Yu Garden, Shanghai
Part two of my Yu Yuan Garden Tips with more pictures
Yu Yuan Garden is the famous in the Shanghai Region and is one of the Major Attraction in the Old City Area of Shanghai and it sits just Beside the City God Temple and the Gold Street.
The garden was reportedly first established in 1559 as a private garden created by Pan Yunduan, who spent almost 20 years building a garden to please his father Pan En, a high-ranking official in the Ming Dynasty. Yu yuan Garden occupies an area of 2 hectares (5 acres), and is divided into six general areas (Sansui Hall, Wanhua Chamber, Dianchun Hall, Huijing Hall, Yuhua Hall and the Inner Garden) and these areas are separated by "dragon walls" with undulating gray tiled ridges, each terminating in a dragon's head. The true treasure of Yuyuan is the Exquisite Jade Rock. Located across from Yuhua Hall. It is Part of the City God Complex in Old Shanghai.
Yu Yuan Gardend are open from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm everyday
admission price is RMB 40 per person.
This room is not open for public entry, however we obtained an excellent view through the open windows. The antique hand carrved timber furniture looked magnificent. The outlook onto the gardens and pond is outstanding.
This was really our only bit of "Old Shanghai" that we saw while there, but we thoroughly loved what we saw. This place is quite close to the centre of Shanghai, downtown in the French Concession, but you wouldnt really know you were that close to utter chaos! It was peaceful and serene and amazing to walk through and look at. The 400 year old Gardens are a pure joy to visit and I would encourage all travellers to Shanghai to try and fit in half a day to make the trip.
It will be impossible for me to choose the 5 best pictures, because I took almost 100 pictures that day and they are all worthy of uploading!
Entry fee to Yu Yuan Gardens is only 40rmb = about $7AUD and there is no fee to enter the surrounding shops, including the zig zag bridge and Huxington Teahouse.
There is also fantastic shopping in and around Yu Yuan Gardens, with a good variety of goods, lots of typical Chinese souvenirs, and at very cheap prices too.
The Yu Gardens and Bazaar also have a lovely Teahouse that is located in the middle of the large lake that forms the centerpiece of the Bazaar. The atmosphere is very relaxed and a traditional tea ceremony will be performed on request.
Every flavor of tea that you could think of is served in the tea house; however, at 25 Yuan it is quite expensive for a cup of tea. This seems to be the case in most of the Gardens and Bazaar as the prices in most of the shops are extremely inflated.
In 1 particular tea shop we saw a tin of tea on offer for 75 Yuan, that night we went to a local store near our motel and saw the same tin of tea for 11 Yuan!
The Yu Gardens and Bazaar are renowned for having the oldest dumpling restaurant in all of Shanghai. As it was lunchtime when Anne and I arrived we decided to go straight to this famous landmark and give it our own seal of approval.
The tables are a first in first served basis and don’t be startled when someone will just sit next to you at your table and start eating! There is no table service, you must order from a menu board at the front door…all written in Chinese of course. Anne and I just wandered around the restaurant with a waitress and pointed at other patrons meals and showed how many we wanted by raising 1 or 2 fingers. We also just went to the refrigerator and took out our drinks before handing them to the waitress before payment. All of the patrons and staff seemed to enjoy the entire experience as much as we did!
First impressions of this Bazaar are of spectacular old style buildings, traditions gardens, the oldest dumplings restaurant in Shanghai, and markets.
Reality is the buildings, although spectacular, are modern copies, (Well it is China!) markets that are the same as every other market in Beijing and Shanghai and Starbucks!
Anne and I wandered around the Yu Gardens and Bazaar for approx 2.5 hours and we enjoyed the peace and quiet away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The tranquil waters were full of fish, the gardens were fantastic and, dare I say it, Starbucks was very nice indeed!
yuyuan garden is a brilliant place to go for a walk, especially if you are looking for all kind of souvenirs but don't forget to barter all the time, i went to a temple and there was a ceremony , it was brilliant , i have also met mr BAO , an ex bank employee who is 88 years old and offers to be your tour guide, i will post his details later , but this man is full of knowledge about shanghai.
the temples that you can see are not original, they were destroyed in 1937 by the japanese, they have been rebuilt.
Pictured here, another example of the fabulous classical Chinese woodwork...! Notice carefully that the ancient Buddhist symbol of the swastika is embedded into the design... Although, paradoxically, the design also contains the later fascistic swastika used by the Nazis, which turns the other direction... That could be confusing! Could this have been built during Chiang Kai-shek's rule...?? See my Hangzhou page for more info on this subject...
This curvaceously formed tree is an example of the kind of landscaping work that has been carried out at Yu Gardens... The gardens are filled with many, many varieties of exotic plants and trees, almost as wonderfully presented as at the more impressive Guangzhou Orchid Garden in Guangdong Province...
The Yu Gardens is a gorgeous and elaborate classical Chinese garden originally created way back in the 1500's by officials of the Ming Dynasty...! During the opium wars, the gardens were totally destroyed by foreign imperialists and when rebuilt they were again bombarded by the French at the time of the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom...! Finally, they have been again restored to their former Ming dynasty splendor...!
Private gardens in Old Town. This is one of Shanghai's main attractions. One could spend hours in here just roaming around.
Located in the middle of the city, this garden is small, but gives you an impression of the chinese garden.