Text and images by Bonnie Ellman
Inspired by our trip to the water town of Suzhou, I decided to see if there were any places similar that were closer to Xijahui. I was browsing a travel site and saw some photos of a small town called Qibao, another ancient water town only 7 metro stops away. My friend Yanxian happened to be visiting from Shenzen that weekend so I thought that it was a perfect locale for a short day trip, though I really do want to try to make it back to Jiangsu at some point before I leave.
Upon arriving there were tons of little shops and markets analogous to those in the water towns we visited, so I was tempted to go shopping. However, I decided that browsing for the day would suffice and before going to the water it would be a good idea to have lunch. My friend and I found a small (and very reasonable) dumpling place. The food was delicious and super cheap, so both of us left happy.
Although Qibao is much smaller than Suzhou, the section by the water is still lovely. You enter Qibao through a small gateway and walk through shops until you get to the part that has all the water and bridges, which give the place a quaint charm. Qibao, like the water towns is an incredibly picturesque place, so it was perfect for taking photographs.
After spending the day in Qibao my friend and I decided to go to the bund to have dinner. We dined at a place right with an excellent view called O’yamee and then checked out the Oriental Pearl tower. After that we took a stroll down the river front, which looks beautiful lit up at night. It was the perfect conclusion to a great day.