Tangqi Ancient Town Overflowing in Charm This Spring Festival

Tangqi Ancient Town, originally a fishing village, began developing into a canal town during the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127), flourishing in the Ming and Qing Dynasties as a trade and shipping hub for a never-ending flow of goods. Since then Tangqi has become widely-known as the head of the 'Top Ten Renowned *Jiangnan Towns'.

*Jiangnan is a geographical area referring to the land at the southern, lower reaches of the Yangtze River. Known for its favourable climate and fertile land Jiangnan is now home to many prosperous towns and rising talents.

Tangqi Ancient Town is rich in culture and history with its 700 year old Guangji Bridge (广济桥), a UNESCO Heritage site, topping the list of attractions. Another historical treasure to uncover is the 200-year-old Imperial Stele bestowed by Qianglong of the Qing Dynasty (1711-1799) as well as the ancient Guopu Well (郭璞古井). The town is not only bestowed with an abundance of heritage but also numerous traditional Chinese customs that the residents of Tangqi have been practicing for generations.

Due to urbanisation, not many ancient towns are able to display such customs, however, visiting Tangqi, only 20 km away from Hangzhou city centre and you can step into the past whilst enjoying a number of traditional folk customs that today’s Spring Festival has to offer.

The 2rd Tangqi Nianwei (Touch of New Year) Festival runs until Mar. 5 and presents visitors with a full picture of what traditional Chinese New Year celebrations look like. Upon entering the town you will be immediately captivated by the vibrant and festive scene where, covered entirely in red, are hanging lanterns, festival couplets and cured meat from every household roof. Folk performances, such as dancing on stilts and staged operas, also add warmth and charm to what is already a glowing town.

Tangqi is both visually and culinary speaking a tasteful town and offers a number of traditional New Year snacks on its menu, including New Year Cakes made in an old-style stove, round dumplings with flour prepared by a stone mill and Fen Pi (jelly sheets made from bean or sweet potato starch).

Tangqi is a truly charming ancient town that will whet your appetite in a number of cultural, historical and traditional ways.

How to get to there:
Water buses depart from Wulin Pier and cost RMB5 per person or you can take the free shuttle bus which departs from Huanglong Sports Center and Yuhang Subway Station.