How to Visit Qibao Ancient Town

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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 glinz 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.

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 15km southwest of Shanghai. 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 old town?
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.

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 sideway 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 incribed 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 architechture.

 two-storey structures with traditional features of Chinese architechture.

two-storey structures with traditional features of Chinese architechture.

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 Musuem located on the No.43 of North Street (entrance fee: RMB 5)

The entrance for Cotton Textile Musuem

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 souvenior 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 surprisng experience – clothes hanging outside

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

Tip:  Hassle-free Shanghai Guided Tours
If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself bus route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for guided tours to Shanghai:

Shanghai Highlight Day Tour from US$ 65
Afternoon Ambling & Evening Brilliant Cruise Day Tour from US$ 55
Historic Shanghai and Ancient Water Town Day Tour from US$ 59
Shanghai 2 Day Tour Package from US$ 145
Shanghai 3 Day Tour Pacakge from US$ 199

Further Readings


Top 10 Attraction in Shanghai
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

Any questions, just drop a line.

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2 Responses to “How to Visit Qibao Ancient Town”

  1. Catherine says:

    Thank you for this wonderful information. Your discription of the route to the village is very comprehensive and easy to understand, we will be arriving in shanghai in February 2017
    And will look forward to using your information
    Regards
    Catherine kinsella

  2. Daniel says:

    Hi Catherine,

    Thanks for your feedback! If you have any update after using the information,please feel free to leave a message. We are eager to have the lastest information for new coming visitors. Thanks!

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