Archive for the ‘Shanghai Travel’ Category

How to Visit Qibao Ancient Town (Tips, Photos & Map)

Monday, January 24th, 2022
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Plan your Shanghai tour? If you want to feel and have a glimpse of a traditional China old town after seeing too much glamor of the metropolitan Shanghai, Qibao Ancient Town (七宝古镇), a tiny water town would be a nice alternative if you cannot make it to other water towns like Zhujiajiao Water Town, Zhouzhuang Water Town and Tongli Water Town.

ABC of Qibao Ancient Town

Qibao literally means ” Seven Treasures” named after the same name temple –  Qibao Temple in Qibao ancient town. The old town is mainly composed of three stone arch bridges, two canals and 4 major streets and several side lanes.

Qibao old town was originally formed in  the later Han Dynasty, developed from Song Dynasty  and prospered in Ming and Qing dynasties with a history over 1000 years. Today Qibao has become an interesting place for leisure, sightseeing and shopping, a good getaway from busy Shanghai.

A two-hour’s stroll is basically needed for a glimpse of the quaint lanes and streets in Qibao. If you are a photography lover, you will find its nook and cranny offers plentiful photo opportunities; if you want to eat snacks and do some shopping, Qibao is your right choice with numerous food stalls and souvenir stands.

How to get to Qibao Ancient Town

Qibao Ancient Town is a tiny water town which is also the closest ancient town in the southwest of Shanghai. It is located south of Qingnian Road in Min-Hang District, about 20 km southwest of the Bund in Shanghai.

About 20km southwest of the Bund in Shanghai by road ( Google)

Qibao Water Town is a “city within the city of Shanghai”.  You just take Shanghai subway line 9 and get off at the station of Qibao (七宝)and use the exit 2. For s short stroll,  you will get to your Qibao old town.

Qibao Travel  Tips:

1) Get there early to avoid hordes of domestic tourists

2) Travel on weekdays and avoid weekends.

3) Walking around Qibao Ancient Town is free.  A combined ticket (RMB30) allows you to visit 8 indoor sites in Qibao Ancient Town. Or you may buy any one of the sites at the entrance fee of RMB 5.

Virtual Tour of Qibao Ancient Town

Now follow me to have a glimpse of the small water town in the southwest of Shanghai.

When you arrive at Qibao Subway Station of Subway Line 9 ( about 40-minute subway drive from downtown),  you will  see a yellow signboard pointing the Exit 2 for Qibao Ancient Town (七宝古镇).

the Exit 2 for the Qibao Ancient Town.
the Exit 2 for the Qibao Ancient Town.

Once you are out from Qibao Subway Station of Line 9, you just turn right to the east direction and walk on the sidewals for about 150 meters, then you walk on your right side (in the south direction) at the first crossroad and walk south along Minzhu Road.

Overhead, again you will see a signboard indicating the direction of Qibao Ancient Town ( Qibao Old Street ). For wandering for about 400 meters, you come across a  T-junction formed by Minzhu Road (south – north ) and Qingnian Road (east-west). At the T-junction, you turn left side  and walk along Qingnian Road to the east direction.

Overhead, again you will a signboard indicating the direction of Qibao Ancient Town ( Qibao Old Street ).
Overhead, again you will a signboard indicating the direction of Qibao Ancient Town ( Qibao Old Street ).

So the whole Qibao old town is located to the south of the Subway Line 9. Walking along Qingnian Road,  soon you will see  the entrance – a decorated archway with the bell tower behind it.

A decorated archway inscribed with a Chinese name- Qibao Old Street  (七宝古街).

Behind the decorated archway is the Bell Tower

Behind the decorated archway is the Bell Tower
Behind the decorated archway is the Bell Tower

Then you turn right and begin your Qibao exploration by walking south along one of  the most popular streets – North Street. The narrow north street is lined with numerous souvenirs stores, snack stands and local flavor restaurants.

Enter the North Street (北大街), you start your Qibao Old Town exploration.

Strolling the markets, wandering the old streets, and browsing  the snack stands are  your highlights on your Qibao experience.

