My “Unforgettable Trip” in one of the Ancient Town in China

This is my very first blog, I just want to share to the world my very first trip in Asia which is in China, to know more of their people, culture, history and their different kinds of foods. The place is located in Xitang Town,Jiashan County, Zhejiang Province, China near Shanghai.

Xitang (Chinese: 西塘; pinyinXītáng) is an ancient scenic town in Jiashan CountyZhejiang ProvinceChina. Its history dates back to at least the Spring and Autumn period when it was located at the border of the State of Yue and Wu.

Xitang is a water town crisscrossed by nine rivers. The town stretches across eight sections, linked by old-fashioned stone bridges. In the older parts of town, the buildings are set along the banks of the canals, which serve as the main transportation thoroughfares in the area.

Xitang also contains numerous antique residences and temples, such as the Temple of the Seven Masters. The town keeps a tranquil ambience and scenic beauty, making it a very popular tourist attraction. It is frequently depicted in Chinese landscape painting.

Brief introduction to Xitang Ancient Town

Xitang Ancient Town is located on the northeast edge of Fujian Province next to Jiangsu Province and Shanghai. It is within 100km from Shanghai, Suzhou, and Hangzhou. Crisscrossed by rivers, the town presents what a typical water town is like in southeast China. In the town stone-paved lanes run between age-old dwelling houses of white walls and black tiles. Riverside corridors are connected into a totally one-thousand-meter long corridor that is covered with roofs that protect walkers from rain and sunshine. Long and serene alleys and roofed corridors create a charming and picturesque scenery that can not be found in other water towns.

But Xitang Ancient Town’ glamour goes far beyond natural beauty. It has long history, rich culture and gives birth to a number of talents, such as Yangmao, a Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) master of arts and crafts, Gu Xidong, a famous playwright, etc. With a history of more than 1000 years, Xitang has entered the list of UNESCO’s World Heritage Tentative Site. The trip to Xitang is also a cultural journey.

Xitang is also famous for its numerous bridges, alleys and roofed corridors. With simple folk custom, melodious paddling sounds, and unique cultural trait, Xitang draws tourists and photographers from all over the world. It is one of six famous water towns (Zhouzhuang, Tongli, Luzhi, Xitang, Wuzhen, and Nanxun) in Lower Yangtze River Region.

History of Xitang Ancient Town

Xitang is one of the birthplaces of ancient Wu-Yue Culture (a culture developed in Tai Lake region and Zhejiang Province). In Spring and Autumn Period (770BC-476BC), Xitang was the border of Wu State and Yue State. It developed into a town approximately during Tang (618-907) and Song (960-1279) dynasties. During Yuan (1271-1368) and Ming (1368-1644) dynasties, it became a prosperous and populous market town thanks to its fertile soil, temperate climate, and plentiful produce, and convenient water transportation. Ceramic industry, rice market, food industry were thriving at that time. Today, many ancient mansions remain in the town, demonstrating the past of Xitang. The town in early days depended so much on water transportation that it was seldom influenced by the outside world and the legacies of forefathers are maintained. There is no better way to describe it than the sentence ”water of Spring and Autumn Period, town of Tang and Song dynasties, architecture of Ming and Qing dynasties, People of modern times”.