There are 3 kinds of inns in Xitang: ancient houses from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), riverside inns and modern hotels.
These houses best display features of the ancient towns south of the Yangtze River. Most of ancient houses sit in deep lanes and courtyards. The furniture is all antique. The houses are not beside the river, but they have large courtyards and rooms in which you can experience the life of rich and famous families of the town’s past. The location is quiet and the price is low. Lying on a hundred-year carved bed, breathing the air of the water town, you slowly fall asleep.
West Garden House and Shende Hall are both typical large Ming Dynasty houses in the south the of Yangtze region. They belong to the Wang family, the most distinguished family in this ancient town. West Garden House lies to the west of West Garden, and has all kinds of antiques. Choose a room with a view of West Garden and you can have a wonderful view of the scenery in West Garden for free.
There are musical instruments all over Shende Hall, and people who love music often get together here. The bar beside the river, in front of the old Chen family house (now a youth hostel), has a back yard which is stunning at night. The courtyard behind the bar is quiet. Zunwen Hall is a scenic spot itself, hiding in Shipi Lane. The picture showing one hundred forms of the character “Shou” is a national historical treasure.
Ruyi Mansion Inn is a converted ancient house. You can view Zui (‘Drunk’) Garden for free if you stay here.
Dong Village Inn was built in the years of Emperor Yongzheng (1722-1735). The owner is a folk artist who can write with both hands at the same time. All these inns are special ancient inns of Xitang Scenic Area, enjoying good feedback from travelers.
These inns beside the rivers of Xitang have the distinguished characteristics of water towns. Usually they are transformed from the houses of common people. The houses are low-ceilinged and not so large. Houses beside the river that lie in the center (between Yongning Bridge and Huanxiu Bridge) have the most scenic value, especially the rooms on the western streets that are truly beside the river. However, the price of the rooms is high and not such great value for money. Most riverside inns advertised on the internet are actually near the river, not really beside it. The prices of these inns are more moderate.
Some of these hotels are built outside the scenic area. Their scale is rather large, with mainly executive twin rooms. Each hotel is able to hold a group of several dozen people. Hotels of this kind include Xitang Hotel and Laifeng Hotel. The price of the rooms ranges from 70 to 100 yuan on normal days, and it will rise a bit on weekends and holidays.
NB: Some minibuses and tricycles will lure tourists with low travel prices and introduce inns to them, earning commissions from the inn keepers (and hence pushing the room price up). To save the hassle of causing upset if you don’t like the inns the driver shows you, and to avoid pressurized salesmanship, it’s better to book a hotel in advance or to find an inn by yourself.
The major difference between Xitang and other ancient water towns lies in the ceilinged corridors (about 1,000 meters (1,100 yards) long) beside the river, which are just like the Summer Palace Corridor. » more
Special products of Xitang include: yellow rice wine, steamed pork wrapped in lotus leaves, cake of “eight treasures”, strong-smelling bean curd, Fen Lake crabs and glutinous rice dumplings.» more
Xitang is 90 km from Shanghai City, 100 km from Hangzhou City and 80 km from Suzhou City. The new class-A Shanjiang Highway runs by the town of Xitang, joining National Highway 320. » more
There are 3 kinds of inns in Xitang: ancient houses from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), riverside inns and modern hotels. » more
Take a boat from Futang Pier by Songzilaifeng Bridge. There are boats for rent in the daytime. There are tour boats in the evening. Boats depart when the seats are all taken. » more
The hottest time is in July, with an average temperature of 27ºC.The coldest time is in January, with an average temperature of 4.5 ºC. The frost--free period is 240 days. » more