Nanxiang Ancient Town – Birthplace of the Famous Xiaolongbao Soup Dumpling
September 07, 2019
Being one of the four most well-known historical and cultural ancient towns in the city of Shanghai, Nanxiang Ancient Town dates back to approximately 1,500 years ago. It is a smaller water town as compared to Wuzhen Water Town. There are boutiques, souvenir shops and eateries lining the narrow streets of Nanxiang Ancient Town. It’s hard to escape the overwhelming scent of oily and spicy Chinese cuisine lingering in the air. The main attractions in this town are the Nanxiang Twin Pagodas, Hezuo Hill and Guyi Garden.
However, there’s one thing – xiaolongbao – that draws crowds of locals and tourists here. If you’re wondering, xiaolongbao is a type of Chinese steamed soup dumpling, traditionally filled with minced pork. Generous fillings of minced pork with minced crab meat and roe is also commonly found. These dumplings contain hot soup, so be careful when you’re savouring them. I only included Nanxiang Ancient Town in my itinerary because it is the birthplace of the delicious, slurp-worthy xiaolongbao soup dumpling. The original and oldest shop, established in 1900, selling xiaolongbao can be found in this town. One serving usually consists 10 soup dumplings, so I ate a total of 20 xiaolongbao as I couldn’t resist trying both variations – the traditional minced pork and the one with minced crab meat and roe.
Getting to Nanxiang Ancient Town and Guyi Garden from Shanghai
Ride the Metro Line 11 from Jiangsu Lu to Nanxiang directly (takes around 40 minutes). Walk for about 15 minutes along Huyi Gong Lu and carry on walking straight down Minzhu Jie and you’ll see Guyi Garden located on the left side of the road. An alternative route will be taking bus 517, 562, or 822 and getting off at Nanxiang Gu Zhen Station.
Although Nanxiang Ancient Town is smaller as compared to Wuzhen Water Town, this charming water town is great for travellers who do not enjoy long commutes and do want to travel out of the city of Shanghai. You can still get a glimpse of a water town and indulge in local delicacies.