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.
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).
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.
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
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.
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.
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
If you are interested in shadow play, you may visit the shadowgraph museum which is located on Beixi Street ( North West Street)
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.
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.
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.
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:
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
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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
Any questions, just drop a line.