Our original plan was to take the train to one of the water towns outside Shanghai, but with the journey taking upwards of one-half hours, we decided to stay local and visit Qiboa which is now in the suburbs of Shanghai and can be reached via the metro.

Known as an “ancient town”, Qiboa was built in Northern Song Dynasty (960-1126) and grew into a prosperous business center during Ming (1368-1644) and Qing Dynasties (1644-1911).

We didn’t see any crickets, but it was one of the most popular folk activities among the ancient Chinese and even now cricket fighting still draws much interest. Evidently the crickets in Qibao, especially the fiercest species called Iron Sand and Blue, provide exciting performances each day during the golden weeks (May 1-7 and Oct. 1-7) and the annual Festival of Cricket Culture. Too bad we weren’t here for that!!!!

Nonetheless, Qiboa is a very attractive spot and popular with local tourists.

We enjoyed a good lunch on the banks of the canal. I wonder what is stored or fermenting in these urns – seen in the restaurant?

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