While Stephen was finishing up his last few classes in Shanghai, I decided to get out of the city centre and visit the water village of Qibao. Being only 30 metro minutes away from central Shanghai, Qibao is actually more of a water suburb than a village.
I had read that one should under no circumstances visit Qibao Old Street on a Saturday, because it’s unbearably packed with tourists. But since it’s mid-winter, I thought I’d risk it.
Even on this cold weekend before Christmas, the main thoroughfares were a little chaotic.
But the peaceful canals made it easy to avoid the crowds.
The big draw here is the abundance of street food.
Since it’s hard to shoot and eat, I resisted the temptation of digging into a stuffed crab or a whole roasted chicken-on-a-stick.
The dumpling stalls were a little more tempting, though most dumplings are stuffed with pork.
After I tired of being pushed along by the current of people, I escaped to the quiet side lanes.
Here I found plenty of artisans and small businessmen and women plying their wares.
Luxurious wooden bathtubs and pails seem to be a speciality of the region. We haven’t seen them being made anywhere else so far.
If you need a wooden door frame, Qibao would be a good place to get it.
There are also plenty of more fanciful purchases to be made.
It was while shooting this magical tree that I noticed the ISO on my camera had somehow gotten set to 1000 (instead of auto where I normally leave it). So that’s why my photos have been looking grainy for the last couple of days. Yes, I am still learning the basics.
Even though I’m getting better at photographing people, my first love will always be for architecture.
Buildings never move or scowl right before you take the picture.
These girls did the opposite, smiling and posing when they noticed me snapping away.
After another visit back to the canal…
…I wound my way through the backstreets towards the metro, enjoying the last few rays of sunlight.
It was time to head home to meet Stephen for our date night, which Stephen will tell you more about in today’s bonus post! ♥