Nanxiang Water Town, located in the north-western Jiading District of Shanghai, is a small town with a history of nearly 1500 years. It is one of several famous historical and cultural ancient water towns of Shanghai (along with Qibao, Nanxun, Tongli, Xitang, Zhujiajiao, Wuzhen, Luzhi and Zhouzhuang).
The main attractions in the town include the Nanxiang Twin Pagodas (above) and the famous Guyi Garden, a large Ming dynasty Suzhou-style park, regarded as one of the five most important classical gardens of Shanghai. One of the biggest temples in Shanghai, Yunxiang Temple, is also located in the middle of town.
Nanxiang is also the birthplace of the original xiaolongbao steamed bun. These are often referred to as “soup dumplings”, since they contain soup inside of them, and should not be confused with Western-style dumplings, nor with Chinese dumplings, known as jiaozi. They take their name from the xiaolong, a type of small bamboo steaming basket, in which they are traditionally prepared (above).
The town still houses the original Nanxiang Bun shop, established in 1900, which displays numerous relics untouched since the time of the Ming Dynasty. The local dish was also popularized after being featured in the film Leaving Me, Loving You, which was set in Shanghai, starring the Hong Kong pop singers Leon Lai (one of the “Four Heavenly Kings”) and Faye Wong (recognised by Guinness as the Best-selling Cantopop Female Artist of all time).
- Visited: Sep 2015