Saturday, 24 July 2010

Qibao Ancient Town

Decided to see some sights with a friend, so we googled for interesting places to see in Shanghai. One of the recommended locations was Qibao, which is supposed to be some river town or something.

Anyway, there was a river and it had boats that middle-aged women worked as gondeliers on. We took a ride on one, for 10 yuan. A short trip down one direction, then back under the bridge in the other.. and that was it. Definitely worth it, even if only to sit down somewhere cool away from the crowds and enjoy the view. Got asked to take a photo of some asian couple, don't know why they had to ask me as I can barely operate my own camera let alone random other models belonging to other people.

A view from the boat.. of another boat.

2010-07-19 - Qibao Ancient Town - 10 - Another boat

The canal bridge looked uncrowded as we passed under it.

2010-07-19 - Qibao Ancient Town - 09 - Canal bridge

In order to get to the river, you walk down narrow alleyways on the sides of which are shops that sell clothing and knick-nacks. Then you cross over a bridge to more alleyways where the shops sell food.

I don't know what this dude is selling.

2010-07-19 - Qibao Ancient Town - 01 - Miscellaneous food

This shop solds various meats on a stick, including birds. We weren't game enough to try them.

2010-07-19 - Qibao Ancient Town - 02 - Meat on a stick

I bought two different things. The first was some kind of pancake, which was egg and other stuff mixed with vegetables. There was also red chilli pepper in it. Delicious. Accidentally deleted that photo, so have a picture of disappointing pork bread thing that I threw out the rest of.

2010-07-19 - Qibao Ancient Town - 04 - Meat bread

Observe the amount of pork inside it.

2010-07-19 - Qibao Ancient Town - 05 - Meat bread meat deficient

Here's the place where we bought the food, which was a little less crowded than the alleyways which led there. Although this one was almost twice as wide. As you see here, people use umbrellas on a hot day to shelter from the sun. Was talking to a chinese guy at work and he said his wife went to university in NZ and she thought the sun was to strong there. Walking around as we did in Qibao without sunscreen, I am pretty sure on an equally sunny day back in New Zealand we would have been sunburnt. Anyway.. you can see people walking with umbrellas here on a sunny day, that's my point.

2010-07-19 - Qibao Ancient Town - 08 - Crowds

One interesting looking food we saw, were these pies. At least I think they were pies. They oozed this tar like grease, or at least that's what they looked like they were doing. People were buying them, so they must have been okay. Really we should have bought one, simply because the point of going to places like this is to eat fucked up looking shit.

2010-07-19 - Qibao Ancient Town - 06 - It looks like a meat pie

This shop was selling fried pancakes or something.

2010-07-19 - Qibao Ancient Town - 07 - Fried foods

While it was definitely worth taking the long subway ride out to see it, the experience lacked authenticity. It felt like a tourist attraction, rather than an actual place you go and see where people go about their business. But I guess, if it wasn't the latter then it wouldn't exist any more. Reading wikipedia now, I see that the specialty of the place is crickets. My only regret about the place now, is that I didn't know it then so I could look for and try some. I think I can live with not eating bird on a stick. Especially after going to a restaurant on Tuesday and choking on a wishbone.

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