The old buildings are two-storey structures with traditional features of Chinese architecture.

 two-storey structures with traditional features of Chinese architechture.
two-storey structures with traditional features of Chinese architecture.

The North Street is full of eateries, various kinds of snacks. If you like local street food,  you won’t miss sampling a few of them.

The unique making of quail eggs.

The unique making of quail eggs.
The unique making of quail eggs.

Sample its famous red-braised pork

Sample its famous red-braised pork
Sample its famous red-braised pork

There are many offerings on the North Street. If you are interested in an ancient cotton textile mill in Qibao, you may visit the Cotton Textile Museum located on the No.43 of North Street (entrance fee: RMB 5)

The entrance for Cotton Textile Mueum

Cotton Textile Musuem
Cotton Textile Musuem

If you are interested in shadow play,  you may visit the shadowgraph museum which is located on Beixi Street ( North West Street)

 the shadowgraph museum
the shadowgraph museum

You will be carried by the crowds of people on the main street and so you have to  rub shoulders with domestic tourist on the main street.

to rub shoulders with domestic tourist on the main street
to rub shoulders with domestic tourist on the main street

But once you are off the main street, you will have more personal space on your own. So duck into the side lanes for fresh air and leisure.

The Qibao old town is mainly divided by Puhuitang Rivder ( the canal ) into two parts – North Part ( North Street ) and South Part ( South Street ) . A charming stone bridge spans the canal, posting an impressive picture of traditional Chinese painting.

The Puhui Bridge spans the canal, giving you a feeling of a water town.

Standing on the Puhui Bridge, you do have a feeling of the small water town in the Yangtze River Delta.

Standing on the Puhui Bridge, you do have a feeling of the small water town in the Yangtze River Delta.
Standing on the Puhui Bridge, you do have a feeling of the small water town in the Yangtze River Delta.

Crossing the Puhui Bridge, you enter the South Street ( 南大街). More or less the same as the North Street,  the South Street is also packed with souvenir shops and food stalls.

The South Street offer many local flavor eateries.

The South Street offer many local flavor eateries.
The South Street offer many local flavor eateries.
Peking Opera face masks
Peking Opera face masks
Duck in a nearby community block, you will have a surprisng experience - clothes hanging outside
Duck in a nearby community block, you will have a surprising experience – clothes hanging outside

Back to the city center using the same subway line 9.

Hassle-free Shanghai Guided Tours

If you don’t want to do a self-guided tour and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for guided tours to Shanghai:

Shanghai Tour
Shanghai Day Tour
Shanghai Multi-Day Tour
Shanghai Evening Tour
Shanghai Cruise Port ( Transfer& Excursions )
Shanghai Beijing Tour
Shanghai Xian Tour
Shanghai Car Rental with Driver

Further Readings


Top 10 Attractions in Shanghai
Shanghai’s Top 10 Iconic Landmarks
Top 10 Markets in Shanghai
Top 10 Shopping Malls in Shanghai
Top 10 Things to Do at night in Shanghai
Best Places for Autumn Leaves in Shanghai
Top 10 Things to Do in Winter in Shanghai
Top 10 Souvenirs in Shanghai
Top 10 Photo Spots in Shanghai
10 Non-Touristy Things to Do in Shanghai
Top Things to Do for Kids in Shanghai
Top family-friendly spots to visit in Shanghai
Top 10 Shanghai Museums
Doing things the local way in Shanghai
Shanghai Cherry Blossom Festival

How to Plan a Trip to Shanghai
Best time to visit Shanghai
How to Visit Shanghai on a Budget
Where to stay in Shanghai
Visit Shanghai in December
How to Visit Shanghai in November
Visit Shanghai in October
How to Visit Shanghai in March
Visit Shanghai in February
Shanghai in January Travel Guide
Shanghai Layout, the city layout of Shanghai

Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station
Public Transportation at Shanghai Pudong International Airport
Shanghai Hongqiao Airport
Huangpu River Cruis e Ticket Booking (Tickets, Photos and Map)
Shanghai Hop On Hop Off
Ferry from the Bund to Pudong
The highest al fresco dining venue in China
Shopping in Pudong Shanghai
Top 10 Shanghai Classic Vegetarian Restaurants
Beijing Shanghai high speed rail
Ticket Booking for Beijing Shanghai High Speed Rail
Top 10 Shanghai Budget Hotels
Top 10 Shanghai Luxury Hotels
Top 10 Shanghai Boutique Hotels

