Xitang Ancient Water Town is a beautiful town that seems like a completely different world from the hustle and bustle of Shanghai and Suzhou. 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. Book a tour to Xitang to feel the tranquil beauty, you will 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.
In the morning, pick you up at your hotel lobby in Hangzhou downtown or Hangzhou train station, you will find a welcome signage “Hangzhou Private Tour”. Then you will be transferred to Xitang water town directly (1 hour). Xitang is known for its bridges, lanes, and covered corridors, these attractions are described in the following sections.Today you will visit 104 Bridges: Something that makes Xitang so special is its numerous bridges. Xitang is flat, and there are 9 waterways which split the town into 8 areas. 104 bridges connect the areas together, each built in varying styles spanning the Ming (1368–1644) and Qing (1644–1911) dynasties. Some look like rainbows over the river, and others like long flutes.Ancient Lanes: Ancient lanes are another feature of Xitang. The narrow lanes connect streets, waterways, and houses. Each lane in Xitang has its own name. 68-meter-long Shipi Lane is the most famous lane in Xitang. The widest part of this lane is 110 cm and the narrowest part is only 80 cm. The long lane creates a vertical sliver of sky. The longest lane is Sixianci Lane, at 236 meters.Long Covered Waterside Walks: The long covered footpaths are the most unique feature of Xitang. They make Xitang different from other water towns. The covered walkways were actual roads with roofs. Now there are chairs there for people to enjoy a leisurely rest by the canals. You don’t have to worry about rainy days or strong sunlight in the hot summers.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. Mostly, it is tile-roofed and built along the riverside, providing shelter for people to avoid either the baking hot sun or the rain. Walking along the corridor, watching the boats in the river, you will feel drawn into the meditation of the past.The Houses: 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.Free on your own for a while. Then you will be taken back to your hotel in Hangzhou or Hangzhou train station and your tour ends.