Located around 18 kilometers from downtown Shanghai, Qibao ancient
town is a spiritual sanctuary, free from traffic jam, pollution,
noise which now plague most of the modern cities we live. Built in
the Five Dynasties Period around one thousand years ago, the town
witnessed great development in the Song Dynasty and flourished in
the Ming and Qing Dynasties.
Qibao in Chinese means seven treasures and the town was so named
for a legend go that there were seven treasures around the area,
which were a Gold Lotus Scripture written by an imperial concubine
of the 10th century, a Magic Tree, dating back to one thousand
years ago, a Big Bell Floated from Afar, a Buddha Flown over from
Afar, a Gold Cock, Jade Chopstick and a Jade Axe.
But according to history, only four of them-the Gold Lotus
Scripture, the Big Bell, Magic Tree, Golden Cock) actually once
existed while two of the four(the Scripture and the Bell) have
survived till today.
The old town occupies about two square kilometers, crossed by two
water lanes. Around the water lanes, stand a large number of well
preserved traditional houses, gardens, temples, shops and
restaurants which define the place.
The old street in the heart of the tiny town is the epitome of old
Shanghai. The street has been restored to its original look which
is consisted of two sections, southern and western lesser streets.
The southern part filled with traditional restaurants serving
various tasty snacks is a paradise for gourmets. Old shops selling
art crafts, antiques and calligraphy works occupy the western part.
In this part visitors will find the Qibao Pharmaceutical stores,
a-thousand-year-old shop, some fine tea houses, and Shadow Play
The old, time-worn stone roads and narrow lanes left by the Song
Dynasty while the temples, gardens, pavilions, houses has been well
preserved from Ming and Qing Dynasty, which features black- bricked
walls, elegantly decorated tiles.
Some places worth a special mention here include Cricket Hall, a
place to dream times gone by, Tianxiang Restaurant which serves
authentic local cuisine, Qibao Theater where you can enjoy many of
the distinctive Shanghai Operas and much more.
The small town is a good place to explore Shanghai's grand past.
When traveling there, watch out for the authentic flavors.