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Xitang Travel | Water Town in China
Xitang, a famous ancient town at home and abroad, is situated in Jiaxing, Zhejiang Province. The total distance is 11 kilometers from scenic spots to downtown Jiaxing city. Xitang has a total area of 83 square kilometers, of which the ancient town scenic area is about one square kilometer with about sixty thousand people living. It is a time-honored cultural and historical ancient town with more than one thousand years.
It was inter-sectant area between Wu State and Yue State (over two thousand years before present). At that time, the Wu State improved the waterways that made mass boat traffic possible and salt distribution had been busy. In the Tang Dynasty (618 – 907), Xitang had become a small town having many inhabitants. The residential houses were mostly built by the riversides. There was a marketplace in downtown in the Southern Song Dynasty. Up to period of Yuan Dynasty (1279 – 1368), this town became a market center. During Ming and Qing Dynasties, Xitang was one of the busiest handicraft and industrial town in east China. So, it is quite simple to describe Xitang in a few words, "Water from Wu-Yue era, town built-up in Tang and Song Dynasties, Ming and Qing styles' architecture and modern people." The most distinctive difference from other ancient waterside towns is this waterside long corridor. The total length of this corridor is more than one-thousand meters like the long corridor in Summer Palace in Beijing. Traveling in Xitang, travelers can avoid the rains and sunshine.
The physiognomy of Xitang is plain with dense rivers and quiet natural environment. There are nine rivers going across here and dividing this town into 8 districts. And a great many ancient bridges join these zones together. There are also much well-preserved ancient buildings from the Ming and Qing Dynasties in this ancient town. The architecture has high artistic value for research. This ancient town offers travelers the poetic image for feeling the oriental charm in literature and arts.
Xitang, a living ancient town for more than thousand years is in the preparative list of world historical and cultural heritage. Xitang is the first group of Chinese historical and cultural towns and famous scenic areas. It is also the most charming waterside film base. Famous Hollywood actor Tom Cruise who starring in the action film Mission Impossible 3, which had some scenes shot in the water town. Xitang has long history, rich cultural resources and beautiful natural, Xitang is one of the origins of ancient Wu-Yue Culture. According to the statistics, many famous high-officials came out from here. Yang Mao (杨茂) and Zhang Cheng (张成) were two authoritative masters of industrial arts of the Yuan Dynasty. Their masterpieces are rare to see and become classics today.
Xitang is also famous for its diversities of bridges, lanes and corridors. Xitang preserved the harmonious relationship between nature and human very well, and it is a good place to study the folk culture of waterside towns in southern area of Yangtze River of China.