Friday, July 23, 2010
Xitang Water Town
The coach brought us from Hangzhou to Xitang Water Town. On the way, the tour guide entertained us with various anecdotes and trivia. I was told that the Xitang Water Town has a history of thousands of years. Xitang is well-known for its bridges, lanes, covered corridors and old houses.
We were told that Xitang Water Town was used as one of the filming locations of the movie Mission Impossible III. That movie helped more people know about the Water Town of Xitang. The movie has also attracted a number of enterprising immigrants to open new businesses at Xitang. Many of the former residents sold or rent their ancient houses to these immigrants.
I was attracted to the idyllic way of life at Xitang Water Town and the beauty of the ancient houses. We also learnt that the people in Xitang (at least the original inhabitants of Xitang) have an organised way of life. They would do the washing of food at the upstream of the river. Then they would do their washing of dirty items at the downstream of the river. This way of organising their lives help to keep the waters of the river relatively clean for the use of all the residents. However, with the influx of new immigrants and workers from other parts of China, this organised way of using the water from the river is gradually not being practised religiously.
One of the highlights of the visit to Xitang Water Town was a leisure boat ride. The boatman who steered our boat was already in his 50s to 60s and he looked very healthy and strong. We had quite some fun taking photographs on the boat. Many thanks to the boatman for his mastery in steering the boat. We kept moving about the boat yet the ride on the boat had generally been smooth.
On the boat ride, we caught glimpses of some very lovely looking bridges. These are works of art that display the intelligence and cultured taste of the people who have made these bridges possible.
As I look at the photographs I had taken, I was left with the impression that Xitang is a calm and peaceful place. I wonder what impression has Xitang left on you?
Old Town of Xitang Travel Guide