Tips for Visiting Nanjing Road in Shanghai
The Neon-Colored Nanjing Road
Night walk along Nanjing Road in Shanghai
How to Visit the Bund in Shanghai (Tips, Photos & Map)
The Bund at Night pictures
Foggy Pudong Skyline at Sunrise, Shanghai
The Bund and Small Pool of Rainwater
Early Morning Kite Flyers on the Bund in Shanghai
Historic Buildings on the Bund in Shanghai (the 22 heritage buildings)
Evening View of the Bund and Pudong Skyline Shanghai
How to Visit Yuyuan Garden and Bazaar
The Old World Charm in Shanghai (Tips, Photos & Map)
How to Visit Lujiazui in Pudong
How to Visit Zhujiajiao Water Town
How to Visit Qibao Ancient Town
How to Visit Tianzifang
How to Visit Xintiandi
How to Visit Shanghai World Financial Center
How to Visit Jin Mao Tower in Shanghai
How to Visit Shanghai Tower
Tips for Visiting People’s Square, Shanghai
How to Visit Shanghai Auto Museum
Feeling Chinese New Year’s Atmosphere in Shanghai

How to Visit Wuzhen Water Town from Hangzhou and Shanghai
Huangpu River in Shanghai VS River Thames in London
Some similarities and differences between Paris and Shanghai

Any questions, just drop a line.

Beijing Shanghai high speed rail

Monday, January 24th, 2022
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Yesterday afternoon, nearly off work time around 6:00pm, I decided to go to Shanghai for urgent family matters the next day. The normal reaction was to book a flight from Beijing to Shanghai. But the high speed rail Beijing Shanghai changed my mind set. I would like to try the newly opened Beijing Shanghai High Speed Train.

I logged on to www.12306.cn for online ticket booking. After registration, then I got an email to reconfirm the registration, and began to book the train ticket I preferred. Everything went smoothly except the way of payment. I have credit cards and an paypal account, but all didn’t work. It requests me to have an online account at a bank, Bank of China etc. I was confused.

I had to give up online booking. At present, www.12306.cn is not very convenient for locals, even more difficult for foreigners. I had to go to the nearest train station – Beijing Railway Station. Though the high speed trains don’t start from Beijing Railway Station, it does have two windows selling high speed train tickets.

It was a long queue, taking me about 40 minutes to get a ticket, and I chose a second class seat ticket for G11 Beijing Shanghai starting the next day 8:00am, July 05, 2011 – that’s today.

Around 7:00am this morning, I take a taxi from my residental area to Beijing South Railway Station. The traffic is slim and I get to Departure Hall of Beijing South Railway Station shortly.

Entering the east entrance and getting through the security check, I raise my head and look at the huge timetable board and get to know my check-in gate is Gate 15.

My check-in gate is Gate 15

My check-in gate is Gate 15  

Passengers are insertng their tickets into the slots and go down to the platform

Passengers are insertng their tickets into the slots and go down to the platform

Passengers are insertng their tickets into the slots and go down to the platform  

Following the queue, I move on to the entrance. Inserting my computerized ticket into the slot, the door opened and I go down steps to the platform 15.

I go down steps to the platform 15.

I go down steps to the platform 15.  

The Coach 11 is my temporary home. 80 paasengers in one second class coach with 16 rows of 5 seats abreast ( 2 + 3 ). I’m lucky to have a 2 set window seat

The Coach 11 is my temporary home

The Coach 11 is my temporary home

Overhead Luggage rack

Overhead Luggage rack

Overhead Luggage rack

A plug under the seats for powering laptops

A plug under the seats for powering laptops

A plug under the seats for powering laptops


Internet on Beijing Shanghai high speed trains is available, but its signal is too weak to be able to connect any laptops online. I have to give up and you are supposed to use your own wireless wan card.

