I'm writing this review to help foreigners who do not read or speak Chinese thinking about visiting Xitang. My visit was amazing and well worth the trouble (and in hindsight, it was no trouble at all). I do not read or speak Chinese and did not know what to expect. I also did not have WiFi or a mobile phone either. We took a bus from the Shanghai Long Distance bus station (frequent and easy) to Xitang. I informed Linda when I was expected to arrive. She arranged for her mother to pick me up at the bus station with a sign with my name on it. They were super helpful and gracious. Though I'm sure we could have manage to figure it out on our own as Xitang is not a very big place. But having them offer their assistance gave us peace of mind. Everything was smooth and easy.
Xitang is a very organize tourist town and use to catering to tourists. Linda's place was more of a boutique hotel than a house. Three rooms are available in this newly renovated ancient house. The rooms are immaculately clean as are the sheets. Loved it! In terms of price, I don't know how it compares to other rooms available in Xitang, but I'm guessing is not the cheapest nor the most expensive. It seemed to be in the middle and in USD, seems cheap and good value to me. I would absolutely recommend Linda's place because her parents (who were there to host us) were fantastic and super helpful and friendly. They are honest and genuinely cared for our well being. Her parents also got us entrance tickets into the old part of Xitang (which I didn't realize we needed) for half price!
TIP: Get and use the tickets after 2pm and you'll be able to use the next day also.
The house itself was on the canal and literally 1 minute walk to the entrance gate into the touristy part of Xitang. As mentioned above, it is an old house that's newly renovated but still retained it's old charm and character. Again, VERY clean. My only word of caution is that the bathroom and shower in the room are very cramped. You'll likely be sitting down to shower. It wasn't an issue for us as this was very minor considering the amazing charm and architectural beauty all around us.
When we checked out, Linda's parents also offered to drive us to the bus station. We didn't ask or expected it and could have made it there on our own. But it was great of them to do so.
If you're thinking of visiting Xitang, do yourself a favor and book at least one night here. You won't regret it!