Continuing after the heavy lunch at Hangzhou, we proceeded to drive towards a quaint little ancient scenic town called Xi Tang, located about an hour’s drive away. Upon reaching the place, it was already 5pm and being in the Winter season, the sky got dark pretty early starting from 5+pm. Truth be told, when I reached Xi Tang, I was pretty taken aback. It was probably due to the fact that it was getting dark that time, and we entered the town through some very small and dark alleys which were also very ancient. Frankly I wasn’t feeling too comfortable in that environment.
Narrow alley in Xi Tang
However, after a while of familiarizing with the environment, I began to admire its charm and its beauty. The rows and rows of shops there were surrounded by rivers all around the town, giving it a very rustic and tranquil ambience. The vintage looking bridges also gave the town a whole new warmth, and before I knew it, I was already falling head over heels in love with the town. 🙂
witch at Xi Tang
The lovely couple Zhao Jie and Zhao Lei
witch with Mr and Mrs Zhao
Just look at the breathtaking scenery, how can one not be mesmerized by it?
Scenic river view at Xi Tang ancient village
Saucer and witch at beautiful Xi Tang
Our first mission of the evening was to look for accommodation for the night! Of course, this challenging task was left to the Zhao’s as Saucer and I were not very fluent with mandarin. We also found out from there that the locals at Xi Tang village were really friendly – overly friendly, somewhat, for we found them eavesdropping to our conversations when we were looking for rooms. I suppose business there must be running slow, for there were plenty of house owners offering their rooms to rent, some offering a little more perks than others.
Beautiful river view at night
Our requirements were simple, we wanted clean rooms which faced the river. So when we saw a room and found out something that we didn’t like about it, for example, the room being too small, then a nearby house owner would jump into our conversation and said his or her room was more spacious. See? What did I tell you about them being overly friendly? This went on for the next few rooms, as we continued our quest hunting for that perfect room. We commented on everything ranging from size of the room, thickness of the mattress even the humidity of the room! *LOL*
Really, the quest was almost never-ending. We went from Room #1, to Room #2 down the street, to Room #3 across the street, back to Room #1 and we couldn’t decide. 😛 Finally, we ended up with room #n, I lost track. *LOL*
View from one of the rooms
This was the room we chose in the end, just the right size, clean and facing the river. Best of all, it was also cheap! Only RMB100/night, which is RM50/night. I also loved the fact that we slept in the traditional bedroom, just like the olden days. Very antique.
Our four-poster bed 🙂
Lanterns hanging at our balcony
Just walk out to the balcony of our room and be captivated with the amazing night scene in the midst of the tranquil environment. Really made us feel like staying in dreamland.
View from our room
After keeping all our luggage in the room, we went out searching for dinner. All along the way, we saw plenty of colourful shops selling a myriad of things ranging from household items, souvenirs, clothes, bags, shoes, everything!
Pure silk thread
Saucer, witch, Zhao Jie and Zhao Lei
We then spotted a restaurant that we wanted to have dinner at, just across the river. It was also situated by the river. Perfect!
Restaurant by the river
We crossed the bridge and approached the restaurant, called ‘Ting Ji’ in Mandarain.
Ting Ji restaurant at Xi Tang
While Zhao Lei took the liberty of ordering the dishes, we camwhored. 🙂
Zhao Jie and witch
witch and Saucer
Soon, the dishes arrived. It was about 7-8C that night, which was pretty cold. That’s why we still had our jackets on. Sitting outdoors proved to be much colder, but thankfully, there was no wind that night, making the environment really comfortable.
Sour and spicy beancurd soup
Vegetables beancurd sheet roll
Steamed river fish
Food was good and warm, very home-cooked.
Scenic view of Xi Tang
After dinner, we took a walk around the town and came across the paper boats with candles. It was apparently very popular there for we saw many people lighting up the candles and placing them on the river. We were supposed to make a wish before placing the boat. So fun! It only cost us RMB1/boat (RM0.50) and we bought a load of them. 🙂
witch made a wish! 🙂
This was where we placed our candle boats, at the head of the river. Watching the candle boats float away gave me the feeling that my wish was being taken care of by the river. 🙂
Gorgeous river where our wish boats floated
The four of us <3
Xi Tang looks even more breathtaking in the daytime! Stay tuned for more pictures for our next morning at ancient scenic town of Xi Tang – the town we all fell in love with.