one night in Xitang

Xitang Travel Blog

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There are a few famous water towns in Zhejiang and Jiangsu province which is near Shanghai area. I've been to one called Zhouzhuang and it was nice but not that impressive. Then the Mission Impossible 3 movie promoted this water town called Xitang. My expat friends went there and stayed overnight. They highly recommended it and alwasy took their visiting friends there. So I've wanted to go to this place for a long time!

Finally, finally, my fella got some free time in the weekend, and we set up a trip to Xitang in the late afternoon of Saturday 1 Dec 2007. I've booked a riverside room with a hotel called Wanghu Inn. We took the bus from Shanghai South station to Jiashan (RMB 25 per person) and then a taxi to Xitang (RMB 30). They charge RMB 50 (about 7 dollars) for entering the town in the daytime, but it's free after 5pm. The owner of the hotel Mr. Ji met us in the pickup point and we walked about 5-10 minutes to get to the hotel.

It was actually not a hotel! There is no luxury hotel in the town park and almost every family rent out their own house to tourists. Mr. Ji showed us the room. It's by the riverside with a private bathroom and a traditional Chinese bed. I loved the decoration of the bed and through the window you can see the riverside and people on the other side were chatting and drinking tea. Red lanterns were everywhere.  The room was not exactly that fancy, but the owner was super nice and friendly, the room seemed clean, so we decided to stay. It’s only RMB 100 per night.  

We went out to look around. There are lots of interesting shops, selling traditional dress, local and Tibetan style accessories, local sweets and cakes... We had dinner in a famous restaurant called QiantangRenjia. The waterfish is a must try local dish and its tasty (totally RMB 75 for 3 dishes). After dinner, we continued to look around. They had small paper boat with a candle in the middle and different color of paper means different wishes, health, money, luck, love... So we bought a love boat and I sailed it. It lasted for long long time and it was so romantic to see the little boat floating in the middle of the river. We saw people playing with fireworks, so we also bought some. I only played firework in the Chinese new year when I was very little cos the government prohibitted it in the city I grew up. So it was a treat as well!

Finally, we decided to check out the night life. It has about two bars along the popular riverside, but apparently those two were not that busy and didn't attract us. We went to the otherside of the main bridge and there were two popular bars there. One played RnB and one played mixed house and pop. We are both RnB kids, but the RnB bar didn't seem as nice as the other one called Culture bar. So we went there, ordered one drink each and played drinking game. There are people's writing everywhere on the wall, Chinese, English, German...

The bar is not like the ones in Shanghai, but I guess we needed different envionment to feel we were finally outside the big city!

The day view of Xitang is also nice. We were woken up by people chatting and drinking tea outside our window which is a small tea house.

But the day view is more about a beatufil, traditional busy water town life, and full of tourists. It doesn't have the romantic atmosphere! You can get some peace sitting in a nice cafe, drinking tea and reading book in the afternoon!

The whole town is very small and you can walk everywhere in an hour. But I'll recommend people who visit Xitang definitely stay for a night and it worths it!

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photo by: lovesarah