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Wangxian Bridge

Wangxian Bridge There is an ancient stone-arch bridge across Zhonghe River named Wangxian Bridge which has a beautiful and touching story in the folk community.

A long time ago, a kind-hearted and young shopkeeper operated a small hotel selling some food made from wheat, and his neighbor was an old couple. Unluckily this couple died before long, and remained a girl who later became this young man's wife. This young couple lived depending on each other and treated the customers in hospitality. Their business went well and they also led a happy life. One day, a lame and dirty elder wearing the rags and standing the agony from fester and smelliness came to their small hotel. The customers could not bear such uncomfortableness and left there continually, but they did not mind his dirtiness and smelliness at all. They treated him as other consumers in hospitality, whereas this old man went out without paying for dining and acknowledgement when he was full. The thing lasted like this for three days, they still served him like before until the last day when the elder held up the bowl and blew a mouth of air into it and said the noodles were not delicious, then he went out directly. This couple thought him was so poor that they did not want to embarrass him. When young man was about to pouring the leftover into the hogwash tank, his wife suddenly stopped him and said it was a pity to waste the left, and she wanted to eat them. After she ate them out, she felt very strange and whole body was filled with fragrance, and at this time a pure white lotus rose from the river nearby. She set foot on the lotus and flied up to the heaven.

In fact, this lame elder was Tie Guaili, one of the Eight Immortals in the legend. He heard that this youngster was very kind and wanted to check it right or not by himself. He wanted to aid him to be a celestial being, however because of this young man's impurity; this bowl of precious noodles was eaten by his wife who was He Xiangu, another member of the Eight Immortals in the legend. This young man felt quite regretful when he saw his wife become the celestial being, so from then on, he waited on the bridge for that lame elder's recurrence, and then the people call this bridge as Wangxianqiao. This is a story going around Hangzhou, and adding the romance and mystery to the history and culture of Hangzhou.

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