Its signal is too weak to connect any laptops online

Its signal is too weak to connect any laptops online Lavatory at the end of each coach

Lavatory at the end of each coach

Lavatory at the end of each coach  

Luggage area both at the end and in the front of each coach

Luggage area both at the end and in the front of each coach

Luggage area both at the end and in the front of each coach  

Trolley food cart

Trolley food cart

Trolley food cart

Box meals at the price RMB37 per set

Box meals at the price RMB37 per set

Box meals at the price RMB37 per set

Hot drinking water

Hot drinking water

ot drinking water  

G11 Beijing Shanghai high speed train has three stops: Jinnan West 9:35am, Tengzhou 10:15am and 11:49am  Nanjing South and arriving at Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station at 12:55.

Further Readings


Top 10 Places to Visit in China
How to Pack for your China Trip
Plugs and Sockets in China
China Tour Packages
Learning Useful Chinese Phrases for Travellers 
How to Recognise Chinese Currency

Top 10 Travel Experiences in China
10 Most Scenic Drives in China
Top 10 Most Beautiful Mountains in China
Top 10 Most Beautiful Lakes in China
Top 10 Most Beautiful Grasslands in China
Top 10 Most Beautiful Rivers in China
Top 10 most beautiful waterfalls in China
Top 10 Places to See Autumn Leaves in China
Top 10 Most Beautiful Villages in China
Top 10 Most Beautiful old towns in China
Top 10 Most Beautiful Museums in China
Top 10 China Tourist Scams
Top 10 Souvenirs in China

How to Visit Xintiandi (Tips, Photos & Map)

Saturday, January 22nd, 2022
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Plan your Shanghai tour? Shanghai Xintiandi (上海新天地) is a place you shouldn’t miss. “Xintiandi” literally means “New Heaven and Earth” which refers to an international standard mall based on the former cluster of Shikumen buildings in the center of Shanghai.

The avant garde in Shanghai

The Shikumen buildings were built in 1860s with a blend of Chinese and western style architectures. The western style of brick door frames, roofs and walls go harmoniously with the inside structures of Chinese traditional houses in the Yangtze Delta Area.

The shikumen buildings in Xitiandi area have been turned from their residential function to a huge mall of dotted and connected shikumen buildings, a shopping center, a dining center, a leisure center and a fanshion center, hence a showcase of the avant garde in Shanghai. If you are not interested in shoping, drinking or dining, a glimpse of the shikumen buidlings is worth your 1-2 hour stroll.

Xintiandi is similar to Tianzifang in terms of Shikumen buildings and leisure activities. But Xintiandi is totally commercialized without any local residents living in these shikumen buildings while in Tianzifang, people still live on the floor over the restaurants and shops housed in Shikumen buildings.

If you are not pressed for time, you are advised to visit both Xintiandi and Tianzifang for a perfect picture of Shanghai in the past and present.

How to get to Xintiandi

Shanghai Xintiandi occupies an area of about 30,000 square meters. It is mainly composed of two areas – Xintiandi Beili ( North ) and Xintiandi Nanli ( South ), separated by the east-west Yexing Road (业兴路) .

The whole Xintiandi area is located between Taicang Road 太仓路(north) and Zizhong Road 自忠路(south)with Yexing Road in between; between South Huangpo Road 黄陂南路(east) and Madang Road 马当路(west).

A 1.6km walk from Tianzifang to Xintiandi area ( Google)

Taking subway is the most convenient transport. Take subway Line 1 and get off at the station of Huangpo South Road  (黄陂南路) and exit from the Exit 2 and walk south; take subway line 10 and get off at the station of Xintiandi and using the exit 1 and walk to the north.

If you reach Xintiandi by subway line 1, you will first visit Xintiandi Beili ( Xintiandi’s north part ) and then  continue to walk south to see Xintiandi Nanli(Xintiandi’s southern part); if take subway line 10, you may eixt from the Exit 1 and continue to visit the Xintiandi Nanli (southern part) and then walk north to visit Xintiandi Beili ( northern part).

Virtual Tour of Xintiandi

Follow us to have a glimpse of Shanghai Xintiandi. The east-west Xingye (兴业路)divides Xintiandi into two parts – North Part and South Part.

