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Shanghai Attractions: Qibao

Qibao 七宝

Qibao Temple, Qibao.

Located now in the sprawling western suburbs of Minhang in Shanghai about 20km from downtown, Qibao has a long history dating back to the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127 AD).

Qibao - the name means "Seven Treasures" - was a prosperous trading town throughout the Ming and Qing periods.

Qibao has a pictureque canalside setting and many of its historic buildings and temples have been restored since 2000 to recreate something of the atmosphere of old China.

Landmarks to look out for include Qibao Temple and pagoda, which is reputed to house the mythical Seven Treasures, a 19th century Catholic Church off Qibao Nanjie and the pictureque bridges over the canal, which is fed by the Huangpu River.

Qibao's narrow streets teem with souvenir shops and eateries of all descriptions. The town is famous for its fighting crickets and symbols of the insects can be seen everywhere as well as in the Cricket Museum.

30-minute boat rides can be booked for the leisurely trip along the willow tree lined canal from No 1 Bridge to Dongtantan and back.

Qibao canal, China.Qibao, China.

The largely car-free narrow streets are a great place to wander, window shop and try some of the delicacies on offer from the numerous food stalls, tea houses and restaurants: glutinous rice cakes wrapped in bamboo leaves, roasted sweet potatoes, tofu, sweets on a stick etc.

Shadow plays have recently been revived in the town to honor Mao Gengyu from Qibao who introduced this art form to a wider audience in the Shanghai area.

Qibao Old Town.Qibao canals.

Bus #92 connects Qibao with Shanghai Stadium. Qibao is on Line 9 of the Shanghai subway.

Qibao snacks.Qibao snack street.