I’ve learned that the more I travel, the less scary it is and the more fun it becomes to explore places that are not the typical tourist destinations. Luckily, Denise feels the same way so traveling together can be quite adventurous and fun! Before heading to Shanghai, we spent a few nights in Jiashan County, near the ancient water town of Xitang. We took a local bus from Shanghai and arrived at a bus station not knowing where our hotel was and with no one around who spoke English. Somehow we got a taxi to take us to our hotel with a few stops yelling out the window asking people where the hotel was. I offered a phone to call the hotel but he preferred yelling out the window to strangers. Finally, he found someone who knew where it was and we made it to the hotel.
After settling in and relaxing for a day we decided to explore Xitang. We arrived on a normal looking street with our driver pointing down an alley saying something in Chinese which I’m guessing was “it’s over there”. A little confused we got out of the taxi and it started pouring. We didn’t bring our umbrellas but luckily there were stores selling them right there. After buying umbrellas and waiting for the rain to calm down, we headed down an alley and found the ancient town of Xitang. It’s like the Chinese version of Venice and it turns out it is very popular with Chinese tourists. There was very little in English and we saw one tourist who spoke English and he was from the UK. There are tons of small inns on the water along with restaurants and shops. It was a magical place and I would love to go back and stay in one of the inns!