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  Chinese Way>DoYouKnow

Paragons of pleasure

2013-10-09 11:03:04

(China Daily) By Zhang Zixuan


The first villages along the rivers were established during the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907). During the Song (960-1279) and Yuan (1279-1368) dynasties, the villages grew bigger and thus created the right conditions for the setting up of large markets. And since the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), Xitang has been an important manufacturing and business center.

In Xitang, there is hardly any space among houses because land has always been precious in this river-fed area. No wonder, Xitang boasts of some 120 winding alleys, the longest being more than 100 meters and the narrowest being less than 1 meter.

If you look up while navigating one of the narrow alleys in Xitang, you will see what has come to be known as a "one-inch sky".

Xitang residents are known for their traditional and quiet lifestyle and for the delicious fair they cook up in their kitchens, such as steamed pork wrapped in lotus leaf, duck wonton pot, spiced salt pumpkin and stinky tofu.

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