.5m and free for children under 1.2m. Note: It covers 11 scenic spots and Five Girls Theme Park.

Night ticket fare is CNY 50. Note: It's available after 17:00 from Apr. to Oct.

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