Saturday, May 7, 2011


The next reworked album is not for the squeamish, vegetarians or devout animal lovers.

They better not click on the photo, which in itself looks harmless: the album behind it isn't, especially with the bigger size photos...

Don't say I didn't warn you if you choose to ignore these words (and note that despite my somewhat dry sense of humour, I'm really only partially kidding here)...

It was the next - rather gloomy - day in Shanghai, visiting Qibao... from that same brochure:

Located in the center of Minhang District of Shanghai, only 18 kilometers (11.18 miles) from the downtown area, Qibao Ancient Town can satisfy your curiosity about ancient water townships without the bother of either long distance or the rush of crowds. As the only ancient town forming part of greater Shanghai, with a history spanning over one thousand years, Qibao is more than just a living fossil of ancient Chinese conurbation and urban planning.

The town was built in Northern Song Dynasty (960-1126) and grew into a prosperous business center during Ming (1368-1644) and Qing Dynasties (1644-1911). Qibao is the Chinese for 'seven treasures' and there are two popular theories about its derivation. The more reliable one says that the name originates from the Qibao Temple, famed for its good reputation. It was this that contributed to the growth of business and culture of the previously unknown town. The other theory seems more popular among the local people who tell folk tales about seven treasures. These were an iron Buddha made in Ming Dynasty, a bronze bell also dating from the Ming Dynasty but said to have mysteriously appeared from nowhere, a Gold Script Lotus Sutra written by an imperial concubine of the 10th century, a one-thousand-year-old Chinese catalpa tree, a jade axe, a gold cockerel and a pair of jade chopsticks. Actually of these seven treasures, the existence of only first four can be verified while only the Scripture and the bell have survived to this day.

Click on the photo to see the whole album...

Click here for the total index.

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