The Venice of China
Xitang (Chinese: 西塘; pinyin: Xītáng; lit. ‘West Pond’) is a small water village with thousands of years of history, it dates back to 700 BC. It is located in Zhejiang province, two hours by bus from the capital Hangzhou and Shanghai. The village extends over the plains, there are nine waterways that divide the city into eight areas. It is a small Venice, there are no cars, the means of transport for people and goods are boats. One hundred and four bridges connect the areas to each other. Among them, there are 11 old bridges built during the Song dynasty, including Anren Bridge, Anjing Bridge, Wufu Bridge, Yongning Bridge, etc. Also famous are Wolong Bridge, Wuchan Bridge and Songzi Laifeng Bridge built in the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasty. Some look like a rainbow over the river and some like a long flute. Standing on these bridges and watching the traditional boats pass by, one feels drawn into a profound meditation on the past.