I was very excited about visiting this little water town based on the things I had read online. However I was shocked to find that it is absolutely crowded with tourists and wall to wall shops. We meant to get there early but it took...More
You can't fly here, only go by train/bus. Here are the details: Briefly: 1. Catch metro to Honqiao (pronounced Hungchow) Road Railway Station, then 2. catch the bullet train to Jiashan South Railway Station (only 20mins... More
You can't fly here, only go by train/bus. Here are the details: Briefly: 1. Catch metro to Honqiao (pronounced Hungchow) Road Railway Station, then 2. catch the bullet train to Jiashan South Railway Station (only 20mins), 3. then you jump on a local express bus which is well signposted in English and goes to Xitang direct (35mins). Xitang is right out in the countryside of Zhejiang province. Full precise details are - Metro: Depart your hotel in Shanghai for ‘Hongqiao (HungChow) Road Railway station’. It’s at the domestic airport side of the city. Firstly, catch purple line 2 to ‘Honqiao Road’, direction Tangqiao. Then, transfer to metro line 10 for 'Hongqiao Road Railway Station'. Don’t be confused, you will see on the metro map the two different stations with similar names. Bullet train: Exit ‘Hongqiao (HungChow) Road Railway Station’ metro station & head for exit 'B'. Follow the ‘bullet train’ signs to the ticket desk, this is basically ahead of you as you exit the ticket barriers. Bullet train ticket desks on this floor are open 0600-2300. Buy your ticket from this floor (the same floor as the metro exit) because the queue upstairs on the bullet train floor (floor 2F) was horrendously over crowded. There is one English speaking desk here too on the metro station exit level, but make sure you get basic instructions in Chinese from your concierge before you go. I went to a regular Chinese speaking desk with my instructions & it was much faster. Be aware: your concierge may tell you train tickets are sold out. It’s because they want to charge you an exorbitant fee for a private tour. Trains depart at least every 10-20mins in peak hour and every 30-45mins off peak. It is a regular daily service. There is no risk on tickets being sold out for this destination, you will definitely get a ticket on the day from the ticket desk yourself. Purchasing tickets/times: From Honqgqiao Road Railway Station I caught the 0837 bullet train which arrived into Jiashan South Railway Station ('JiaShanNan') at 0901. Like everything in China, once you get there Hongqiao Railway Station is huge! It's got endless bullet train platforms & looks like an airport (& is connected to the airport!) With this tight connection - going from the ticket desk on the metro level to your departure gate, and not knowing where to go, hurry to get up to floor 2F (follow the signs), clear security, then look at the departures board (in English and Chinese) to get to your gate. If you are early there are many cafes selling coffee and snacks plus fast food options once you are up in there too. Ticket price: Hongqiao (ShangHaiHongQiao) to Jiashan (JiaShanNan) only RMB57 return. Arriving Jiashan bullet train station: On exiting this bullet train station look to your right, go straight past the taxi stand to the big bus stop. Catch bus #222. It's direct to the old town Xi Tang & only costs RMB2 one way. It takes 35mins, it doesn't stop - it's direct. No need for a taxi. The bus is branded with Xi Tang and pictures all over it so you definitely won't miss it when it pulls up. They run frequently back & forward, every half hour, it's basically a mini bus shuttle service. Arriving at Xi Tang: You'll know when you arrive because it's the first bus stop and you'll have gone through the big old Chinese entry gates into the area. This bus leaves from the same spot (in the car park) to take you back to JiashanNan bullet train station to get you back to Shanghai. It costs RMB2 each way. Do not tip the driver. It's not done here. Entry into the old village is RMB100. You pay at the ticket desk on arrival. It includes all the 11 galleries inside the old town area, museums, exhibitions, a temple & a free pot of tea at an original tea house inside the town. Such good value! Once inside the old town there are many signs with directions, it's all on foot (pedestrian only) & really clear.. to get right inside the town from the ticket desk simply follow the signs to ‘scenic area’. It's a fair walk, cobblestoned in parts so wear comfortable walking shoes. Departing Xi Tang: To get out of the town & back to Jiashan station to finally reach Shanghai follow the signs to 'parking lot 1'. Take the same #200 bus back from just inside the entry gates. RMB2 one way. Don't be overwhelmed by these directions, it's pretty clear once you're on your way.