Details: Xitang, China
Friday, February 11, 2011; 12:34 PM
United offers one-stop flights to Shanghai from Reagan National, BWI Marshall and Washington Dulles, starting at $1,047 round trip.
From the Shanghai Long Distance Bus South Station (666 Shilong Road), buses to Xitang run almost every hour from 6:30 a.m. to 6:34 p.m. Buy tickets at the station the day before to secure your desired time of departure or on the same day if you don't mind possibly waiting for the next bus. Buses back to Shanghai run almost every hour from 7:25 a.m. to 5 p.m. A one-way ticket is about $5.
WHERE TO STAY
The staffs at these hotels do not speak English, so it's best to have your hotel in Shanghai call to make a reservation (recommended if you go on the weekend). Have the name and address written out in Chinese before you leave.
Shui Jing Yuan
48 Xiaxi St.
Four double rooms available, each with a TV and a computer with Internet access. One room has a private deck overlooking the water. The owners are very helpful and meet all guests at the Xitang bus station if given the arrival time. Rates from about $27 on weekdays, from about $45 on weekends.
Caiyuntang Youth Hostel
5 Xiaxi St.
One family room with private bath and TV; four- and six-person dorm-style rooms with separate bathrooms. WiFi available throughout building. Beds from about $7.
WHERE TO EAT
Ding Ji Restaurant and Xiang Tang Restaurant
26 and 21 Xiao Tong Wei St.
These adjacent restaurants serve similar fare. Whole steamed white fish is the local specialty. Dinner for two about $10.
San Wei Chou Dou Fu
48 Chao Nan St.
Dragon's beard candy and stinky tofu for $1 or less.
Xi Jie Hostel Coffeeshop
16 Xi Street
Coffee, tea and fruit juices for $2 or less.
WHAT TO DO
Xitang's historic town center consists of one main road along the canal. You can visit the sites below individually or buy a Xitang town ticket, which admits you to 11 sites, for about $15 at the entrance to the historic center.
Tour of a literary family's courtyard home. Admission without a town ticket is about $7.50.
Eaves Tile Display Hall
More than 300 building artifacts, including decorative eaves, bricks and pottery. Admission without a town ticket about $7.50.
Canal Boat Tour
Futang Pier near Songzilaifeng Bridge
$3 per person on weekdays, $4.50 on weekends.