The Yuyuan gardens are situated not far from the Bund in the southwestern side of the city. The Yuyuan is certainly tacky- a kind of China meets Disney with an added twist- but nevertheless well worth a visit.
The Gardens themselves were completed in 1577 by the Pan family in Shanghai. The original Gardens were destroyed twice in the 1800s and have now been restored. They are usually pretty busy but, are worth looking at if you can either come during the week or are prepared to face the masses. The gardens cover a significant space and include a few halls, springs and other buildings of interest.
The area surrounding the Gardens makes up the Old City God's Temple Area and was known in colonial times as the "Chinese City".Today, the area directly around Yuyuan has been "renovated" somewhat tastelessly and is a mass of tourist shops and naff decorations.
The operating hours is from 0830 to 1700.
Admission fee is RMB30 for Adult and RMB10 for child an elderly above 70 years of age.
Get your lucky beads!
Jing'an District has a large mall named City Plaza which mainly caters for the domestic market but below is many smaller shops where you can purchase some bargains! Get your lucky beaded bracelets, jade or something precious from Shirley's cousin who has her own shop, which is to the left when going down from the mall.....Mention Shirley & Rabbit from NZ!! I brought a genuine, very lovely calming bracelet for one of my daughters for 60rmb, a good buy!
I cannot give any specific restaurants because the employees at the business unit I was visiting chauffered us around. However, I can tell you that the food I ate was nothing like Chinese food in the U.S. I had things such as pigeon, snake, duckhead and live lobster...the lobster was still moving when we ate it. So, if you are in the mood for something different travel to Shanghai preferrably with someone from that country and try to have an open mind when testing the local cuisine.
Check out the Bund from across the river!
Check out the Bund from across the river! At night time it looks pretty nice with all of the buildings lit up! From what I understand the area looks quite a bit different now! The better view might be from the Bund side now as the spot I was standing looking over the newer massive skyscrapers!!
"Difficult to process it all..."
Christmas was in the air in Shanghai when we were there. Unfortunately, much pollution was also in the air. Not as bad as Beijing, but not pleasant. It was cold that morning, not as bad as Beijing had been the previous week but we wished we had warmer coats. Like Beijing, it is a mind boggling city, even bigger, with construction taking place almost everywhere you turn and crowds of people to the point of being unbearable. We first took a taxi to The Bund. It was quite pleasant when we first arrived about 10AM as the crowds had not showed up yet. We strolled along the huge riverfront promenade a bit. The skyline of ultra modern skyscrapers directly across the river on the Pudong side is a stark contrast to the graceful 19th century buildings on the Bund side. We then took a 1.5 hour boat ride on the Huangpu river. The boat was old but warm inside. We were the only foreigners aboard. We traveled to but not under the cable-stay Yangpu Bridge before turning aroundWe then took another taxi to the Yu Yuan Garden/Bazaar/Old town area which was incredibly packed with people. We wandered through many small shops with much pushing and shoving as the crowds were becoming larger. We waited in a very long line for take away dumplings at a restaurant that had been highly recommended and said to be very famous, it was just outside the entrance to the Gardens by the Huxingting Teahouse with the little zigzag bridge. We gave up on it after about 20 minutes as there must have been at least 50 people in line and it was barely moving. We ate at an enormous cafeteria with what seemed to be every conceivable Chines dish imaginable. It was rediculously cheap and very difficult to find a seat. This place sat hundreds, it was gigantic. We were the only foreigners in the place. We then visited the Yu garden itself which was interesting but quite packed. We then took a cab to Nanjing Road for some shopping, however the crowds were even more unbearable than at the Yu Bazarr. Shanghaites or whatever you would call the people of this eye popping city, could very well have coined the phrase 'Conspicuous consumption'. It appears they are more style/class conscience than even some westerners. Prices on Nanjing Road appeared higher than in Beijing. The stores were just too densely crammed with people for us, it was difficult to even move in some of them. We gave up on shopping as it was just too claustrophobic. Shanghai is a very interesting city, it truly is history being made, what with all the building going on, but we did not have the fond feeling for it as we had experienced for Beijing. Perhaps if we had had more time.
"Shanghai's Modern Skyline"
The skyline of the Pudong area, so prominently photographed nowadays and recognized by many westerners as downtown Shanghai did not even exist in the early 1990s. It has all been built since about 1995. Prior to that it was farmland. The tall tower in the middle is the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, 1500 ft tall. Shanghai also has one of the fastest trains in the world, also new, connecting the downtown area with the airport.