Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Weekend in Xitang

Mark and I want to do more travel within China, so we decided that we wanted to visit a "water town" which is basically a historic town/village that has canals. We opted for Xitang, as it was smaller, and quainter than Suzhou. We were not disappointed.

Xitang dates back to 770- 221 BC. It was as strategic back then as it was with throughout the Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties. It is known for it's bridges, lanes and corridors which date back to the Ming dynasty. You get a sense of what it must have been like back in the day by looking at the architecture. People still do their wash in the canals.

We discovered that there is one bus per day from Shanghai to Xitang, which left Shanghai at 08:45 - too early for us, although there are trains to Jiashan. One can then just take a taxi or local bus another 10 minutes to Xitang. The train costs in China are extremely reasonable. For less than a beer, we could travel to Jiashan. It's one hour from Shanghai and opted for the train and then either take the bus or taxi. We decided the taxi would be the quickest as we had someone meeting us and we were delayed already.

We arrived and Mr. Wang greeted us at the bus stop. He was a friend of a friend and offered to help us look for a hotel. We took little tuk tuks into the old quarter, and here we chose our hotel. It was right off a main street, and it was quite adorable. There were just two suites in this inn and for USD 30 per night, how can you beat it.
The first night we strolled through the town trying to get acquainted with it and the first thing that struck us, was the number of lanterns that were displayed. It was extremely picturesque with the canals and bridges running through the town, and the lanterns lit. We tried many times to take pictures but only a few turned out.

When we first arrived.

Seriously, need to learn how to take night pictures!

While we ate dinner, we watched the boats slowly meandering by us, people dropping lit candles into the water, and mosquito's biting the heck out of me.

Note to self, bring insect repellent!

1 comment:

Flo said...

Xitang - magical at night!
Love M & C's blog's detail -It sounds like Charlie won't come back to the USA 10 lbs lighter after all!