Lots to do in Maqiao Town after the tennis
Maqiao Town, where Rolex Shanghai Masters is held each year, has a history dating back hundreds of years. From food and delicacies to scenic sites, there’s much to explore than the Qizhong Tennis Center.
The town is famous for its dried tofu. There are only five shops that sell the delicacy these days, all near Maqiao Farmers Market. The family workshops boil, curdle and press marinated soybeans soaked in salt water to make tofu, then it’s simmered in special soups for hours before frying. Each shop has a limited supply every day.
Maqiao fried tofu can be eaten raw and has a salty flavor. Or it can be cooked with garlic, celery and meat.
Built in 1694, it is one of the oldest Buddha temples in the city.
“I heard that the temple can be dated back to 800 years ago, but the exact date is lost,” said Chang Long, a 90-year-old nun who lives in the temple.
Another treasure apart from the ancient buildings is the 350-year-old ginkgo tree which is under first-class city protection.
Address: No. 1, Lane 23, Dongjie Street
Yutang Education Memorial Museum
During rural construction last century, a group of educationalists including Liang Shumin and Tao Xingzhi made great efforts to build Yutang Village in Maqiao Town into a demonstration educational village.
The house where the museum is located belongs to the Niu family, the town’s biggest family at that time. The owner, Niu Yongjian, was one of the well-known educationists in the city. Niu established the Qiangshu School, the oldest school in the town. He was a revolutionist who joined Dr Sun Yat-sen in his republican revolution of 1911 that overthrew the Qing Dynasty (1911-1949).
The building was the headquarters for Maqiao anti-Japanese union at the time. During the War of Resistance against the Japanese Aggression, the union collected shoes, vests and kettles from Maqiao Town residents and donated them to Madame Soong Ching Ling.
Now the museum displays the history of Niu family, revolutionary actions Niu Yongjian had taken, and the history of the Qiangshu School.
Address: No. 2, Lane 1, Yutang Village
Opening hours: 9am-5pm
Maqiao Ancient Ruins Site
East of Yutang Village is the Maqiao ruins site. Discovered in 1959, animal bones and many pieces of ancient stoneware and pottery were unearthed. The site covers an area of more than 10,000 square meters and indicates a history back to the Neolithic Age.
The upper layer is ruins reflecting the culture from the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC) and Warring States Period (475-221 BC).
The middle layer includes a big amount of stoneware, bones and pottery from the area near Taihu Lake, thus awarding the name Maqiao Culture.
The lower layer contains architectural ruins and tombs from the New Stone Age.
Address: Dongyutang Village, Maqiao Town
Opening hours: 7am-7:30pm
Admission: 20 yuan (US$2.91)
Hanxiang Water Expo Garden
The water park with its characteristic bridges is one of the district’s key tourist attractions. Featuring some 50 different bridges, the park also displays the culture and history of Maqiao Town and the lives of ancient villagers.
The park, abundant in rivers, streams and canals, is home to many wild vegetables. Visitors choose to pick herbs in the autumn while enjoying the tranquil countryside scenery.
Address: 3998 Jiangchuan Rd W.
Opening hours: 9am-4pm
Admission: 30 yuan