Qibao Ancient Town, about 15km south of Shanghai city, is one of the oldest and most famous towns in Shanghai. The town was built in the Five Dynasties Period about 1,000 years ago. The town occupies about 2km , and is 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 very character of the place.
Qibao means seven treasures in Chinese. The town is named Qibao because, according to legend, seven treasures were housed in the town. History, however, states that only four treasures, the Gold Lotus Scripture written by an imperial concubine of the 10th century, the Big Bell, the Magic Tree dating back 1,000 years and the Golden Cock ever actually existed- and only two- the Scripture and the Bell-survive today.
In the center of the town is the old street, comprised of two sections, the southern and western lesser streets. The southern part is filled with traditional restaurants serving a variety of tasty snacks. The western streets are occupied by old shops selling arts and crafts, antiques and calligraphy works. In this part you will also see the Qibao Pharmaceutical stores dating back around 1,000 years, some fine tea houses and Shadow Play Opera theaters.
Other places of interest here include Cricket Hall, Tianxiang Restaurant, Qibao Theater, Qibao temple and pagoda at the east of the town, Qibao distillery at the center of the city, Micro carving Hall and Cotton Weaving Hall.