Qibao Watertown in Shanghai

Qi Bao ancient water town in Songjiang District, Shanghai

Qi Bao ancient water town

Last winter my friends and I visited the water town of Qi Bao(七宝) on the edge of Shanghai. It is a very old town with a history spanning over 1000 years (It is the only part of Shanghai with a history spanning this long). My Swedish friend bought a tour book before he came to Shanghai and Qi Bao is one of the scenic spot recommended in the book. Actually, I have never heard of this town before, hahaha, feel shamed… Anyway, after a discussion, we decided to go to Qi Bao together.

medicine vending machine in Shanghai, China

medicine vending machine

We met each other in Zhongshan Park and then took Subway Line 3 to Yishan Road. In Yishan Road station, my friends were attracted by an automatic medicine vending machine. They were very interested in this machine. My German friend got a cough, so he bought a box of Golden Throat Lozenge from the vendor. My American friend also wanted to take a photo with the machine as well, so funny. We walked for 5 minutes in order to find Subway line 9, line 3 and line 9 is not connected in the same station. Then we took line 9 and got off at the stop of Qi Bao. The stop is under a shopping mall. We had lunch there in the first floor, the food was not bad, but the annoying thing is you need to “rent” a card and put money in for buying the food, and then return the card and got back the rest of the money.

Crowded people in Qibao ancient town, Shanghai, China

Crowded people in the commercial lane

Qi Bao town was first constructed in Northern Song Dynasty (960-1126) and prospered as a business center during the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties. The waterways or canals are made for commercial purpose and acted as a connection with other major water-towns and villages. The name Qibao can be translated as “seven treasures” which is said in reference to the folklore about seven treasures: iron Buddha, a bronze bell, a jade axe, a pair of jade chopsticks, a lotus sutra written in gold, a thousand year old catalpa tree and a gold cockerel.

Qi Bao is similar to Wuzhen and Zhouzhuang in its display of historical temples, shops,

Street vendor in Qibao ancient town, Shanghai, China

Street vendor

tea houses, and restaurants. For my friends, it was interesting to see something distinctively “Chinese”, but like many other water towns, it is really crowded. We tried some snacks and took a boat trip. It was fun. As Shanghai is a relatively new city, so it is hard to see old style buildings and temples very often. The couple of hours in Qi Bao were like we were back in “old” China again!

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3 Responses to Qibao Watertown in Shanghai

  1. richard cloutier says:

    Yes, the core of china where the simple and ornate meet to warm us in the charms of ehnic creations of food and objects de art, as well as the ways peolpe coped with daily life before growth of what we call urban sprawl, the growth of big city into the suburbs or hoe town communities. well done photos, i have similar lamps on display in our apartment. I found it a relaxing experience to be in lhasa with the crowds and so it would be as so in with your kindly people as well.
    I should remember this place well and plan a visit in my next trip to china.
    love to all.

  2. Milly says:

    Big help, big help. And supelrtaive news of course.

  3. Brenley says:

    So true. Honesty and everything reocgnzeid.

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