Edit Blog Post
Published: July 16th 2021
An early start as we get onboard a small private bus from outside our hotel to take us to Xitang, which is situated some 80kms from Shanghai. It is important that we get the most out of our day as we need to be back in Shanghai for early evening time to get an overnight train to Xi'an. We understand from our tour guide that Xitang is an ancient Chinese water town and very picturesque.
Upon arriving at Xitang, we get into smaller groups, put on a life jacket and get on a Wupeng (Chinese type gondola boat). The boat ride down is very pleasant as we go under many small bridges that connect the footpaths over the rivers. This water town crosses 9 rivers and was built in the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties. We cross a girl who is dressed in traditional clothing, we are told this is quite common to see as local girls like to dress up and pose for nice photos with good a backdrop.
We get off the boat and onto the pathway to start walking around this quaint, characteristic and peaceful town. There are many beautiful plum blossom trees as I
walk under them, this is the perfect time of year to visit this picturesque town.
When walking around there are many shops selling food from things like grounded nuts that they turn into some kind of cake to eating fried scorpion on a stick. There are many souvenir shops and restaurants, too.
We visit Zhang Zheng Root Carving Art Museum
, this exhibition hall houses superb carving skills from wood and some of the work has been recorded in the Guinness Book of World Record. Unfortunately I cannot take photos to share the work as it is strictly prohibited and staff are keeping an eye to stop people taking photos.
After a delicious Chinese lunch, we visit the Wine Culture Museum
. This museum displays wine jars from various time periods throughout China's thousands of years wine culture. Although a relatively small museum, it is an interesting place. I do manage to get a few photos of some of the jars, despite it being prohibited.
Afterwards, I decide to stroll around on my own and soak in the atmosphere of what seems to be a busy but quaint and peaceful town. Although hazy, the sun is beaming down
and the air has that beautiful spring smell to it; I hear the sound of faint, relaxing Chinese music. I feel so calm and relaxed, I wonder if this is how the locals feel everyday living here. This place is my favourite location so far, in what remains an old ancient town that has been completely untouched from any tourism.
From Xitang, we take the small private bus back to Shanghai to the train station. When we arrive at the train station we have time to grab dinner and our tour guide, Chris, suggests we grab some snacks for the train journey. I spot a Mcdonalds and so I have to try the Chinese version out. I order a double burger which has two sausages inside, I've never come across this type of burger before at a Mcdonalds on my world travels. For pudding I order a Taro Pie (similar to a Mcdonald's UK Apple Pie), which is from some kind of native plant. The meal is very good and I would say its one of my favourite Mcdonalds meals to date.
We board the train which will take us to Xi'an overnight. The journey will be around
21 hours and it is the first time I have ever slept on a sleeper train. The train is super long and I can just about lay on my bed. The conditions are a little cramp as each section has four beds (2 bunk beds) and with everyone's luggage in the cabins there really is little room to move about, but since the main purpose is to sleep, I enjoy laying on my bed, making conversation with a mother and daughter from the group who are from Scotland and so we discuss about the UK and best places to visit before an early night sleep.
Nest stop; Xi'an
Tot: 0.045s; Tpl: 0.017s; cc: 14; qc: 29; dbt: 0.0066s; 1; m:saturn w:www (18.104.22.168); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb