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Monday, August 30, 2010

Qi Bao

On Saturday, I went to Qi Bao with my friend Juliana who is visiting from the US. Qi Bao is a cute little town near Shanghai with restored old buildings, arched stone bridges, & lots of tourist appeal. It was a great half-day trip, & the weather was nice with an overcast sky.

For 30 RMB (about US $4.25) we got a ticket to all the sights in the small town, including a replica of an old pawn shop, a museum of miniatures, and the bell tower where we took turns ringing the huge bell. Afterward, we pushed through the crowded market street, where they were selling everything from China souvenirs to flip flops to crickets in bamboo cages.

For 10 RMB (about US $1.40) we took a ride up the canal & back, with a grisley boatman as our guide. He tried to chat with us, but neither of us understood him very well. Juliana, who speaks fluent Mandarin & Cantonese, said he had a weird accent, possibly local to Qi Bao.

It was a nice relaxing day away from the city. Qi Bao is easy to get to by subway from the city center, & it would be convenient for me to go back there when I need a break from the hectic city life. I love the idea of spending a day sipping tea by the canal, with nothing to do but watch the tourists go by.

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