An Inland Beach Vacation (3/8) – Shanghai, Xitang, Wuxi

An Inland Beach Vacation (3/8) – Shanghai, Xitang, Wuxi



Although we spent nearly half of the vacation staying in Shanghai, we didn’t do a whole lot in this city.  In a day, we hit up some of the most iconic places that many of us had been before.

The market district around Yu Yuan

Golden street

Iconic landmark at Yu Yuan (豫園)

The Pudong skyline from the Bund (外灘)

Lobby of Peace Hotel (和平飯店), a historic landmark

Pudong at night, while boarding our Huangpu River cruise

The Bund from the cruise

The remaining section of the old Shanghai City wall.
Note that Shanghai was a fairly minor town prior to the modern era, and its defense system could’ve easily been scaled by a ninja warrior.


Xitang (西塘)

Xitang is one of several towns in China that may have been known by the nickname “Venice of the East”.  It’s actually a bit of an awkward portrayal, because dozens (maybe hundreds) of cities and towns in historic southern China (including Shanghai) were established on water ways.  Rivers, lakes, and canals connected place to place and served as avenues; people got around on boats of all sizes.  In a region larger than the entire Italy, Chinese people for over a thousand years lived a lifestyle that’s now commonly known as Venetian.

Anyhow, Xitang was one of the better preserved water towns, made famous in recent years by pop culture.  It was about an hour bus ride away from Shanghai.  We decided that it was worth a visit.  It happened to be a rainy day, which both made the trip a little miserable, and presented the classic Jiangnan (江南) scenery to us.

A bridge near the entrance to the scenic part of Xitang.

Absolutely gorgeous scenery with traditional-looking tea houses

The long covered alley in Xitang

We bought the kids a candy painting… mainly because we had wanted to see it in action

Boat, rain, river, houses

View from Yongning Bridge (永寧橋), the supposedly most breath taking spot in Xitang

Earlier this year, before we made any plans to visit this place, we had commissioned an artist on Etsy to draw Hong and I with this exact spot as the background.
Extremely happy with how this picture turned out, and the actual place as well.


Wuxi (無錫)

My parents and I went to Wuxi for a half-day trip, to visit my grandpa’s old neighborhood.  Wuxi was also a city full of canals, though most have been filled into roads for decades.  For lunch we visited this historic district by the Grand Canal, which was also very picturesque.

The historic canal district welcomes you with… Haagen Dazs and Starbucks.



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