For our final day in the oven that was shanghai we decided to get out of the city a little China tours and explore the ancient town of Qibao. The town was built in Northern Song Dynasty (960-1126) and grew into a prosperous business center during Ming (1368-1644) and Qing Dynasties (1644-1911). Qibao is Chinese for ‘seven treasures’ and is the only town of its kind left in the greater Shanghai area.
Qibao turned out to be as quant and beautiful as it did utterly bizarre. On arrival to the gates of the old town you could purchase individual tickets to the various ‘attractions’ inside or a multi pass ticket to all 6. We decided to go with the latter option.First stop the bell tower. The bronze bell is housed in the three storey high structure. Legend has it that Yangtze River cruises the bell appeared from out of nowhere one day after days and nights of a huge storm. This created a sense of mystique around the town as though the gods had personally delivered the bell to them.
Next the Cotton Mill. Qibao became renown for its quality cottons and as such royalty would send for their garments to be made by the skilled craftsmen within the town. This exhibit was also home to some of the scariest mannequins we have both ever seen. There was definitely one or two screams as they almost appeared to move and come to life in travel to Shangri-la front of our eyes. Mind you we were the only two people in this “museum” at the time.