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Where is Qibao Ancient Town?

by anonymous

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Life   in?shanghai?can sometimes feel a bit like chaos – traffic noises,   flashing neon, skyscrapers jutting into the air – so it’s good to know   about places close by where you can escape the commotion of the city.   One such place is Qibao Ancient Town, about 18 kilometers from downtown   Shanghai which is the must-see destination for China vacation deals. Wandering the streets, it’s easy to forget that one of the   world’s biggest, noisiest cities lies just a short distance away.


Qibao   is steeped in history. The town was built about a thousand years ago   during the Five Dynasties Period. It developed during the Song Dynasty   and flourished during the Ming and Qing eras. In Chinese, ‘qibao’ means   ‘seven treasures’, referring to and old story which originated in the   area. Legend has it that there were seven precious things there – a gold   lotus scripture written by a 10th?century   imperial concubine, a magic tree, a big bell, a golden cock, a Buddha, a   jade chopstick and a jade axe. Only the lotus scripture and the bell   have survived to this day. It is also the scenic place for China tourism.


Today   the old town is about two square kilometers in size, and is intersected   by two water lanes. Around these canals are many well-preserved houses,   traditional gardens, temples, shops and restaurants which contribute to   Qibao’s charm.


A   must-see is the old street in the heart of town – old Shanghai in a   nutshell. It has been restored to its original look, consisting of   southerly and westerly sections. The southern part is jam-packed with   old and new restaurants serving all sorts of tasty snacks – a miniature   paradise for gourmets. The western end of the street is home to old   shops selling arts, crafts, antiques and calligraphy, as well as the   Qibao pharmaceutical store, a thousand-year-old shop, some quaint tea   houses and shadow puppet theaters.


The   strata of Qibao’s history can be seen in the various sections of the   town. The time-worn stone roads and narrow lanes are pure Song Dynasty (more about dynasty via China guide),   while the temples, gardens, pavilions and houses hark back to the Ming   and Qing Dynasties with their black-bricked walls and   elegantly-decorated tiles.


Some other places worth seeing are the Cricket Hall, Tian?Xian?g Restaurant with its authentic local cuisine, and the Qibao Theater where you can sample some distinctive Shanghainese opera.?


So   if you need a break from Shanghai’s fast pace, head to Qibao and see   for yourself why it is a treasure both by name and by nature. When you travel to Shanghai, you should consider it for your popular China tours.


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