"Short stories and travel reports from my life adventures around the globe".

Travel Report: Sixi Town – Taishun County, China.

Sixi Town Taishun County China.

November 2017. I’m a huge fan of the Robert James Waller novel The Bridges of Madison County, not to mention the brilliant movie adaptation starring Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep. Some years ago I was even lucky enough to spend a memorable day touring the actual bridges during my stay in Iowa, USA. So when I heard about a county in southeast China that was also home to a  number of ancient, covered wooden bridges, I naturally jumped at the chance to check them out. Taishun County is a remote, rural region of Zhejiang Province in southern China and my base for that trip was Sixi Town, a sleepy lakeside community with traditional architecture, crowing roosters and a dramatic backdrop of rolling mountains.

Local women Sixi Town Taishun County China.

Sixi Town, Taishun County.

November 2017. Everything moves slowly in Sixi Town, a refreshing change from the honking, traffic-infested chaos of Rui’an where I live and work as an English teacher. The main street has a modest collection of shops, where the owners seem more interested in sleeping than selling. These women were running an arts and crafts store, but didn’t seem too bothered about the lack of customers.

Visit Sixi Town Taishun County China.

Sixi Town, Taishun County.

November 2017. Sixi Town’s main street also has fruit and veg stores, traditional toy shops selling wooden catapults of all things and a few low-key restaurants. 

Brothers Sixi Town Taishun County China.

November 2017. These brothers run a general store on Sixi Town’s main street. They were incredibly friendly and even agreed to pose for this photo, so I picked up a packet of peanuts for their troubles. 

Sixi Town Park Taishun County China.

Sixi Town, Taishun County.

November 2017. Sixi Town’s small park is kept in shape by a team of dedicated locals. On that first day they were out in numbers cutting the grass, pulling up weeds, trimming trees and planting vegetables, while one old dude was patching up the bamboo fence that runs alongside the main path.

Taishun Teacake Sixi Town Taishun County China.

A Bite of Leaf Cafe – Sixi Town, Taishun County.

November 2017. Every morning, before heading off on our Taishun County adventures, Amy and I would grab breakfast at A Bite of Leaf Cafe just across from the park. It’s the only place in town where you can get a fresh cup of coffee, while they also sell Taishun Teacakes, a soft pastry with a sweet filling, usually red date. I love Taishun Teacakes and the cafe owners got so excited by my presence they asked to have their picture taken with me, along with one of their teacakes of course! Within minutes the photo had been shared on WeChat Moments, one of China’s biggest social media feeds.

Taishun Teacake Taishun County China.

A Taishun Teacake!

The Bridges of Madison County Taishun County China.

The Bridges of Madison County, translated into Chinese.

A Bite of Leaf Cafe Sixi Town Taishun County China.

A Bite of Leaf Cafe, Taishun County.

November 2017. It was also in A Bite Of Leaf that I told Amy about The Bridges of Madison County. She then in turn relayed the story to the owners, who began getting very excited. One of the women ran over to a bookshelf in the cafe, snatched a paperback and brought it over to our table. It was The Bridges of Madison County translated into Chinese! Amy literally started reading it there and then! 

Tai Shun Laocuo Guesthouse Sixi Town Taishun County China.

Tai Shun Laocuo Guesthouse, Sixi Town.

November 2017. Last but not least Sixi Town is home to some of Taishun County’s coolest guesthouses and hotels. I stayed at Tai Shun Laocuo Guesthouse, a traditional townhouse with classical wooden furniture and rooms set above an open courtyard and fish pond. They only speak Chinese here, so you’ll need to get a friend to call and book ahead. Its Chinese name is ???? and their telephone number is 0577 67641618. 

Check out my other articles from around Taishun County.

For more on the region, have a look at my travel reports from around Zhejiang Province.

Like these? Then why not leaf through my many other reports from all across China.

I’ve also written a short story series called Challenged in China.

I’ve been living, working and traveling all over the world since 2001, so why not check out my huge library of travel reports from over 30 countries.

Leighton Literature travel reports short stories travel blogger



  • globetrottingteen


    November 20, 2017 - 9:53 am Reply
    • leightonliterature

      Thanks a lot, these photos were just from the town I stayed in. I will be publishing ten more installments from Taishun over the next weeks, so keep your eyes peeled!

      November 20, 2017 - 9:57 am Reply
  • natty4t

    Just stunning! Excellent photos, you just get better and better. X

    November 20, 2017 - 9:58 am Reply
    • leightonliterature

      Thanks a lot – I haven’t looked forward so much to releasing a bunch of top 5’s as I have with this batch.

      November 20, 2017 - 10:02 am Reply
  • Truus van de Vorstenbosch

    We want to go to Sixi in oktober, but it is very difficult to book a hostel/hotel via internet .Can you give us the name ,adress and tel.number of your hoten in Sixi?
    thanks Truus and Wil The Netherlands.

    April 29, 2018 - 9:47 pm Reply
    • leightonliterature

      Hi Truus, thanks for stopping by Leighton Literature. Booking accommodation in Taishun is really tricky. The guesthouse I stayed at is in Sixi town about a seven minute walk from Beijian Bridge. It only has a Chinese name (????) which translates roughly as “number one old place”. Their telephone number is 0577 67641618. But they don’t speak English, so you’ll need some kind of translator to pass on all the details. I’m not sure it would be essential to reserve – it’s a big place with many rooms and as long as you don’t time your visit for the bridge festival there should be plenty of free rooms.

      April 30, 2018 - 12:57 am Reply
  • leightonliterature

    Actually, I just pasted the hotel name into Google and it brings up an Agoda page, so you might be able to book through them. Just change the language to English! Let me know how it works out.

    April 30, 2018 - 12:59 am Reply
  • Shirley Bradley

    Did you stay somewhere in Sixi? I am heading out there now.

    April 30, 2018 - 3:28 am Reply
    • leightonliterature

      Hello Shirley! Yes, actually the Chinese hotel name that I sent to Truus in the previous comment is a lovely traditional Chinese guesthouse in Sixi Town itself, just a short walk from Beijian Bridge.

      April 30, 2018 - 12:15 pm Reply

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