Explore the Highlights
The following 5 highlights of Qibao are highly recommended by China Travel.
1. Qibao Temple
Qibao Temple dates back from the time of the Ten States (902–979) and Five Dynasties (907–960).
It was extended and renovated during the Ming dynasty (1368–1644). Locals hold the temple in very high regard because legend says it had seven treasures but also because it looks splendid.
The temple was of major importance in fostering the development of the town. The newly renovated Qibao temple has ingenious designs for gardens and buildings and provides tourists with the opportunity to explore the unique architecture of the Han (206 BC–220 AD) and Tang (618–907) dynasties.
Cricket-fighting was a very poplar folk activity with the Water Chinese. Even today, cricket-fighting draws a big crowd. There is a special museum where crickets are displayed and live fights are organized.
Although it may seem strange that so many people would be fascinated with crickets, in Qibao the crickets come from a very fierce species known as Blue and Iron Sand, named after the colors of their feet and neck.
The fertile land and geographical position of Qibao provide the perfect habitat for crickets: an abundance of water and food, and great living conditions. As a result, the crickets are vigorous and provide exciting performances daily, during the annual Cricket Culture Festival and golden weeks.
3. Shadow Play
In Shanghai, shadow plays were once a popular feature of local culture. The art was introduced to Shanghai by Mao Gengyu, a man from Qibao.
Shadow plays from Qibao provide entertainment based on popular historical events using local dialect to reflect local character. They are performed using expressive music and colorful drawings for illustrating characters’ emotions.
- In 1988, a few amateur artists also held an exhibition of shadow play paintings and it developed wider appreciation and popularity of this unique folk art.
When walking around Qibao, you will find a huge range of snacks available everywhere. These are appetizing and colorful, and have become a popular feature of Qibao.
Cakes of different flavors are made from Qibagao, polished glutinous rice. Tourists can also find other local dishes like tanghulu (sugarcoated haws on sticks), xunlaihama (smoked toads), kaohongshu (roast sweet potatoes), hebao doufugan (dried bean curd in lotus leaves) and more.
5. Qibao Daqu Liquor
Qibao Daqu liquor has been popular in the Shanghai markets for decades, and anyone over the age of 50 often talks about ‘that white wine from Qibao’.
Nowadays, people are no longer drinking strong alcohol for their health, but if they can buy a bottle of Qibao Daqu, they will still drink. For Qibao Daqu liquor is more than just a glass of spirits, it is part of human history.
In recent years, the local government has resumed indigenous production of "Qibao Liquor", and "Qibao Liquor Square" in Qibao Street has become popular with tourists.