Sunday, May 20, 2012


Was in Shanghai for the week and decided to explore the nearby water town, Xi Tang. Fearful of the crowds that throng nearby towns for the weekends, I bought my Friday ticket on Tuesday. Called the hostels but it was totally booked and I was wondering "Oh no" Should I still go?
Final decision was just to make my way there since I had already bought my ticket. Did my online research on the distance to the town etc. And I'm so thankful I found such a wonderful blog- as below- with such clear directions-
Took the bus from Shanghai Nan Bus Station (South) 上海南站 Line 1 (Red) because I heard there were more buses to Xi Tang 西塘 from there. It cost 32RMB one way [ You can also take the main station line which cost a little more]. Taking close to 1.5 hours, it was a nice comfortable ride. Upon arrival, I 'charged' to the ticket purchase counter 善票处 to get my return ticket back to Shanghai. Note: If you decide to change your ticket timing, you can do so ONCE at no cost.

Here are the fantastic directions to the water town from the bus station.
Just see the below sign cross the road to the red banner then keep walking straight to a small entry.
(If you have luggage however, it only cost 10rmb using trishaw to ferry you to the town.) Along the way through the small entry alley , you will see Xi Tang Youth hostel.
Important: From 7th May 2012, Arrival on Monday to Friday between 8am to 4.20pm - you will have to purchase a ticket costing 50RMB for entrance or 100RMB for entrance+11 Tourist spots entrance fee. Its close to impossible to escape with police stationed at every corner.

Along the way I met a local from Shenzhen when I arrived and we decided to share a room & stay at the nearest inn to the entrance. A good choice indeed - especially with my huge luggage casing. And the host of this place is so nice! Paid 150rmb for a room with its own toilet, 2 single big beds (which can squeeze 3 people on it each) , has its own computer and TV provided.
As for accommodation, it was a worry unfounded. In this small town, I would think there were close to 200 or more places to stay. Just take your time upon arrival to stroll though the town before deciding on a place (this is if you do not have big luggage-  because the roads are not very ideal for luggage dragging)

Oh and for me, I went on Friday and went back on Saturday so I experienced the touristy filled Saturday and the silent shores Friday. If you are looking for a place to relax, go on Friday. If you are looking for a place to shop, go on Saturday. The 2 days give a complete different feel.
Night scene at Xitang- Boats, Opera show, lit flower candles along the water... nice feeling!
Then in the day time, you are able to see the old houses and the full landscape of this water town.
 In these small towns, the main thing is shopping and eating street and local food. So here it goes.
Was recommended to this food place 妈咪厨房
Feels like home cook fresh food. Loved it! And the owners are very accommodating, introducing you to the different dishes etc - I love the salted sweet potato. Delicious!

Then of course some street food!
This store only appears on weekends it seem because I did not see it on Friday.
And its yummy!
Beancurd - Salted or Sweet

Just the right amount of feelings and texture to the dumplings.
The sweet and salted green beans - its a unique taste but I like it. Eat it when its hot! Once its cold, it turns hard.

Another of my favorite.Though I prefer the one that's oven baked, this is still fine. It has preserved vegetables in it - my favorite 梅菜。
 The local must-have - which I personally can't stand the taste. Smelly tofu. Its on every nook and corner of the streets.
Many people also buy back the roasted guaizi. It tastes like sunflower seed (is it?)

My breakfast the following morning - dumpling, local morning starch-like sweet thing, and their zhongzi.
If you have nothing to do, get a self-portrait done OR
Sit at some cafe along the river to chill and read some books  OR

Just sit by the river

A good weekend chill-out place!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...