Taicang Road is the northern tip of Xintiandi Area

Taicang Road is the northern tip of Xintiandi Area
The Starbucks Coffee housed in a former Shikumen building
Bars and Restaurants lit up at night
Two-three story Shikumen buildings
Restaurants and bars at Xintiandi
The Shikumen building turned restaurant lit up
The Site of the 1st National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party
Shikumen buildings decorated fashionably
The east-west Xingye (兴业路)divides Xintiandi into two parts – North Part and South Part.
The typical Shikumen buildings on Xingye Road
The northern Part of Xintiandi teems with modern bars and shopping malls.
The modern shopping center
The exterior of Xintiandi Style
Inside the shopping mall of Xintiandi Style
Have a drink
Enjoy!

Hassle-free Shanghai Guided Tours

If you don’t want to do a self-guided tour and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for guided tours to Shanghai:

Shanghai Tour
Shanghai Day Tour
Shanghai Multi-Day Tour
Shanghai Evening Tour
Shanghai Cruise Port ( Transfer& Excursions )
Shanghai Beijing Tour
Shanghai Xian Tour
Shanghai Car Rental with Driver

Further Readings


Top 10 Attractions in Shanghai
Shanghai’s Top 10 Iconic Landmarks
Top 10 Markets in Shanghai
Top 10 Shopping Malls in Shanghai
Top 10 Things to Do at night in Shanghai
Best Places for Autumn Leaves in Shanghai
Top 10 Things to Do in Winter in Shanghai
Top 10 Souvenirs in Shanghai
Top 10 Photo Spots in Shanghai
10 Non-Touristy Things to Do in Shanghai
Top Things to Do for Kids in Shanghai
Top family-friendly spots to visit in Shanghai
Top 10 Shanghai Museums
Doing things the local way in Shanghai
Shanghai Cherry Blossom Festival

How to Plan a Trip to Shanghai
Best time to visit Shanghai
How to Visit Shanghai on a Budget
Where to stay in Shanghai
Visit Shanghai in December
How to Visit Shanghai in November
Visit Shanghai in October
How to Visit Shanghai in March
Visit Shanghai in February
Shanghai in January Travel Guide
Shanghai Layout, the city layout of Shanghai

Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station
Public Transportation at Shanghai Pudong International Airport
Shanghai Hongqiao Airport
Huangpu River Cruis e Ticket Booking (Tickets, Photos and Map)
Shanghai Hop On Hop Off
Ferry from the Bund to Pudong
The highest al fresco dining venue in China
Shopping in Pudong Shanghai
Top 10 Shanghai Classic Vegetarian Restaurants
Beijing Shanghai high speed rail
Ticket Booking for Beijing Shanghai High Speed Rail
Top 10 Shanghai Budget Hotels
Top 10 Shanghai Luxury Hotels
Top 10 Shanghai Boutique Hotels

Tips for Visiting Nanjing Road in Shanghai
The Neon-Colored Nanjing Road
Night walk along Nanjing Road in Shanghai
How to Visit the Bund in Shanghai (Tips, Photos & Map)
The Bund at Night pictures
Foggy Pudong Skyline at Sunrise, Shanghai
The Bund and Small Pool of Rainwater
Early Morning Kite Flyers on the Bund in Shanghai
Historic Buildings on the Bund in Shanghai (the 22 heritage buildings)
Evening View of the Bund and Pudong Skyline Shanghai
How to Visit Yuyuan Garden and Bazaar
The Old World Charm in Shanghai (Tips, Photos & Map)
How to Visit Lujiazui in Pudong
How to Visit Zhujiajiao Water Town
How to Visit Qibao Ancient Town
How to Visit Tianzifang
How to Visit Xintiandi
How to Visit Shanghai World Financial Center
How to Visit Jin Mao Tower in Shanghai
How to Visit Shanghai Tower
Tips for Visiting People’s Square, Shanghai
How to Visit Shanghai Auto Museum
Feeling Chinese New Year’s Atmosphere in Shanghai

How to Visit Wuzhen Water Town from Hangzhou and Shanghai
Huangpu River in Shanghai VS River Thames in London
Some similarities and differences between Paris and Shanghai

Any questions, just drop a line.