The hustle and bustle of Yuyuan Bazaar stirs up all tourists. There is something for everyone, nice shops, cafes, fast food and for those who are still hungry for culture you are surrounded by Ming architecture.
We were hungry for food on arrivale and were lucky to secure a window table looking onto the bazaar whilst we enjoyed our lunch at Starbucks.
The Yuyuan shopping area can only be describe as chaotic. There is not no enough room on the side walk to get to safely with two people let alone trying to push a stroller. But as you get into the main bazaar, you'll find this space becoming even more limited. The people traffic that flows through the small maze of street has to be experience to be believed.
Although this area is a major tourist spot, I fail to see its drawing power. There isn't really anything of great interest aside from the historical architecture and the Yuyaun Garden, there is much else. Sure there are plenty of souverior shops but they are generally over priced and only good for there air-conditioning.
Wonder around the area. There are numerous antique, calligraphy, painting and gift shops. If you want to buy something, keep in mind that you should bargain! Otherwise it's just nice to do some window shopping and collect ideas of what you might want buy...
The Yu Yuan Bazaar shopping complex with its faux Ming-Qing Yangtze Riverstyle buildings was constructed in l994, and today is one main draw for locals and tourists. Packed to the brim - it may get really crowded especially on holidays and weekends.
Shops and restaurants aplenty to amuse you as long as you don't mind the fakeness of it all and the swirling crowd around you.
Remember the shops / direction or else you will get lost easily and cannot find your way out. Allow yourself more time in this place, so that you can do sight-seeing, shop and eat without having to rush.
Shop on local produce, tidbits, handicrafts, tea and hawker food are abundant here. If you are in need of a quick caffeine fix, here you can spot a Starbucks Coffee right in front of the lake.
There is a large food court in Yuyuan Bazaar where you can find all the Shanghainese hawker food. Just pick those you want to taste from the counter & pay at the cashier. Savour all the local delicacies to your heart's content.
Tidbits: Five spices nuts, roasted chestnuts, cakes
Hawker Food: Various kinds of delicious dumplings & crab roe powder.
Handicrafts: Paper-cutting, rice flour doll, name chop, snuff bottle
Attractions: Wishing tree, Chenghuang Temple (entrance ticket with jossticks RMB5), shadow play & tea house
This is an area where tourists congregate either to have a cup of Chinese tea, to try some local snacks, to check out the latest fashion, to buy some souvenirs for loved ones at home or to learn how to make local crafts (if you are a genius ;-)).
Learn some skills in bargaining as well. Nothing is too expensive or too cheap here! Most importantly, have fun!
YU YUAN BAZAAR:
Aside from shopping for local products, food & souvenirs, try to find a teahouse & enjoy the aroma & beauty of Chinese tea-ceremony. We did & find it a wonderful experience.
Yuyuan Bazaar found beside Yuyuan Garden is a bazaar of stores that sells traditional Chinese arts and crafts and souvenirs. The stores sell a mish-mash of items including chopsticks, Chinese medicine, walking sticks, fans, silk umbrellas, bamboo and rattan furniture, goldfish, pottery, plus much more. Part of the bazaar has also been transformed into an indoor mall.
Make a walk durig the night in Yuyuan. There is not so many people (compared during the day!), and it's very peaceful