Shanghai, no more than a small fishing village just a few centuries ago, is now China’s largest, most futuristic city, leading the country in cultural, economic and financial terms. Built upon the estuary of the Yangtze River, Shanghai pictures a world renowned skyline that dominates the China’s eastern coast as a beacon of Chinese prosperity. Including the Shanghai tower -second only to Dubai’s Burj Khalifa as tallest building in the world- and the Shanghai Financial World Trade Center (fifth tallest in the world), the city is often considered the “New York of the East”, is one of China’s busiest conglomerations, holding near to 23 million people with influences from all over the world.
Giant shopping malls, world renowned museums and technological parks, entire art districts, the French concession, a Disney Land park and theatre, the wealth of cultural activities found in Shanghai is inexhaustible. To note but a few unmissable ones: the Bund, Shanghai’s symbolically famous waterfront; the pavilions, greeneries and water sections of the Yuyuan gardens; the Jade Buddha Temple; the vast collection ancient China’s sacred vestiges held by the Shanghai museum; Nanjing Road’s four mile long shopping course; the Science and technology museum’s showcasing of modern technological wonders; the world famous Oriental Pearl TV Tower.
Temples, traditional architectures, ancient towns and water towns, the enduring influence of authentic Chinese culture within Shanghai’s modernity creates a flawless and vibrant fusion of old and new that leave visitors imparted on how well the opposites work within the city today, and make any stay in Shanghai a memorable one.
Qibao has been in existence for over 1,000 years and the locals hold its good reputation and success to the Qibao temple, which is rumoured to hold the seven famous treasures the town is named after. Qibao is a weekend destination for the city dwellers of Shanghai, conveniently located on Metro Line 9 and just a few kilometers outside of the city center. People come here from around the city and to visit the infamous Qibao Temple and explore the sights and smells of the Qibao Old Street. Here among the ancient bridges and water ways, small streets and old Chinese architectures are found a variety of traditional foods such as Qibaogao, a glutinous rice cake that comes in a variety of flavors, Hebao doufugan, dried bean curd wrapped in Lotus leaves, or Kaohongshu, roasted sweet potatoes. Finally, Qibao is also home to our second school here in China; the Hess International Educational Organization learning center opened here in 2013.
Exploring the city can be done by all the usual means, and is less expensive than in most Western countries. Shanghai has a simple and incredibly effective metro service that takes you anywhere in the city, East to West and including airports. Taxis are exceptionally cheap and will rarely cost more than a few USD. Buses run an intricate network across the city for the places the metro does not reach.