Guyi Garden in Nanxiang is a classical Chinese garden that dates from the Ming dynasty. It used to be renowned in its time, but is now rather neglected as Nanxiang no longer occupies a position of importance in bustling, cosmopolitan Shanghai. Good thing about it is that it is very much less crowded than the famous classical Chinese gardens in Suzhou, or even the Yuyuan Garden in Shanghai's Old City area.
Admission is 12 RMB, no student price.
Countless restaurants, all serving the local specialty of Nanxiang xiaolongbao (little steamer dumplings), line the street outside the south gate of Guyi Garden. I didn't find any that particularly stood out. Restaurants were typically local (no English signs or menus), simple and down-to-earth. Many restaurants also have a takeaway gift option. Prices are cheap especially when compared to downtown Shanghai.
Favorite Dish: Xiaolongbao is THE thing to eat here. The xiaolongbao have a paper-thin skin made of white flour, filled with tender pork filling (I prefer the ones mixed with crabmeat and/or crab roe) and fragrant soup.
Make sure you don't waste the steaming soup inside the xiaolongbao. "Up-end" the xiaolongbao using the chopsticks and push it onto the spoon. Dip it in the ginger and vinegar/soy sauce if you so prefer. Bite a small hole to let the soup cool a bit before you suck the soup out, not unlike French-kissing! (The xiaolongbao is in the spoon to avoid losing soup due to spillage.) Beware, hot hot hot! After you suck the soup out and the xiaolongbao cools down somewhat, you can eat it "normally".