Local websites with travel info:
Zhongfu Hall is a private mansion. Built in 17 century, Zhongfu Hall is a typical folk residence style for Ming and Qing Dynasties, with 7 lines together with a back garden. This picture shows the central hall which is the third line of the residence.
Obviously it isn’t for a common people. The owner is the later generation of an officer of Song Dynasty. In Chinese “Zhong” – plant; “Fu” – good fortune”; “Zhongfu” means “By casting bread on the water in normal days, one can surely let his offspring to get good fortune”. It is a typical Buddhism conception.
Favorite thing: Lanes are another peculiar sight of Xitang. Shipi lane on West street is the famous one. It is 68m long with an only 1mwidth, laid 216 pieces of stone blocks. When you have a walk through it and have a sight up, the sky becomes “One thread sky”.
Favorite thing: So called “Chinese garden” is often a back garden of large household in southern China. Generally there are pavilions, booths, rockeries and fishponds in a small place. It is built very fine. Do you know “bonsai”? In my opinion, Chinese garden is a “landscape bonsai”.
Xitang – ancient town in water region
We are from many place on the world, from deferent country, cities, countryside. We have already used to the sphere of activities of ourselves. But I believe that if you come to Xitang, you must feel that, like Oliver to some extent, you are come to a world in which the all things, the houses, bridges, paths, courtyards, rooms, have been reduced. I’m wonder at the capacity that so many people can arrange their life so fine in the so narrow place here. This is my first impression when I came here.
It is the standard water region in South China!
Xitang is located in the north of Zhejiang province between Shanghai and Hangzhou, is one of six famous ancient town in the water-region in China
Xitang has considerably its own characteristics among the same ancient towns in the whole country well known to the world for many bridges, lanes and corridor canopies.
Obviously, the full door is open to let the sun and air into the dark house, while the half-height door functions as a fence during the day.
The big Chinese character 'Happiness' is always hung upside down, as upside down is pronounced samely as 'arrive/come'. An upside down hung 'happiness' means many happiness arrive, for good luck.
Favorite thing: Xitang is at its prettiest at dawn and dusk, so try to be around at those times. Staying overnight is a good idea!
Behind the riverfront houses are the narrow alleys, the narrowest one is said only 30 cm 'narrow'.
They reminded me of the similar structure across the streets in Rothenburg, Germany (see corresponding page for comparison).
The sign says: 'To West Garden, and the Button Museum'.
There are several ancient arch bridges in the town.
Notice the steps in front of each house, their access to the water transportation - boats.