This morning after taking the kids to school I decided to visit Qibao. This is a small watertown that is now part of suburban Shanghai, located in the same district (Minhang) where I live. It’s only a 15 min drive from our house (30-45 min from downtown), but I had never been here.
My parents who are in town also joined me, they had actually visited the place before and wanted to see it again. When I told my driver we wanted to go to Qibao he told me that he has a house there where his parents are now living!
Qibao is a typical Chinese water town, but it is very small compared to the water towns around Shanghai. It’s basically just one river (or canal?) with a few bridges and a couple of small streets full of small shops and restaurants.
We only spent an hour there, which is enough if you just want to do some sightseeing. But if you want to indulge in the many different foods that are sold here (see this article on CNNGo for example), or visit a museum or temple, you will need more time.
We were quite early (we arrived at 9:30 AM) and it was still relatively quiet in Qibao. But when we left an hour later it became really crowded already. My parents had been here once during the weekend and then it was so busy that you could hardly pass through the small streets. So if you want to check it out make sure to go early.
Qibao can be easily reached by subway, take line 9 and get off at Qibao. Take exit 2 and walk 200 meters south from where you will see the signs to the Qibao Old Street and the canals. More info on the town and its history here on ChinaTravelGuide.com. More of my Qibao pictures here on Flickr.