Friday 30 January 2015


Shanghai is a beautiful urban metropolis and there are a lot of things to see and experience in Shanghai .I went to Shanghai on a business trip and after 2 weeks of exploring the city I wanted to head out to the country side .Qibao was recommended to me by a few colleagues as it was very easy to get to by subway and was close to downtown Shanghai.

Qibao Water Town Shanghai
Ancient Stone Bridges of Qibao
Qibao displays its history in its water canals, old buildings and beautiful stone bridges. You can walk along the old streets, do a little shopping and try out the amazing local cuisine. It was disappointing to see that most of the old buildings have been renovated over the years ,only a few tea shops by the canal and restaurants at the entrance to Qibao still preserve their old Chinese architecture.
Canal in Qibao Water Town Shanghai
The big canal that runs through the centre of the town 
I chose to visit Qiabo as it is the closest water town to Shanghai and it is easily accessible by the subway (direction are given below). Most of the old buildings have been restored and only a few old buildings still preserve the traditional architecture. The water town of Qibao was built during the Five Dynasty Period around thousand years ago. Qibao in Chinese means seven treasures, it is believed that seven treasures are buried around the town. The town is crossed by two big canals and along the water lanes stand a large number of well preserved traditional houses, restaurants and shops. 

It would take you about 3 hours to explore the entire town , have a traditional meal and take a boat ride along the canal. The best time to go would be around 4 in the evening as once the sun sets the old buildings long the canal are lit up and  its beautiful !

Qibao Water Town at night

Street Food

  •  Qibao is known for its speciality cuisine, hong shao rou (“red braised pork”), cooked using a combination of ginger, garlic, aromatic spices, chilli peppers, sugar, light and dark soy and sometimes rice wine.
  • Another speciality is Beggars chicken, whole chicken wrapped in mud shell then baked .Just crack open and enjoy the deliciously slow cooked chicken.
  • Soupy dumplings , the dumplings are filled with crab, chicken or pork and also frozen stock .When the dumplings are steamed in bamboo steamers the stock melts and its a burst of flavour biting into these juicy dumplings
  • Banana rice cooked in bamboo tubes is yummy

Street food in Qibao
Pork Trotters and Frog Legs
Soupy Crab Dumplings

Things To Do

  • Have tea from the tea houses by the canal
  • Visit the miniature engravings museum
  • Stroll around the Qibao garden temple and pagoda. Entrance to the pagoda is 5 yuan
  • Take a boat ride around the canal
  • Eat at Tianxiang Restaurant which serves authentic local cuisine
Small Pagoda at the entrance to Qibao
water town shanghai
Beautiful Qiabo on a rainy day

Getting There 

Take Subway Line 9 and get off at Qibao Station. Leave from Exit 2 to the old town , walk towards the road junction and take a left turn. The entrance to Qibao city is a huge gate which is hard to miss.
Qibao is a nice place to go try real local cuisine, but as a water town its not great .Most of the old buildings have been built over and there is hardly any of the old architecture left .What makes Qibao a popular destination is that its easy to get to .I would suggest going there late evening , once the bridges and buildings are lit up, its beautiful !


  1. Thank you for this wonderful information with beautiful pictures and content. i am planning to go we in shanghai And will look forward to using your information.
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  2. lovely post Although Qibao can be touristy, prices are comparatively cheap. plan a summer vacation in kedarnath tour in dev bhumi uttarakhand and make the peaceful moments of the year which will be alive for long in your memories

  3. it's a charming town,Went to this small ancient town and had some of the traditional deli from Shanghai. The streets were filled with locals looking for the best snack to grab. Difficulties at choosing the right snack? Just follow the queue.
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