Top choice village in West Shànghǎi

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If you tire of Shànghǎi's incessant quest for modernity, this tiny town is only a hop, skip and metro ride away. An ancient settlement that prospered during the Ming and Qing dynasties, it is littered with traditional historic architecture, threaded by small, busy alleyways and cut by a picturesque canal. If you can somehow blot out the crowds, Qībǎo brings you the flavours of old China. When you exit the station, head down Minzhu Rd and follow the signs to the Old Street.

There are nine official sights included in the through ticket, though you can also skip the ticket and just pay ¥5 to ¥10 per sight as you go. The best of the bunch include the Cotton Textile Mill, the Shadow Puppet Museum (performances from 1pm to 3pm Wednesday and Sunday), and Zhou's Miniature Carving House. Half-hour boat rides along the canal slowly ferry passengers from Number One Bridge to Dōngtángtān (东塘滩) and back. Also worth ferreting out is the Catholic Church, adjacent to a convent off Qibao Nanjie, south of the canal.

Wander along Bei Dajie north of the canal for souvenirs; Nan Dajie south of the canal is full of snacks and small eateries, such as No 14 which sells sweet tāngyuán dumplings, and No 19, which is a rarely seen traditional teahouse.