Xitang 05-25-2005 15:34

Hey, I finally found it! Welcome to Travelogue and welcome to Xitang. I am Chen Yin. This is the next stop in street series. However, there aren鈥檛 any real streets in the traditional sense. Instead we have waters, lanes, and ceilinged corridors. Some people may think that Xitang is just a plain, simple water town, but take a closer look and you鈥檒l find something extraordinary.

In a time long ago, paradise existed on Earth. There, the waters shimmered like glass when rays of sunshine spread across its surface.

Today, there is Xitang--a small, mystical town in Zhejiang Province. It is a typical water town in southern China with over a thousand years of history. Nine rivers run through the town, while over 100 bridges connect the water-town into one entity. The picturesque scenery of Xitang will surely captivate any visitor.

Whew, I鈥檓 so tired from crossing all these bridges. There are so many here鈥tone arch bridges, beam bridges of all different shapes and sizes. I don鈥檛 know how much more of this I can take, but let鈥檚 go.

Xitang has a lot of water, and so obviously there are bridges to go with them.

Bridges are an important part of the past, since most of them were originally constructed during the Qing and Ming Dynasties. A total of 104 bridges enliven the landscape like rainbows over the water. Daily life revolves around the bridges and many people have lived the same way for years. The bridges take you back to the past when folklore and legends were shaped.

One famous bridge is Song Zi Lai Feng Qiao, and the tradition is that crossing the bridge will bring one many sons and daughters. The bridge is also famous because both the elderly and their young sons and daughters gather here to sing and listen to Chinese opera. This brings a smile to everyone鈥檚 face.

Among the faces, you may notice the many elderly people strolling the corridors and relaxing by the water. They make up a significant proportion of the population of 3,000. These folk live simple lives, going about their daily routines, playing with their grandchildren, and chatting with each other. They are an integral part of the community and bear witness to the passing of the years.

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